Saturday, January 15, 2011

Performances that inspire

I watch a lot of TV and movies, mostly on my PC while I work (be it photo editing or website design. While I write, I stick to music). I am not often impressed by someone's performance on screen to the point where I stop everything I am doing. Being mesmerized doesn't come easy to me, but once in a while, I'll see something that strikes a nerve. Rarely, a scene will steal me away completely. It's usually the result of a masterful concoction between great editing and superb scoring.

I experienced such an event a few days ago, while I was catching up on the sci-fi series "V", which airs on ABC on Tuesdays. I bought the first season on bluray, in anticipation of the series' return on the air two weeks ago.

The scene in question is at the very end of the season 1 finale, "Red Sky". For those unfamiliar with V, the show is about humankind's first contact with an alien race called the Visitors. In the beginning of the pilot, one of their mothership appears just above Central Park. The bottom of the ship suddenly transforms into a giant LED screen. A human face appears. Anna, the queen of the Visitors, urges the people of Earth not to panic and insists that her and her people come in peace, and that they are in need of help. As the show unfolds, we quickly realize Anna's intentions are all but peaceful.

It might help to know the Visitors are actually reptilian creatures that live in human skin so they can better blend in. Much like Vulcans, Visitors fear emotions and their ability to control our rationality. Their greatest fear is that their fleshy disguise might eventually infect them with the ability to sense emotions.

In the following clip, Anna, played by the delightful and beautiful Brazilian actress Morena Baccarin (Firefly, Stargate SG-1), learns that her hatched eggs were destroyed in a sabotage attempt. A queen may only hatch once in her lifetime, making these future children and soldiers very important. The performance Baccarin delivers is nothing short of shocking. You can see the anguish in her face, the hatred slowly erupting. You feel her pain. It culminates into a primal scream that is guaranteed to put goosebumps all over you.

Do enjoy the final clip, scored to perfection by Marco Beltrami.

That video alone has spawned three scenes in PRAXIA. I keep watching it from time to time. There's something about the performance and the music that is soothing. Have you guys ever watched a scene in a movie or a TV show that inspired you like that?

No comments: