Saturday, January 10, 2015

you know what i'm sayin'?

From Argyle trying to keep McClane talking--and, seriously, he sits in the front of the limo and expects to be able to stay quiet?--to McClane and Powell getting to know each other over the radio, Die Hard is full of people trying to communicate. Now, I'd love to go hard into some communication theory, but I just can't tonight. I'm in a hotel room in Utah with some speech team folks--had two very good tournament days--and don't have any of my binders here. Plus, watching the movie on the tablet, typing this on my phone, there isn't much room for research on the go.

So, let's just work more casually.

Ellis hits on Holly when he knows her husband is on the way and it's Christmas Eve and she's got kids at home. At the party, a guy comes up to McClane and kisses him, wishes him "Merry Christmas." Takagi knows who McClane is, though he hasn't met him before. Holly and John have an awkward not-quite-hug, not-quite-kiss thing when they first see each other. Gruber knows a whole list of details about Takagi but doesn't know what he looks like. A lot of misfired communication.

Holly and John share a nice mamihlapinatapai* look just before the couple looking for somewhere to have sex.

* Judged by Guinness to be the "most succinct word," mamihlapinatapai comes from Tierra del Fuego and refers to an unspoken look between two people that, basically, communicates more than actual dialogue might. In film, it makes for an interesting moment. Some show-not-tell...

Some interesting self-fulfilling prophecy as well: Takagi saying Gruber's going to have to kill him, Harry saying his life is on the line--or however he says it. Not to that part yet. And, can't remember the line. Anyway, Harry says it before Gruber does it. Words create reality...

On the first day of my Oral Communication class, I use a quotation from Carey (1989):

Communication is a symbolic process whereby reality is produced, maintained, repaired, and transformed. (p. 23)

The idea being that "reality" is just our understanding of our surroundings and what we do to create reality. Powell and McClane only understand each other from a) the things they tell each other and b) the things they assume about what they have been told.

McClane presents himself how he needs to present himself, as does Powell...

...

The thing: Die Hard--the series--depends on modern communication methods, radios, phones. From Simon's riddles back to Powell and McClane, sitting in a tree....

I wish I had my theory cards here.

Anyway, McClane and Gruber figuring each other out from snippets of radio messages, Thornburg trying to capture McClane on the news...

Gotta finish this one tomorrow....

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