By Meg Shields Posted on September 15, 2021
Welcome to The Queue, your daily distraction of curated video content from around the web. Today, we are watching a video essay on why rhetorical questions make movie quotes so memorable.
What makes a movie line memorable? Is it your context, your cadence, or your rhythm? Is the memorability of a movie quote more of a consequence of how an actor pronounces the phrase? Or how does the screenwriter assemble the words on the page?
There is no infallible rhetorical recipe that can guarantee the rigidity of a cinematographic line of dialogue.
But among persistent trends, this is true: rhetorical questions populate famous movie quotes with remarkable frequency. From the Travis Bickle confrontation “are you talking to me?” on Taxi driver for Dirty HarryIn research on whether or not a certain unfortunate punk feels lucky, such lines tend to roll off the screen and make their way into cultural consciousness.
The video essay below, on memorable movie quotes, offers a tantalizing crash course in the different varieties of rhetorical questions, from self-directed anthypophora to the reprehensible sincerity of epiplexis. In the end, the proposed theory is clear. By virtue of their inherently immersive drama and magnetic inquisitive appeal, rhetorical questions have a decidedly cinematic impact.
Check out “What Makes a Movie Line Memorable?”:
Who did this?
This video essay on why rhetorical questions are such iconic movie quotes is courtesy of the great folks at White lies, a UK-based film-obsessed magazine. Luiz Azevedo directed this video, which was written and narrated by Mark Forsyth and produced by Adam Woodward. You can follow White lies On twitter here. And you can check its official website. here. You can subscribe to his YouTube account. here.
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Meg Shields is the humble farmer of your dreams and a main contributor to Film School Rejects. He currently directs three columns in FSR: The tail, how did they do that? And Horrorscope. She is also the curator of One Perfect Shot and a hired freelance writer. Meg can be found yelling about John Boorman’s ‘Excalibur’ on Twitter here: @PeorNun. (She she).