4 Stills From Movies I Think Are Masterpieces

Liela Hafshejani

This week in Newspaper, I gave an idea to choose four stills/images from movies we thought were masterpieces or just movies that mean a lot to us. These are the four that I picked. Spoilers are very much ahead.  

This is an image from the movie Back to the Future: II (1989). This is one of my favorite movies ever. Of course, this is one of the most famous films of all time, and rightfully so. It picks up right after the ending of Part I and it ends right before Part III starts. Starring Michael J Fox and Christopher Loyd, Marty McFly and Doc Brown have to go into the future and save Marty’s future son from going to prison. While they are in the year 2015 (crazy that it’s already passed), they find a Sports Almanac for the rest of the century and try to bring it back so they can win some money, but it ends up in the hands of the wrong person– Biff. He takes the Almanac and gives it to his younger self which changes the course of history.  Everything in their town, Hill Valley, flips upside down and everything is ruined. Biff ends up as Marty’s stepfather after Biff has Marty’s actual father killed. Funny enough, Biff’s character was inspired by Donald Trump– do with that information however you see fit. It’s an awesome movie, and I’m always down to watch it anytime– highly recommended!

“I know, you did send me back to the future, but I’m back, I’m back from the future.” – Marty 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this movie– it has to be more than 10, I can tell you that. Presenting my favorite movie of all time– Forrest Gump (1994). Everything I love is just packed into one movie– from the soundtrack of classic rock songs to the historical time, it’s just the perfect movie. Starring Tom Hanks and Robin Wright, this movie is the life story of a man named Forrest Gump and how he experiences so many things in his life–from having scoliosis as a child, to fighting in Vietnam and being awarded the medal of honor, to becoming a millionaire. He comes across major historical figures like Elvis (who learns his dance moves from Forrest himself), JFK (who he tells he has to pee), President Nixon (who gets exposed of Watergate because of Forrest), and President Johnson (who he shows his “million-dollar wound”. The movie is historical, romantic, and it’s technically a war film too, and you feel every emotion when you watch it. You laugh and you cry throughout the whole movie– easily 10/10, if not more. There’s a reason it won six Oscars. If you haven’t watched this movie already, you’re missing out. Watch this movie as soon as you can– you won’t regret it. 

Forrest: What’s my destiny, Mama?

Mrs. Gump: You’re gonna have to figure that out for yourself.

This is a bit of a shift from the earlier movies. This is a still from the movie There Will Be Blood (2007). This movie is about the oilman, Daniel Plainview, and his conflicts involving the town of Little Boston and the people that live there. Plainview–played by Sir Daniel Day-Lewis– goes to the town by the request of Paul Sunday–played by Paul Dano–to find and pump oil. Tragedy begins when the town’s preacher, Eli Sunday, Paul’s twin who’s also played by Paul Dano, doesn’t bless the oil pumps before starting the process and keeps pushing Plainview to give him the money he owes him. This movie has a lot of story to it, so I’ll let you watch it on your own, but this still, specifically, speaks volumes. The man right in front of the cross is Plainview and the man putting his hand on his shoulder is Eli Sunday. The reason they are in the church is that Plainview wanted to buy land from another man to build a pipeline, but Sunday would only sell the land to him if he was “saved” under the eyes of God. Plainview– who wasn’t a religious man by any means– had to confess his sins to the Lord while Eli was screaming in his face about God and slapping him out of his own rage for not getting his money and many other things. Remember those “Best Acting Performances Of All Time” on Tik Tok and the guy is screaming about how he “abandoned his boy”? Yeah, this is that scene. 

“I am a false prophet, God is a superstition!” – Eli Sunday

Last but definitely not least, my last still is from a masterpiece of a movie– Malcolm X (1992). Directed by Spike Lee and starring Denzel Washington, this three-hour movie is about the life and death of Minister Malcolm X. The movie is based on Malcolm X’s own autobiography and starts with the story of how his mother and father met, the murder of his father, his mother being put in a mental hospital, and his life of crime. He is thrown in prison and converts to Islam and becomes a Muslim. It then tells the story of his legacy as one of the most influential Civil Rights activists during the Civil Rights movement. This movie means a lot to me personally because Malcolm X is pretty much the only Muslim representation I got growing up ,and even then, I didn’t learn about him in school– my parents sat me down one day and made me watch the movie. They both love the movie themselves–my parents saw the movie when it first came out in the theaters. This still specifically is one of my favorites–this is the scene where he gets assassinated by members of the Nation of Islam (if you want to know what that means and who they are, watch the movie). It shows such a powerful man in the place he feels strongest– in front of a podium– being hollowed with bullets. Yes, it’s very sad, but it speaks volumes. After they shot him in the movie, people who were supporters of Malcolm grabbed them and beat them in the street– very much what they deserve. It’s a powerful movie about a powerful man– I highly recommend it. 

“You are not an American, you are the victim of America!”- Malcolm X


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