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DialogueDensity

A fortnight ago on the "Stoics" discussion list someone (RB) wrote:

I once saw a rather stupid film (Big Trouble in Little China) in which a young man and an old man were walking in the rain. The old man held an umbrella, the young man did not. The young man admonished the old man, saying "A real man prefers to feel the rain on his face!" The old man was unfazed and replied, "A real man is wise enough to come in out of the rain."

I'm a congenital lurker on "Stoics", since >95% of the message traffic seems inscrutable or unhelpful or otherwise irrelevant to me ... but every month or so something hits a ^z hot button. In this case I still managed to restrain myself from public posting, but replied in my usual mock-serious quibbling fashion via a private side-note:

Big Trouble isn't at all "stupid"! --- it's one of our family favorites, with many thoughtful lines such as the one you paraphrased. From memory, with apologies for minor garbles:

"It's all in the reflexes."

"A thousand years and you can't find a woman? You must be doing something seriously wrong, Dave."

"Here's to the red, white, and blue, the colors that never run."

"Just happy to be alive."

"Like I told my last wife, I never drive faster than I can see."

"Is it just me, or is it kinda warm in here?"

"Have I paid my dues? Yes, Sir. The check is in the mail."

"My mind and my spirit are going North and South."

"Her pen is mightier than your sword."

"Rule the universe from the beyond the grave --- or check into a funny farm, whichever comes first."

Admittedly it's not Shakespeare, but it has some pretty decent writing in places ... as do Raising Arizona, State and Main, Galaxy Quest, Joe vs. the Volcano, Fight Club, and a variety of other failure-at-the-box-office dense-with-dialog flicks.

(excerpts above slightly edited to correct typos, improve readability, and enhance accuracy)

Thinking further about it, I believe that there's a common thread among the movies (and other artistic works) that PD & the kids & I like best: appropriate use of pithy, powerful, aphoristic language. (See ^zhurnal commentary elsewhere on proverbs and metaphorically-dense writing in general.)

And speaking of which, in a postscript to that same letter I commented on RB's recent "Stoics" musings concerning determinism. I wrote:

... which reminds me of another dialog-rich movie, Time Bandits, wherein the Supreme Being is asked near the end to explain the presence of evil in the world. "I think it has something to do with Free Will," he replies ....


TopicArt - TopicWriting - Datetag20020521



(correlates: FarTooSmart, RepoMan, DestinationMind, ...)

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