When the nerves crack and let go in certain characters, it regularly gives beautiful sparks to the screen. With more or less happy incidences… The proof by eight.
Characters at the end of their tether, tense situations… The combination of the two regularly sparks on screen, big and small. With more or less happy consequences. But often jubilant, or chilling. Proof by ten.
Michael Douglas in “Freefall”
A blazing sun reigning over Los Angeles. A monster traffic jam caused by endless works. And Michael Douglas alias William Foster, divorced and unemployed, sweating profusely in his stuck vehicle… He breaks down and abandons his car, registered D-Fens.
Shortly after, when he asks for small change to call his ex-wife on the phone, Foster comes up against the refusal of a Korean grocer who forces him to buy a can of Coca-Cola at a prohibitive price. Angry, Foster grabs the merchant’s baseball bat and ransacks the small business…
A cable fart in order rather already well illustrated in the trailer for the always great Free fall..
Jean Dujardin in “99 Francs”
Octave is the master of the world: he exercises the profession of advertising copywriter. He decides today what you will want tomorrow. For him, “man is a product like the others”. Covered with money, girls and cocaine, he works for the biggest advertising agency in the world: Ross & Witchcraft, nicknamed “La Ross”. Yet he doubts, and ends up rebelling against the system that created it.
Regularly getting high on cocaine and other happy pills, Octave occasionally goes on Bad Trips where he begins to hallucinate, like in this sequence where he arrives on the set of an advertisement for a famous chocolate bar and its family worthy of the Grévin museum.
And don’t forget the most important thing: Eric won the match!
Jack Nicholson in “Shining”
In shining, the Overlook Hotel is an evil place that awakens to take possession of the living. In particular Jack Torrance, a writer in need of inspiration, who came to guard the premises all winter with his wife and son. Plunged first into a kind of lethargy then gradually slipping into madness, Jack Nicholson delivers an insane composition in the film by Kubrick.
One sequence in particular underlines this shift. When Wendy (Shelley Duvall) leans over the typewriter to read what Jack has written. And discovers horrified this incoherent sentence: “All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy”. Or “All this work and no play makes Jack a sad sire”.
As she scrolls through the stack of paper next to the machine, she sees the same sentence reappear, page after page. Jack has gone mad. And he’s standing right behind her, ready to kill her.
But we can also remember this incredible shot that occurs earlier in the film, when the camera narrows on the face of Jack Nicholson, who has a look both possessed and vague, before he slightly raises his eyes and begins to smile. The evil spirit of the hotel takes hold of him.
Philippe Noiret in “Coup de torchon”
Lucien Cordier, the only policeman in a small African town lost in the depths of the bush, is a weak being. His wife is cheating on him, pimps openly provoke him, even his colleague Chavasson (Guy Marchand) displays a real contempt for him. In a nutshell: the representative of the order is the laughingstock of the small town of Bourkassa…
Bryan Cranston in “Breaking Bad”
When you lead a double life, which is moreover ultra dangerous, it is better to know how to be cold-blooded at all times. Simple question of survival when one has become a drug baron; and it is not Walter White who will say the contrary. However, the latter literally freaks out in the season 4, to episode 11 entitled Space Crawl (“Alone against all” in VF).
After receiving threats from Gus in the desert, Walter goes home panicked to gather all his money stashed under the floor, and give it to the knowledge of his lawyer Saul Goodman who can take care of making him disappear and change his identity. .
Except that when he starts rummaging through the bag, there are no more tickets… His wife admits to him that she gave everything to Ted…From there a memorable cable fart visible below, between howling and hysterical laughter. Big Bryan Cranston.
Robert de Niro in “Taxi Driver”
Vietnam Veteran, Travis Bickle suffers from insomnia and anxiety. Living alone, he is a driver of night cab, and even agrees to go to neighborhoods that his colleagues have been avoiding for a long time. Where a shady fauna reigns, made up of street gangs, junkies, underage prostitutes and pimps. He witnesses daily violence that gradually makes him lose his head.
And his clumsy attempt to make himself loved by Betsy, -assistant of an electoral campaign- which ends in failure, does not really help things for his mental… Travis, the urban sociopath, then turns into a vigilante to snatch the young prostitute Iris from her pimps and help purge the streets of New York of her criminality…
… From there this cult sequence of the film, ultra violent.
Jean-Pierre Darroussin in “Good Morning”
Monday morning, Paul Wertret, goes to his work, to the bank where he is a business manager. He arrives, as usual, at eight o’clock sharp, takes out a revolver and kills two of his superiors. Then he locks himself in his office. While waiting for the police, this man, hitherto uneventful, reviews parts of his life and the events that led him to commit his act…
In the guise of Paul, a complex character who is at the same time cynical, selfish and facetious, while being very human, it is of course Jean Pierre Darroussinwhich freaks out in a chilling way:
“I don’t see who else could have played Paul, who could have been both this self-satisfied banker and this man with a lucid and disintegrated gaze. […] Paul is suddenly aware of having allowed himself to be shaped by a model of society. Suddenly, he thinks he was not the man he wanted to be, neither in his family, nor in his work” explained the director Jean-Marc Moutout when the film was released in 2010.
“I have fully invested myself in my profession…and all of a sudden, overnight, you are no longer worth anything”…
General Ripper in “Dr Strangelove”
In the masterpiece by Stanley Kubrick Sterling Hayden lends his features to General Jack Ripper. Convinced that the Russians have decided to poison the drinking water of the United States, he launches an offensive of B-52 bombers on the USSR, having taken care to isolate the air base of Burpelson from the rest of the world…
From there this cult reply that he strikes at Captain Lionel Mandrake, who tries to reason with him and prevent him from committing this madness: “I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids”.
That is : “I am resolved not to tolerate communist infiltration, communist propaganda, communist subversion, intoxication and communist conspiracy which undermine and putrify all our most precious bodily fluids”.
To taste below, in your original version.