Posted in Uncategorized, tagged 2000AD, 500 Days of Summer, 5x2, Alan Moore, Annie Hall, Atom Egoyan, Bakha satang (Peppermint Candy), Betrayal (play), C. H. Sisson, Charlie Kaufman, Christopher Homm, Christopher Nolan, Coldplay, David Bordwell, David Hugh Jones, Dead Island, Doom House, Edward Lewis Wallant, ER, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, François Ozon, Gaspar Noé, George Furth, George S. Kaufman, Goodbye to the Past, Happy End, Harold Pinter, Iain M. Banks, Irréversible, Jamie Thraves, Jane Campion, Jay DiPietro, Jean Epstein, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Jonathan Nolan, Kenneth Biller, Kurt Vonnegut, La glace à trois faces, Lee Chang-dong, Leon Prochnik's short film The Existentialist, Luis Buñuel, Marc Webb, Martin Amis, Memento, Merrily We Roll Along, Michel Gondry, Mike White, Mood House, Moss Hart, Oldrich Lipský, Peter and Vandy, Pull My Daisy, Quantum Leap, reverse chronology, Russell Banks, Sealab 2021, Seinfeld, Shrabster, Slaughterhouse-five, Spike Jonez, Star Trek: Voyager, Stephen Sondheim, Techland, The Bridge at San Luis Rey, The Human Season, The Pet Shop Boys, The Pharcyde, The Reversible Man, The Sweet Hereafter, The X-Files, Thornton Wilder, Time's Arrow, Two Friends, Use of Weapons, W. R. Burnett, Woody Allen on May 25, 2011 |
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I’ve been doing some research into reverse chronology (for the follow-up to my post “From ‘Doom House’ to ‘Mood House’”), and I thought I’d compile the results here.
Reverse chronology is probably as old as narration itself. Once one has the idea of telling a story forward, it’s a simple enough matter to tell it backwards:
There was an old lady who swallowed a cow.
I don’t know how she swallowed a cow!
She swallowed the cow to catch the goat…
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog…
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat…
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird …
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she’ll die.
How far back does this idea go?
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Andrew O'Hehir, Ariadne, Bob le flambeur, Bryan Singer, Christopher Higgs, Christopher Nolan, Chuang Tzu, Cornelia Parker, Days of Heaven, Edith Piaf, George P. Cosmatos, Harold Pinter, Inception, Jean Baudrillard, Jim Emerson, Kiss Me Deadly, Lily Hoang, Paul T. Anderson, Philip K. Dick, Quentin Tarrantino, Rififi, Roman Polanski, Ron Silliman, Seinfeld, Simulacra and Simulation, The Asphalt Jungle, The Betrayal, The Dark Knight, The Gateless Gate, The Ghost, The Matrix, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Zabriskie Point on August 8, 2010 |
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Truth in advertising.
Update: Related posts that may interest you:
Christopher Nolan, while presumably a rather likable fellow (he does give work to Michael Caine), is a depressingly artless filmmaker. To be sure, some of the concepts in this new one are clever enough (even if they play like weak snatches from Philip K. Dick): the military developed shared dreaming, which then became a tool for corporate espionage—sure thing. The great Dom Cobb and his team now must infiltrate a businessperson’s mind in order to plant the seed of an idea, rather than steal one—a nice enough twist, and a fine enough premise for a caper.
But Nolan then fails to dramatize his concepts. His primary—indeed, practically his only—tool for delivering information to the audience is character dialogue. Rarely does anyone shut his or her mouth during the 148 minutes that are Inception. Its actors are talking threadbare ciphers, eager mouthpieces for their director.
Examples abound. After failing in their mission to deceive Saito, Cobb remarks to his teammate Arthur: “We were supposed to deliver Saito’s expansion plans to Cobol Engineering two hours ago. By now they know we failed.” (A potential response: “Hey, dude, I’m, like, your partner. I know the score!”) An even better one: the line where Cobb points out to Michael Caine’s character—a university professor teaching in Paris—”You know extradition between France and the US is a legal nightmare.” Yes, Mssr. Professor Caine probably does, in fact, know that! But I’m sure that somebody way in the back row was happy to hear.
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