3x3: favorite epiphanies

Epiphany: (1) : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) : an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure

At least that’s what the dictionary says. But what do we mean? Is a character hearing something an epiphany? Is a character seeing something in a box an epiphany? Is there any way we can get Dom DeLuise into this topic?

We discuss all of this and more at the 59-minute mark of the Qt3 Movie Podcast of Life of Pi.

3. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
2. Cannonball Run

  1. Caveman

Tom Chick
3. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
2. Punch-Drunk Love

  1. Swimming to Cambodia

3. The Usual Suspects
2. On the Waterfront

  1. Glengarry Glen Ross

This Week’s Listener Submissions:

Spider and The Machinist

Sören Höglund
3. Jackie Brown
2. No Country for Old Men

  1. Looper

3. The Dark Knight
2. Seven

  1. Adaptation

I have two rather nice additions to the above, which, curiously are about the same, thematically.

The Prestige: Nolan doesnt show us until right at the end, what is REALLY going on in more than one way - really cool reveal, and very much an epiphany moment for the veiwer.

The Illusionist: This is a lovely movie, where it really dawns on both you, and the police officer the movie what REALLY has been going on all along. Its more of an epiphany for the character in the scene, in that its pretty hard to get there yourself without the end exposition. At least, it was for me.

Iron Giant : “I am Superman”

No one mentioned Planet of the Apes? Damn you all to hell.

Jeff Daniels, Speed:

“We’ve been tricked. I’m going to die now.”

Deckard picking up the origami unicorn at the end of Blade Runner. Oh yeah, I’m going there again, y’all!

The end of Ratatoullie, when the restauraunt critic tastes the title dish and flashes back to the long-forgotten childhood incident that kicked off his love of food.

Ralph Fiennes as Amon Goethe looking in the mirror and realizing he gets no satisfaction from being merciful. “I pardon you.”

The Zero Effect, when Daryl Zero has his epiphany while sitting on the bed in the motel room. This scene isn’t really played straight, but Pullman’s over the top emoting is hilarious.

Alien - Ripley uncovers the full extent of the corporation’s betrayal.

The Thing - Dr Blair determines both the agenda of the alien and the danger it poses to the entire world. In properly Lovecraftian fashion, this knowledge is more than his mind can take.

Carpenter’s The Thing - “I’ve known Bennings for 20 years. He was my friend”

I’m looking forward to the errata section of the podcast next week…after Kelly Wand attempts to find Devil’s Tower on a map of Oregon.

Memento…over and over and over.

What? Christien Murawski, you jerk! Also: Happy birthday!

The big reveal in Black Dynamite about what Anaconda Malt Liquor does. So freaking brilliant.

The anti-epiphany. Rosebud.

Crap, yet again I forget to send my picks in! Anyway, let’s make a game of it, with some quotes:

  1. “He’d kill us if he got the chance.”

  2. “Be sure to drink your Ovaltine. Ovaltine? A crummy commercial? Son of a bitch!”

  3. “Abby … Normal? I’m almost sure that was the name.”

Two words:
Keyser Söze.


(Dammit, Dingus had already picked it)

If Dingus wants another Kevin Spacey pick, I would suggest LA Confidential. [major spoilers] When Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) is shot by Dudley Smith (James Cromwell). After his initial shock, Vincennes ties together how Smith must be behind the Nite Owl shootings and more importantly has an epiphany on how he can force Smith into accidentally revealing himself. Vincennes says, “Rollo Tomasi,” laughs, and then dies. The name has meaning only to him and Edmund Exley ensuring when Smith brings the name up, Exley will know that there’s something wrong with the cheery Irish police captain.

(This is one of my favorite movie scenes of all time, and would appear on my list for “best death,” “best dying line,” “best shooting,” “best scene in a kitchen,” etc. Kevin Spacey’s eyes do more than most actors can do with their whole bodies.)

Well, damn, sleepyirv. That movie really didn’t work for me when I saw it in the theater (the only time I’ve seen it). It really turned me off for some reason. I can barely remember why now. I think I prattled on to my dad how I didn’t feel it got the “texture of noir” right, or some such similar silliness.

Good post. Looks like I’ll need to queue it up to watch it again.


“The truth is, you are the weak. And I am the tyranny of evil men.”

  1. Fight Club - Ed Norton’s character realizes Tyler isn’t real
  2. The Godfather - “But I didn’t know until this day that it was Barzini all along.”
  3. Alec Guiness at the end of The Bridge on the River Kwai