Photographic/cinematic moments

I have a strong penchant for certain motion-picture or still-photography shots in movies or TV shows that are captured in a really perfect, cool, poignant, or subtle but powerful way. I’m not sure if that sentence makes complete sense, so I’ll just explain by giving the four examples of these movie/TV moments or still photos that I really love, that stand out in my mind the most:

1. When Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum are walking away from their crashed alien fighter jet across the desert in Independence Day, and they’re smoking their cigars, and the heat is coming up off the ground, and the smoke and fire are in the background, and they’re just totally bad-ass in every way. I don’t care what people say about that movie, I love the movie and I LOVE that shot.

Independence Day

2. Much more obscure: In Star Trek VI, when the Excelsior is flying at maximum warp to rendezvous with the Enterprise at Khitomer to help it fend off the reputed Klingon bird of prey that can fire while cloaked, and Captain Sulu urges his helmsman to push the Excelsior as fast as she can go, and the helmsman warns, “She’ll fly apart,” I love the way Sulu responds, fiercely and intensely, “Fly her apart, then!” I can’t explain this one. I don’t know why I care about that line from Sulu, but it’s just perfect.

Fly her apart, then!

3. The photograph of Sean Maher (Simon Tam) in the opening credits of Firefly…he’s standing with some kind of formal wear on, a suit and a vest, looking off to the right with virtually no expression on his face, but I love it because it’s just so…poignant, stoic, artistic, something. There’s something undefinable about that photograph that makes me want to watch the entire opening credits every time. That, and the very defiant, libertarian theme song.

4. The last shot in the montage of scenes in the opening credits of season three of Battlestar Galactica: The young-ish, clean-cut male Cylon model #5 is standing in front of Gaius Baltar’s desk, and two of the female Cylons are walking up beside him, and he’s kind of looking to the right, and then he just turns his head to face forward with this smug, matter-of-fact grin on his face. I don’t know why I like that shot so much, but it’s just perfect. I don’t mean just the still frame you see below, I mean the combination of the movement of his head and his expression.

Do you have any unusual or quirky moments like those that strike you as particularly cool or poignant or perfectly shot?

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