Monday, December 03, 2007

Now, onlooker — Aphorisms

Here's how David Cairns writes about movies:

Here is the blade of a sword.

Here is the man who holds the hilt.

Here is a straw effigy, his target.

The sword.

The man.

Now, onlookers…

We draw in on the straw figure, remorselessly.

We’re all in a field!


That's his entry on 1968's Samurai Rebellion, explaining how a simple scene can be skillfully amped up "just by being splintered into Ecstatic Fragments." Love this kind of film writing—and I'm already a fan of Cairns's new blog, Shadowplay. Highly recommended.

* * *

If I were to just get one page of the New York Times delivered every day, it might have to be page four, where they have unusual international stories. Yesterday's was great: "Dark One Liners Shine a Light on Mood of Serbs."

The Communists who still ran the country were not amused aphorism that ultimately got [Rastko Zakic] arrested. Roughly paraphrased, it said, “When our Father died, it turned out he abused us and he abused our mother as well.”

In 1984, an unrepentant Mr. Zakic published his aphorisms again in a book called “New Crossed Words” — but with all the aphorisms in the negative form. The new anti-Tito aphorism said: “When our Father died, the court determined that he didn’t abuse us.”

After he was hauled into court, he called mathematicians and philosophers to the stand to argue he could not be tried twice for saying opposite things.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

View My Stats