Valentine ‘Snakeskin’ Xavier: You know, Lady, there’s people bought and sold in this world like carcasses of hogs. . .in butcher shops. You might think that there’s. . .there’s many. . .many kinds of people in this world. But there’s only two kinds: The buyers and the ones that get bought. [beat] No, there’s another kind.
Lady Torrance: What kind?
Valentine ‘Snakeskin’ Xavier: It’s a kind that don’t belong no place at all. There’s a kind of bird that don’t have any legs so it can’t alight on nothing. So it has to spend its whole life on its wings in the air. I seen one, once. It died and fell to earth. And its body was light blue colored. And it was just as tiny as your little finger. And it was so light in the palm of your hand that it didn’t weigh more than a feather. And its wings spread out that wide. And you could see right through them. That’s why the hawks don’t catch them. . .because they don’t see ’em. They don’t see ’em way up in that high blue sky near the sun.
Lady Torrance: What about in gray weather?
Valentine ‘Snakeskin’ Xavier: They fly so high, in gray weather, the hawks, they’d get dizzy. See, these little birds don’t have no legs at all so they have to live their whole lives on the wing. And they sleep on the wind. That’s what they do, they just. . . they just spread their wings out and go to sleep on the wind. And they only alight on this earth but one time. . .it’s when they die.
I am the first to admit I have not seen as many Lumet films as I would like; I’ve only seen six of his films. But I loved all six of those films. I also recently finished reading his book Making Movies and realized there were so many of his films that I need to see. I would recommend that book to anyone who just likes watching movies and especially to anyone who is thinking of going into filmmaking. He was a passionate filmmaker and if you couldn’t tell that from his films, that book removes any doubt. So I’m going to talk about those films that I have seen, as well as a few I have but that were nominated for Academy Awards. Lumet himself was nominated for Best Director four times and Best Original Screenplay once. Sadly, he never won a competitive Academy Award, although he received an Honorary Oscar in 2005.