Movie Quote of the Day – Léon: The Professional, 1994 (dir. Luc Besson)

Stansfield: I like these calm little moments before the storm. It reminds me of Beethoven. Can you hear it? It’s like when you put your head to the grass and you can hear the growin’ and you can hear the insects. Do you like Beethoven?
Malky: I couldn’t really say.


About Marya E. Gates

Cinephile to the max.

Posted on February 12, 2012, in Movie Quote of the Day and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. NO WAY!!

    I saw this yesterday– the 11nth! Director’s Cut. It was the third viewing if memory serves correct (I try not to watch the good ones too many times so as not to dilute them) and in the post and during it reawoke and in doing so further solidified my absolute allegiance to this film as one of the greatest ever sired from Cinema’s gates. Based on the predication that I do not want to reiterate the hour conversations I had with my friends the latter part of the day we’ll stick to the salient and therefore sadly the most obvious. In-depth is good, but for a comment box?

    This –from an objective standpoint– is one of the top 30 films ever made, period, bar none, case closed; containing one of the most electrifyingly intense, unforgettable, rattling with emotion performances ever captured on screen engraved in my mind. No choreographing of words, no matter how felicitously embellished could convey the shriveling, back away cower induced by Oldman’s performance. I t i s b r i ll i a n t. It’s charged but unlike Behthoven he never bores, he never weakens, he remains always magnetizing; if the screen contains him, sweat in sheen across his sickened pallor, stringly, scraggly hair (the conjuring is of a reptile who actually has been mutaciously endued with hair) wrinkles on his face like crags, and every pore, nerve ending, and muscle of his face at his disposal for riveting, frightening, psychotic histrionics, then he is all our gaze allows. Is it fear, yes, it is, but more than fear it’s the unbelievability that such a dramatic– over-affected performance commands the screen with no shadow of hesitation on the audient part to normally contest or not contest. To me as a film ‘poly-appellation’ I feel nothing greater in reaction than honor towards this creation brought to life by Oldman; utter awe is what surfaces in some trying description of what it is to watch depraved, not amoral but barren of morality Stansfield. I don’t understand how I unbrokenly again and again here people complaining about his performance, going so far to call it ridiculous and even further avowing it the ruin of the film. Is it that they’re watching it on TV (heavily edited), is it that people are walking around them, talking to them, is it distraction, interruption, were they drunk, were they not high and therefore in sobriety not be able to experience there normal tensity of things which has become sobriety; were they simply in bad company, (vibes and sentiments are contagious; you watch Big Lebowski with three people who don’t find it funny and try to laugh, go ahead, try) and therein were never allowed the enchantment to take place and never even got to the point that the spell would wear-off, because that’s a pretty fucking entrancing spell to break off. Note: Personally, when I first saw the film it never even auditioned as a contestant, this notion that it was over-pronounced, that it cultivated terms of bathos and ludicritity. I thought it was fucking amazing. The mere fact that I later even had to entertain argument with some idiotically anomalic opinion (I know right, ego, what a fuckin ego to think that someone might contrive another opinion than my own)—but that’s what it was like: how the hell did you think that was over-acted, much less a bad performance!?

    How does this happen? All I set out to do was “Hey cool, I just saw this, I should let her know.” And I end up going on a spiel about one part of the film. My biggest regret is that I didn’t go into something more abstruse, after all the intriguingly minute and depthful achievements, techniques, themes, and items uncovered through yesterday’s viewing and I ramble on Oldman’s scintillating, yet redundantly discussed, magnum opus—if you can use that designation for acting– I think you can. Fuck it. Can’s got nothing to do with it, it’s either should or shouldn’t. it’s definitely should.

