What is the most iconic plane of the history of cinema? And frame that you can instantly recognize, and that also encapsulates years of history in a single image?
We have selected twelve frames that have passed into the collective imagination through their evocative power. When we see them, we immediately think of the movie they belong to, but not only that, we also think of much more: the entire work of their directors or actors, the time they came out or the movies they inspired…
An evocative power that makes us think of decades of the history of humanity and entire countries… only as a result of an image. Although, for dessert, we wanted to focus on Spanish cinema as we entered the 21st century.
Iconic frames of cinema history:
Trip to the Moon An Andalusian Dog Citizen Kane With death on his heels Planet of the Apes Star Wars The Shining ET The Alien My Neighbor Totoro All about my mother Mondays in the sun REC
1. Viaje a la Luna (George Mélies, 1902)
We began this journey through the history of cinema with a pioneer who understood that the film camera could and should be used to capture the impossiblethe fantastic, to compose impossible images that transport the viewer to other worlds… literally, in the case of The journey to the moon of George Melies!
Méliès was one of the first to understand cinema as an art form that included other artistic disciplines (costumes, make-up, theater-like set design, but also optical tricks and special effects), and while not many people will have seen A Trip to the Moon in its entirety, the shot of the rocket stuck in the eye of the moon is practically synonymous with the seventh Art.
2. An Andalusian Dog (Luis Buñuel, 1929)
Buñuel eye-moon-razor scene
The cinema was no stranger to vanguards that spread in Europe during the twenties of the 20th century in art.
Buñuel became one of the most important film directors in history, and made dozens of films until the end of the dictatorship, such as Viridiana (1961), El ángel exterminador (1962) or Ese obscuro objet de deseo (1970).
But his first time with a camera was a surreal film, created together with Salvador Dalifull of dreamlike images with no apparent explanation: everything he filmed in Un chian andalou (which is French) arose from two dreams that Dalí and he had.
3. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1942)
Regularly regarded as not one, but the greatest film of all time, Citizen Kane is the first film of Orson Welleswho at just 26 years old revolutionized the way of telling stories through editing, music or an intricate and not necessarily linear script.
He himself starred in the film, which also innovated technically, mixing wide shots, close-ups and low angles in unorthodox ways.
4. With death on his heels (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959)
It’s hard to stick with just one movie. Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, whose films wowed critics and box office alike. Movies like Vertigo, Psycho, Los Pájaros are regular covers of film history books, but perhaps no frame is more iconic than the plane chasing Cary Grant in North by the Norwest.
with death on his heels It is one of Hitchcock’s lightest and most entertaining films, a film full of action and suspense in which a poor man is mistaken for a spy, and they try to give him a passport in a relentless pursuit.
5. Planet of the Apes (1968)
The Planet of the Apes is one of the most famous science fiction series in the history of cinema. In fact, it’s one where we could safely say that the modern movies (the Rise trilogy, Dawn, and War of the Planet of the Apes) are better than the originals.
However, it is impossible to forget the original from 1968 with Charlton Heston, even if it is because of its final shot on the beach and the Statue of Liberty half buried, realizing that she is not on another planet, but on Earth, thousands of years in the future.
6. Star Wars (1977)
Any shot from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (or simply Star Wars, as it was known for years) could be part of this list: the androids in the dunes of Tatooine, the duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader, the X-Wings approaching the Death Star…
But it’s actually very easy to choose a single plane from the George Lucas film that changed the history of cinema: the first!
The first shot of Star Wars has been analyzed endlesslya pan down from space to the planet’s surface, a small spaceship being chased by an even larger ship… which crosses the screen, and crosses, and crosses, and seems to never endastonishing the public in the first twenty seconds and warning them that they were facing the greatest adventure they had ever seen.
7. The Shining (1980)
Choose only one movie from Stanley Kubrick for this report is an almost impossible task. It was hard for me to leave 2001: A Space Odyssey out of the report, but in the end I opted for The Shining, a film even more careful than 2001 in purely visual aspects.
The symmetry, which seems like something that should transmit comfort and security (something that Wes Anderson exploits a lot) here causes us total restlessness and overwhelm. A hotel so perfect, so neat (with an impossible architecture)… while Jack Torrance’s mind is falling more and more into madness.
If we had to choose a single Steven Spielberg film, it would be almost impossible, because the most famous director in history? he has filmed masterpieces of all kinds, from dramas to comedies or adventuresfor more than five decades, without slowing down (although he has just made his most autobiographical film, The Fabelmans).
But if I had to choose a single frame, it would undoubtedly be Elliot on his bike flying in front of the moon with ET The Extra-Terrestrial, a shot created to last in the memory of the millions of viewers who made it the highest grossing film in its day. of history. So much so that it is the logo of his production company Amblin…
9. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Japanese cinema hasn’t had much of an impact outside the country… with two gigantic exceptions: Akira Kurosawa y Hayao Miyazaki. Despite the influence of Kurosawa’s cinema, we have opted for the Studio Ghibli film that preceded Akira in the international explosion of anime.
It has also been difficult to choose a single plane. This is perhaps his most famous scene, when Totoro appears to the Satsuka and Mei sisters, and they lend him the umbrella to shelter from the rain.
10. All about my mother (Pedro Almodóvar, 1999)
As we enter the 21st century, we are going to end the list with three instantly recognizable Spanish films with a single image.
Seeing this image, that colored umbrella, that rain in front of the Teatro Bellas Artes, reminds us of the tragic event that began Everything about my mother (and which by the way is a tribute to the opening scene of Opening Night, by John Cassevetes).
All about my mother is one of the best films by Pedro Almodóvar, winner of all the world awards, starring Cecilia Rothto reunite with the father of his son after he died in an accident.
11. Mondays in the Sun (Fernando León de Aranoa, 2002)
The picture of Javier Bardem y Luis Tosar on the Vigo estuary ferry it is unmistakable. It also helps that this frame is the film’s poster, but that would not matter if one of the best Spanish films of the 21st century were not behind it.
Fernando Leon de Aranoa He can be considered the “Spanish Ken Loach” for cultivating a social cinema of denunciation. In his latest works, he has flirted with black comedy with the award-winning The Good Patron or A Perfect Day, but Mondays in the sun It is hard and crude realism, the bitchy life of three unemployed affected by the industrial conversion in Vigo, which earned him the Goya and the San Sebastián Golden Shell.
12. REC (Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró, 2007)
REC is one of the most important Spanish films of the 21st century, and it is no exaggeration. They were not the first to join the movie trend found footagea trend in low-budget (and super-high pulse rate) horror movies that started The Blair Witch Project in 1999.
But what Paco Plaza y Jaume Balagueró What they did with poor Manuela Velasco, a reporter trapped in a house full of zombies, was to create a social phenomenon that had many direct sequels and spin-offs (even an American remake), but also cemented an explosion of high-profile Spanish horror films. quality.
In fact, right now it is impossible to see the plane of Manuela Velasco smiling at the fire station without breaking a laugh thinking about all that is going to happen to her next, she has become an internet meme!
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