September 16th, 2005

Salt Precaution

The Movies And The Not Sleeping

And so, another Thursday comes to an end. Like every Thursday, the day was a unique blend of bad and good elements, colliding with one another in an obnoxiously gooey alchemical reaction. What is left, in the end, is a dubious entry in the saga of my week, with mysterious consequences.

The previous Thursday was preceded by four hours of sleep, but this new Thursday was underway after a mere three. How solemnly I promised myself I'd finish the new Boschen and Nesuko script by Wednesday night, finish the storyboards on Thursday!

Alas, an epileptic asteroid field of pop rocks was my vista of story ideas, so that only three pages were written by Wednesday night. And so dizzyingly zombified did I feel on this Thursday that I despaired of getting anything done.

But, as if they've a stupid mind of their own, my fingers began typing away at a script that pulled from me intermittent and confusing giggles. It's not really a funny chapter, nor do I think it shall feel it was meant to be, but it filled me with an unaccountable mirth. Which is one reason I think I'm going to need to proofread it carefully after I've gotten a decent amount of sleep.

Let's see . . . My grandmother's gotten some new, 40-inch flat, widescreen television, and so far I've been watching only perfect movies on it. That is, two--Vertigo and Fargo.

It got me thinking about what I consider to be a perfect movie.

Roger Ebert frequently quotes Howard Hawks' belief that a good movie is three good scenes and no bad scenes.

A perfect movie, I feel, should be all good scenes, and several great ones. And all scenes must tie together in a variety of ways without you realising immediately that they're tied together, thereby subverting your awareness of the natural artifice of movie.

Now, a perfect movie need not be technically perfect--I'm not speaking to perfect continuity between actors positions at different camera angles, or that sort of thing. Although outright sloppiness in that regard is a disqualifier. Which would disqualify Return of the King, for example--but, before anyone rolls their eyes at Setsuled needlessly ragging on Return of the King again, let me state that I watched the movie a short while ago and remembered that I absolutely adore it.

But this reminds me of another requisite for a perfect movie--the greatness of the film should not be subject to your personal taste. It's a movie where you can watch it and, even if you absolutely hate that sort of movie, you admit at the end of it, if you're employing your objective mind, that it is brilliant.

No. Greatness of art is not subjective. You may enjoy a movie most other people don't, just as you might enjoy the sight of specific tree other people don't. Someone might enjoy the sight of a tree more than any sort of art, in fact, which in itself demonstrates that fondness is not the determination of artistic quality.

Now, take an obvious example of a perfect movie--Citizen Kane. You have a billion things working in tandem all throughout the movie to establish beautiful things about specific components at the same time they're contributing to a whole. Bernard Herrmann's score is always perfect for what's going on and is collectively a magnificent, monolithic thing. Orson Welles as an actor conveys each situation well while adding up to a single story of a man.

But these are obvious examples and maybe not so illustrative. I've implied already that I consider Fargo to be a perfect movie. A while ago, I think it was robyn_ma who mentioned that a lot of people consider the Mike Yanagita character to be a pointless detour from the plot. To which Robyn pointed out that he was a contributor to Marge's decision to check in again with Jerry Lundegaard--but more than that, there is a perfect strangeness about the interlude that to me is a contributor.

One of the most distinctive good aspects of Fargo is its use of a setting a corresponding group of characters that are unusual for a movie about murder. But at the same time, those elements make sense with a story of murder--from the perspective of real life where we know, yes, a murder could happen somewhere other than New York or Los Angeles--and help to communicate it, by forcing us to make observations of the movie based on our conceptions of reality, and not of movie reality. And so Mike contributes in that he is a slight detour from things, because things often happen in life that don't seem to have any relation to anything else. But the brilliance is that, while capitalising on that, his scene still is a contributor to the fabric of the movie as a whole, simply by being an interesting and believable scene. And by making sense in mysterious ways that may not be explainable to ourselves.

Anyway. I ought to sleep now.
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Salt Precaution

Memes From The Fellow What Didn't Sleep After All

From grandmofhelsing, I discovered I could absorb the powers of others;

You scored as Rogue. Rogue is a strong but tragic personality. She loves Gambit. Because of her mutant powers, she cannot touch anyone without hurting them. Therefore, she longs for human contact. However, this southern gal's strong personality has allowed her to deal with this. Powers: Absorbs lifeforce and powers by touch, Super strength, and flight




Jean Grey
















Emma Frost




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And from pale_n_morbid, I was placed in a situation where I had to divulge uncomfortable truths about my friends;

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