    Anyways I saw this. Midday. There was snow on the ground, but sun in the air, through the windows—what affects my mood and I felt hot. I thought “..yeah, Leon.” so I watched it and it was definitely one of the more memorable, inspring, time-slows down in the good way viewings of I’d say what? the last 2 weeks, probably month. Certain cinematography techniques– motif’s more really, set in firmly this time around. You know upon first viewing with the most epic of films one is a state of total unconsciousness—or more aptly blown away, and therefore the digestion of the picture is: you just know it was good, you know it influenced. inspired. affected you; however second time around you relish what you love and find more to endear afresh, and the third everything of the first two but now you really start to take in the technicalities of the picture, start to imbibe for something more than enjoyment alone, you take pleasure in finding the ingredients to masterwork. Come to think of it it might be safe to say the hook, intro, and our viewing of Leon’s first mission– everything of that up to the up-pan shot of Mathilda’s legs is one of the greatest stretches on film (based on pure time). The transfixing quality alerting you to perfection (and I use that term very very sparingly) taking place doesn’t really happen in many other films that spring to mind. Nothing of Fincher, nothing of Cuaron, Anderson Wes, Anderson Paul, Boyle….. no there’s nothing IthatI—continually breathholding in Trainspotting, Wong Kar, nope, Spielberg no, Kubrick no, Hitchcock no, Eternal Sunshine…….. no, the magic within that isn’t from any kind of triggered poise, Jarmunsch, obvis not; godamn I’m having a hard time coming up with something, Cidade….. nothing pushes on instinct and so prob not, Goodfellas….. hmmm… let’s hold back for a second. The unique object were arguing or rather analyzing is that there are three key parts strung together in continuity of transition editing and small-time editing that are truly perfect. Intro of coptor over water, park and then through streets of New York, constantly plunging forward finally into the dungeon of Tony’s Pizzaria, then two the red-white checker cloth chat; then the consequent hotel scene of that chat. Those in sutchered continuity…… no I’m not coming up with not one damn thing, not even Cidade. Goodfellas, I stopped on Goodfellas, why? Because yes there are single track shots that can be on par with –which of course is where we get the similar feeling of ‘stretch’– but they only last for that shot much like Boogie Nights, after they go they don’t have the follow-up.. at least not anywhere equal to Leon’s Hook, Intro, and conclusion of Intro. Godamn…. this is unnerving me, I got one film in my back-pocket that I’m confident I can find one thing to actually surmount this but outside of that I really am having a hard time and it’s kind of scaring me—in a really really good way. Because that means so much for Leon. Okay… so were looking for a piece of little intimacy, not overly subjective merit, were talking aesthtic objectivity that cannot be disputed— films like Leaving Las Vegas are out, Chungking… out, La Haine out.. REQUIEM……… fuck.. maybe… but hmmm (there was a 15 second tank pause) maybe yeah, Req might contain soemthing to rival, but… I don’t think so. None of Francis Ford, not Lee, not Godard, FC’s out— there’s energy sure, but like Cidade it’s flavored, different flavors apiece but nonetheless flavored. American History X……… nope. Hm.. I’m defintely posting this, I don’t care the result, not to say I take pleasure or am indifferent to marring you comment panel but fuck, I’m having fun trying to actually find an equivalent stretch of recognition. RUSHMORE? no, that’s what I’m talking about to quirky, it can’t be highly subjective, think Leaving Las for intimacy subjectivity, think Rushmore for aesthetic bias— it has to be indisputable, it has to be like iron, it has to have the inimitable quality that defines classic: It is impossible to dispute it is bad. In fact dispute never enters in, that’s what really is the defining quality. Shawshank, Pulp Fiction, Seven Samurai. Shit.. Nothing of Nolan, Se7en is inking in my head but i can’t come up with anything to legitimately combat IthatI. Damnit. Fuck the only thing I know I got is Pulp. the stretch from Royale w Cheese conversation all the way to the first time they shoot Brett is lone good enough, excluding any and all others that are latent within the film. It’s indisputable that there is one flaw– it feels undeniable; like you’re watching perfection. I can say the single scene in La Haine with camera floating through the air over building and tree, passerby and knotted clique is unsurpassable like I say the hook and intro to Trainspotting meaning car-chase alone amidst speech all the way up to when Mother Superior slithers above the moulding on the wall is perfect, for its vein, for its realm there is no higher but does it lasttt???? Nope. Stretch of time like so many others consist for one solid idea. Sure the editing is split myriad ways in the intro to Spotting but it’s still one idea. Pulp and Leon, the parts explicited are multi-ideas secured together and maintain immemorial perfection. (long ruminating pause) GOT IT! Soy Cuba. Soy cuba’s intro all the way from the roof till somewhere in the night-club is tantamount, if only it encompasses a long enough time, which, I think it does. It’s funny how so many of the sequences popping in my head our intros. But after all everyone works harder at the beginning, it flows easier; in fact it’s kind of be foolish to be surprised, since the initial –being so good– inspires the rest. Mere off-shoots, derivatives, bamboo branches.
    Hmm, finally, I got one, well, beside Pulp of course. Soy Cuba. That just might do it. Of course. It had to be filmic. Dialogue, acting, content, set design and say lighting all could be concomitant factors but it must have been at the same time main-veined in filmic aesthetics. That’s what Leon did at the ‘beginning’, that’s what Pulp did (which you could now that I thought about it the entire initial conversation with Honey Bunny and Ringo with the credits and music, oh my god! oh my god! and the pulp definition all the way up to Brett getting shot) and that’s what Soy captured from roof to night club.

    Wow.. how I can spend my time. Oh well, time spent on film is time spent on film: well spent.

    So yeah, it was crazy that was your movie day quote, when I literally just watched Leon. I always become so mesmerized when I watch movies of that period: Independent cinema vigorous, fighting, afresh, and something about the look of film between let’s say 1987 and 2001 and 1990 to 2000 for tighter. Watching cinematography coupled with the destitute, squalid set-designs only the 90s can really produce is….— I mean maybe it’s because it’s what I grew up on but something tells me no. Think Pulp, think Leon, think Trainspotting, think A life less ordinary for christsake, think Fight Club, think Se7en, Clerks, Night on Earth, Fargo, Lock Stock….. It’s like it’s a celebration of the Anti-Hero through his fashion and living arrangements; the championing exhibition of poverty and albeit pale, plain, scrawled and ripped, gorgeous. Requiem. Y tu mama and Children kind of carry the torch, maybe say Slumdog too, no don’t—you know that’s bullshit. Chilren of men, realism sure, not set design, and Slumdog not in anyway. Guy Ritchie went to Rock n Rolla which looks so Hollified. NO NO NO don’t start again, I’m done.

    Hmm. What a laugh. Higher powers bless you if you read that. And my gratitude.

    Note: I never re-write, I never proof-read for internet related commenting/statement. So please excuse all foul-ups and seemingly unexplainable threads of thought.

  2. Great quote! I love Leon so much. One of my favorite movie of all-time. Gary Oldman is outstanding as the villain. Who would have thought it would take almost another two decades for him to get his first Oscar nomination?

  1. Pingback: Movie Quote of the Day is Two Years Old Today! « the diary of a film history fanatic

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