I had a chat with an enchanting friend earlier today. We were sitting in her kitchen and looking outside at the bird feeder and watched the cardinals swoop down from their perches and quickly but carefully pick up the seeds. The dusting was still fresh and the sun was just peaking out from behind the clouds at the white landscape. She leaned over and smiled. “Snow is a gift,” she said. “It’s always a gift.”
Now I sit at my own window and look outside at the winter wonderland. My part of the midwest is seldom hit with this many inches of joyous white, and I intend to enjoy it as much as I can before takes its leave.
But while I was staring at my window, I started to get various images flash through my head. They were memories of film, which is not much of a surprise when I am talking about my mind. These images, however, were filled with…you guessed it…snow. A pleasant surprise. I happened to finally catch a showing of The Revenant (2015) at the local theater, and was blown away by the snowy vistas (and countless other vistas) that were projected on the big screen. They were just so gorgeous. They were flooding back into my head and I started to think about other winter-like images from movies. Although I do not have an adequate list–this post being written in less then fifteen minutes with no references to boast of–I thought I would give a handful of movies some honorable mention for their snow-filled scenes.
The Shining. What a cinema-charged movie to begin with. But one of the many things we associate with when we relive this movie is the climax at the end, as Jack Torrance struggles through the hedge maze with an axe and his limp, hot on the trail of his son, Danny. If the movie did not chill you before leading up to the maze scene, you were definitely feeling something afterwards.
Fiddler on the Roof. Perhaps not as visually stunning as it is thematically moving. One of my favorite musicals, and probably one of my favorite movies of all time, Fiddler makes a severe transition midway through the three-hour piece. What was light and charming becomes cold and gloomy. It is a mere change in the season, as far as the story is concerned, but to me, it reflects the power of the shift in the story in a convincing way. But you could argue this motif for countless movies. The parallel change in mood and season has become just as predictable as any other cliche in the movies nowadays.
Road to Perdition. Something different from Fiddler, this masterpiece opens with a snowy backdrop, and as the movie moves along, the screen and the story become darker by taking away the snow and adding rain. Maybe I just love this movie too much that I just had to find some way to share it.
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. Okay. You were probably thinking this too. So…do I need to make an argument for it? It is very iconic. So much so, that we probably forget that the rebel base is under the snow in the caves of Hoth half the time. Lucky for us, we are more focused on Luke, Han, Leia and the story more than the locale.
Any-who, this post was not meant to be long. Just a shoutout to those beautiful or tragic or moody or gorgeous places or scenes that have stayed with us. Snowy images are powerful and can leave a profound effect on people. But so do movies. All the time. What are some of your favorite snow-ridden scenes that I have (obviously) forgotten?
If it is snowing where you are at, take a minute to sit back and look out and enjoy nature. Or better yet, get off your tushies and go out and play in it. Remember to dress warm.