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John Yearley
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This is such a wonderful piece about such a frightening moment. However much your rational brain can tell you that this is some crazy person and has nothing to do with you, your body reacts like it's under attack. It's really hard to shake. I really wonder about the question you ask at the end. I can't decide. There are crazy people in all times and places. But our ability to share space together seems so fractured, and everyone's anger is so palpable, it makes me wonder if this is particular. It's particularly awful, no mater what. And that poor man - what a complete disaster he is. What a hell to live in!
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The class I'm teaching now is centered around the idea of letting the unconscious do the work before the conscious mind gets to have a say. And yet here I am. Physician, heal thyself!
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And it never ends! I am hovering around beginning a new play, and as I get closer to writing the fear is rising. It's so hard to remember that not knowing what to do means you're it right!
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This is so eloquent in so many ways that all I can think to say is Bravo and Thank You.
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Thank you, Rolo! So glad you dug it!
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What a beautiful little piece Roland. I agree. The very survival of our species depends on developing understanding and empathy, on taking responsibility for ourselves and each other. I would say don't focus on the size of the screen - focus on the fact that the movie was made. That someone gave up years of their life to tell it and that it runs here in NY for people to see. There's hope everywhere if you look hard. Isn't that part of what your mother's work teaches?
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Of course you want encouragement, Rolo! It's a lonely business, this writing. You get pleasure from finding out that the thing in your brain, that you've been toiling away at, alone, is exciting and illuminating to other people, people you respect? That means you're a person. And by the way, me too.
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I like to blame the coarseness of society as much as the next fella, but it's harder when dealing with artists who have had such spectacular success. I think what you said at the end of the piece, and what Yvonne said, is closer to the truth. People who become artists are a certain type. Artists of genius push beyond limits where most of us are content to stop. The pain that leads to the search, and the pain of the search itself, often leads them to embrace drugs, which brings life-threatening problems of their own. I just hope when we are done with our grief we remember the transformative art more than the sad end.
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This is a daring, thoughtful, and courageous piece. Thanks for linking to it, Rolo.
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I know, Rolo. Daydreaming is absolutely essential to what we do, but we can't schedule it. All you can do is leave blank space and hope that the daydreams come. It usually does.
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Is it possible that your response was your empathetic response to the situation? You are a writer. Writers strive to understand what makes people tick. I'm suspicious of how we are "supposed" to react to things.
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Great question! It almost requires a full post in response. I guess I would say that open endings mean different things, particularly successful ones. Two examples from your excellent list: 1) Manhattan is successful because it is an ending as well as a beginning. When Muriel Hemingway says, "You have to have a little faith in people", the look on Woody Allen's face is a realization of how right she is. Maybe a dawning recognition that that piece of wisdom, that way of unlocking his heart, is way out of the Habitrail he's been running on. 2) A Serious Man is successful for different, more mysterious reasons. (Side note - I am very up and down on the Coens, but LOVE this movie). I think the greatness of that ending is in it's shock. Seeing that storm is saying, "This is no joke. The plague that comes from your sin is literal, and it's coming right now." I think the audacity of it, especially because the Coens are known to be smirky when it comes to moralizing, makes it incredibly powerful. Plus the whole movie is soaked in ambiguity, from it's impossible-to-be-sure-of prologue to it's extraordinary, baffling end. As for the unsuccessful ones, I think I just usually feel fucked with by someone who has been too lazy to truly think out the implcations of what they're trying to say. You left out one genius, extremely well-known ambiguous ending - The Sopranos. That ending pissed me off at the time, but in retrospect I think it's brilliant. The point is - this is their lives! For good! They'll never know who's coming through that door, or why Meadow is late. They're always waiting for the other shoe to horrifically drop.
Toggle Commented Aug 18, 2010 on Inception and the Open-Ended Movie at Extra Criticum
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How was it, Rolo? Carl didn't wreck it, did he? Wish I could have been there!
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Jun 8, 2010