Tuesday, March 18, 2014

welcome to our party

There's an X on page 37 of Benesh (2011), but I don't want to talk about Benesh today. Still, I'll explain the X. By the way, there's a yellow tab labeled "self-awareness/Rita-awareness" on pages 37/38.

Highlighted bit: "Phil responds, 'That's not true. I don't even like myself.' That is humor, perhaps deflective and defensive humor, but, like his calling Nancy by Rita's name, an unconscious revelation of a deeper truth..."

"He may, at this point believe he sincerely admires Rita, but at the same time he is coming to the realization that he hasn't earned her" (p. 37).

Then the X through the end of this bit: "Later his moral profess is confirmed when he states, as she sleeps (her sleep signifying he has, unlike before, neither means nor motive to impress her), 'I know I don't deserve you'" (ibid). Phil does not say that. When I was describing È già ieri on my second viewing, I would pause and rewind to get dialogue right. Benesh watched the movie a whole eight times--you think she could be bothered to get the dialogue right.

Do I sound bitter? I shouldn't. I'm actually in a good mood. But, maybe deep down I am bitter--I mean she got a PhD for this.

But anyway, I said I didn't want to talk about Benesh today.

Oh, but one more highlight from page 37 before I move on: "Rita is no longer merely the object of Phil's desire; he has recognized her as a self-object, that is, as someone with her own autonomy and integrity, not a conquest nor even his equal, but his moral superior."

Enough of that for today. I need a break. You need a break. Benesh needs a break.

So, what else is new?

Today, Maolsheachlann (who I mentioned back on Day 136) found this blog in a google search so I was just looking at his Irish Papist piece again and I noticed something I highlighted but that I don't think I've ever quoted. In fact, I wasn't that nice to Maolsheachlann overall. I'm not sure why. He's a guy who not only loves Groundhog Day but love sit enough to proclaim it "the Best Movie of All Time." He's my kind of people.

Anyway, the bit I highlighted but didn't mention:

In one of his earliest, unpublished poems, G.K. Chesterton wrote: "Here dies another day... and with tomorrow begins another. Why am I allowed two?" That is pretty much the message of Groundhog Day: that if we could really appreciate one day, like the single day in which Phil is trapped, our minds would be boggled at the insane bounty that God has lavished upon us in giving us so many more days than just one.

Another matter for today, because I don't feel like giving it its own day, lest I get a) maudlin or b) depressing:

Huffington Post reran a piece yesterday about James K. Flanagan, a grandfather who wrote a letter to his five grandchildren a short time before he died. The whole letter is nice but I especially thought this bit (#2 on his list of 18 items) was worth sharing here:

Be not afraid... of anyone or of anything when it comes to living your life most fully. Pursue your hopes and your dreams no matter how difficult or "different" they may seem to others. Far too many people don't do what they want or should do because of what they imagine others may think or say. Remember, if they don't bring you chicken soup when you're sick or stand by you when you're in trouble, they don't matter. Avoid those sour-souled pessimists who listen to your dreams then say, "Yeah, but what if..." The heck with "what if..." Do it! The worst thing in life is to look back and say: "I would have; I could have; I should have." Take risks, make mistakes.

His #18 isn't too bad either:

Be grateful. There is an Irish saying: "This is a day in our lives, and it will not come again." Live every day with this in mind.

And that is enough for today. You all could use a bit of brief.

Today's reason to repeat a day forever: to repeat nothing (well the large beats anyway), to live each and every resumption as a unique and separate day. The time loop is not the boss of me.

P.S. The Groundhog Day Project has a Twitter and a Facebook page. Follow and like them respectively and help spread the word.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link and the kind words, Thomas. Believe me my main emotion on discovering your site was delight that someone has devoted so much thought and effort to Groundhog Day! Like yourself, I do sometimes feel rather defensive and embarrassed about just how much this movie means to me-- it's difficult to express. Little things like the way the Pennsylvania Polka echoes in the morning air, or the words 'the way the sun hits the buildings in the afternoon', or the muted music in the bowling alley...so many more...there is something uncanny about how powerful they are. In a way, I don't envy you trying to analyse the movie in an academic way, because one of the reasons it is great art (as I truly believe) is that there is something in it that cannot be captured in our usual apparatus of concepts. When I tried to justify my claim that this was the best movie ever, I found it difficult because it isn't just that it does something better that other great movies do well. It does something, for me anyway, that no other movie does at all-- and I love lots of movies. There was no way to compare it.

    I am greatly enjoying browsing through the posts so far and look forward to more!

    ReplyDelete