Thursday, November 17, 2022

Chasing the Tenenbaums

Even for a Wes Anderson film, the dialogue in The Royal Tenenbaums is particularly sparkling, and while 'I don't think you're an asshole, Royal. I just think you're kind of a son of a bitch' will always be my favourite line in any of his films, that one line where Ben Stiller tells his stupid old dad that he's had a rough year, that breaks my heart every single time I see it.

There's like, a hundred tiny little scenes in all sorts of movies that completely destroy my heart like this - the crack in John Wayne's voice at the end of The Searchers when he tells Debbie he's taking her home; the 2001 star baby looking right out at us at the end of the film; the whole Silencio thing in Mulholland Drive; Jules trying real hard to be the shepherd and not blow Tim Roth's fool head off; the savage farce of the last goodbye in Brief Encounter; Hi's vision of the future at the end of Raising Arizona.

Any time I try to create any kinds of fiction, I chase these moments, the moments of grace and charity and compassion and transcendence and all the best humanity has to offer. There's still room for all the other complexities in life, but some moments get you in the soul, because we've all been there. We're there still..

"I've had a rough year, Dad"

Jesus, Chad. Haven't we all?


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