There is a rich tapestry of memorable, flower-filled moments woven throughout movie history. Whether they’re there to capture the beautiful temporality of a character’s life or to simply provide a picturesque backdrop for copious amounts of ultraviolence, we’re always happy to see our best-loved blooms pop up onscreen. Below we’ve compiled some of our favourites: a selection of classic and not-so-obvious moments that positively flourished with the vibrancy of nature.
The Wizard Of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939)
We should start with an obvious classic right? Its hard to imagine the impact of the film’s startling ‘Technicolor’ on its original, inter-war audience: Oz was painted in vivid bursts of realer-than-real colour, masterfully contrasted with the drab browns of Dorothy’s Kansas home-life. One of the most memorable scenes involves Dorothy falling asleep in a field of beautiful, rich red poppies. Like many things in Oz though, its not quite so wonderful as it first seems.
Kill Bill Vol 1 (Quentin Tarantino, 2003)
There was some mild outrage at Floom HQ that we didn’t manage to squeeze The Bride into our Five Fierce Floom Mothers feature. Luckily, the stunning fight sequence with O-Ren at the conclusion of Kill Bill Vol. 1 means we get to include her gloriously reverential brand of ass-kicking here. The fight takes place in a beautifully serene, traditional Japanese garden. As snow gently dusts the ground beneath the two foes, an out-of-the-blue latin-tinged disco track sparks into life as they draw their blades. You just know that it won’t be long before the soft white canvas is exuberantly painted with Tarantino’s trademark shade of red.
The Secret Garden (Agnieszka Holland, 1993)
Is there anyone out there who didn’t experience one of their most magical movie moments watching this as a child? Watching the orphaned Mary Lennox push through her Uncle’s drab, unwelcoming estate to finally discover the entrance to the titular garden is something that still resonates. It holds up where other children’s movies perhaps don’t, due to the powerful themes explored throughout: It is in the secret garden that Mary begins to come to terms with her own grief, whilst ultimately healing the estranged relationship between her Uncle and his son.
The Day Of The Triffids (Steve Sekely, 1962)
Based on John Wydham’s classic sci-fi novel of the same name, this 1962 adaptation brought the loping killer plants to life. It’s not exactly the most faithful of adaptations, and the ‘solution’ that the scientists come up with for finally destroying the marauding vegetation is weak to say the least… That doesn’t mean it didn’t scare the hell out of me though as a six year old, when my babysitter inadvertently switched to the wrong T.V. channel one evening.
Edward Scissorhands (Tim Burton, 1990)
For all the helpless romantics out there: a slightly tenuous excuse to watch the Ice Dance scene again (it does take place in a garden after all, and there are pointed contrasts throughout the film between the wild overgrowth of Eddie’s grounds and the suffocatingly prim lawns and hedgerows of the town below). More importantly though, it encapsulates a perfect point in the coming together of Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and composer Danny Elfman: shades of darkness being obliterated by bonafide fairytale wonderment, before they fell off the deep end with Willy Wonka and all that rubbish.
Magnolia (P.T. Anderson, 1999)
P.T. Anderson’s perfectly imperfect masterpiece, Magnolia, is so full of divisive artistic brushstrokes that it’s easy to overlook the seemingly arbitrary title itself. Beyond the title credit sequence there is little, if any, mention to the plant. In the end though, like most of the sprawling narratives and WTF set-pieces, even the title makes a strange sort of sense: what is this film if not as complex, wondrous and (yes) multi-petaled as the finest of nature’s offerings?