THE EMPIRE CLASSIC SCENE
BOOGIE NIGHTS CHOSEN BY GARETH EVANS
“my favourite scenes are more about mood. This long holding shot of Dirk Diggler in the firecracker/drugs heist in Boogie Nights was supposed to last seconds, but mark Wahlberg kept going and this little moment of magic was created as we see him gathering himself to get up and leave. It’s a belter of a scene.” Dirk (Wahlberg), Todd (Thomas Jane) and Reed (John C Reilly) have come to Rahad’s (Alfred Molina) place to sell him cocaine — actually baking soda. As Rahad’s bodyguard checks the coke, the trio are on a sofa, watching Rahad dance in his robe. The mood is tense – not helped by a young Asian man, Cosmo, randomly letting off firecrackers. Rahad crosses the room and produces a large box. RAHAD: Now you wanna see something really fascinating? He opens the box to reveal a huge gun. REED: that’s not loaded, is it? RAHAD: Not yet. He takes out a bullet, puts it in the chamber and spins it. He waves the gun around. REED: Do not point the gun, please? sir? todd! Rahad puts the gun under his chin as Dirk and his friends urge him not to pull the trigger.
RAHAD: What, you think i can’t do it? Huh? Huh? You think i can’t do it? You guys wanna see me do it? You dare me?
REED: No, we don’t dare you! Rahad pulls the trigger. Click. He laughs maniacally. Dirk, Reed and Todd are relieved. But also terrified. Rahad, cackling, bows to them. RAHAD: Your fucking faces, man! He puts the gun on the mantelpiece. Reed looks at Dirk for support, but Dirk is staring intently at his lap. Rahad points to his stereo.
RAHAD: i love this thing. i make these little mixtapes, i put all my favourite songs together. Hey, cosmo, which one is this? Number 11, yeah. i love it. You know when you buy a tape or something, or an album, and you put it on and the songs, the bands put it in some fucking order like they want you to listen to it in that order? i hate that. You know? i fucking hate that. i don’t like to be told what to listen to, when to listen to it or ANYTHING — The tape suddenly clicks off. We see the tape is ‘My Awesome Mix Tape #6’. Rahad stares at it. The mood is tense. Then he smiles. Cosmo lets off another firecracker. RAHAD: Fuck. it’s cosmo. He’s chinese. that’s why he likes letting off firecrackers, huh? He hugs Cosmo, who lets off another firecracker. The tape resumes — now it’s Rick Springfield’s
Jessie’s Girl. The friends watch as Rahad takes another hit. He dances across the room, half-singing. RAHAD: ricky springfield. the fire, man! As he continues to sing and dance, the camera holds on Dirk, who’s about to freak out. Eyes darting around the room, he scratches his head, then a grim smile plays on his face as he ponders the horror of the scene. Reed says something, and Dirk nods, but he’s not really listening. Finally he rubs his temple, a decision made. He stands up. DIRK: sir. We gotta split, man. We gotta go.