John Protevi asks what the best are. I prefer to think in terms of scenes. A personal favourite:
Fritz Lang’s M also has a fantastic scene in which the film’s antagonist, Hans Beckert, is caught after multiple murders and is given something like a public trial where he gets to make his case. He pleads a compulsion to kill, ridding him of responsibility:
It’s there all the time, driving me out to wander the streets, following me, silently, but I can feel it there. It’s me, pursuing myself! I want to escape, to escape from myself! But it’s impossible. I can’t escape, I have to obey it. I have to run, run… endless streets. I want to escape, to get away! And I’m pursued by ghosts. Ghosts of mothers and of those children… they never leave me. They are always there… always, always, always!, except when I do it, when I… Then I can’t remember anything. And afterwards I see those posters and read what I’ve done, and read, and read… did I do that? But I can’t remember anything about it! But who will believe me? Who knows what it’s like to be me? How I’m forced to act… how I must, must… don’t want to, must! Don’t want to, but must! And then a voice screams! I can’t bear to hear it! I can’t go on! I can’t… I can’t…
I could carry this on all day, but I’ll finish with Fincher:
I explained the links between Fight Club and Rousseau’s anti-consumerism last month.