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Showing posts from November, 2013

how else could you know so much?

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Today is the very special Day 121 recap of what’s been going on in The Groundhog Day Project since the Day 62 recap. Day 63: kindest, sweetest, prettiest was a piece about love. Day 64: there ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb was the time I talked about the comic book Daytripper and explained how Groundhog Day leads to nuclear war. Day 65: it’s all one big crapshoot anyhoo is the entry in which I deal with the hypothetical days after some of the various February 2nds we see in the film. Day 66: not my kind of fun is the entry in which I describe some details of the behind-the-scenes extra, The Weight of Time that’s on the DVD. Day 67: going out on a limb here involves google maps and locations used in the movie. Day 68: the people and the fun is an entry about some background extras and how they amuse me. Day 69: i don’t even have to floss is actually one of the more “important” entries, I think, starting with Phil’s lack of a need to eat and getting into h

then we'll talk

It continues: "You know, my faith is one that admits some doubt." - Barack Obama Faith cannot be faith, here, obviously, if I want to link this to Groundhog Day . So, the question then becomes, what is faith? Faith is when we believe stuff without evidence. Pre-loop Phil believes he's better than he is, that he deserves more than other people... Well, I'd actually probably argue that he doesn't really believe that, but I think he would think he believes it. Contrary to the quotation, I don't think Phil's "faith" then allows for doubt. But, the loop changes that. It breaks down his barriers, his defenses, and gives him a whole lot to doubt about who he believed he was. But, that is cheating, because that isn't what the quotation is about. The quotation, I think, when taken on its own, suggests that faith should always admit doubts. I think this is actually a bad impromptu quotation, though, because it provides no conclusion with which t

let's just do this

I interrupted the "impromptu" tradition--previously here , here and here (that last one spilled into a part two )--last week to answer the obvious question people ask me about this blog: why? (To be fair, that's not usually the first question; the first question is something along the lines of "you're doing what?" with a sort of shocked, confused tone.) Today, I will not be interrupting... I don't think. I will be attempting to once again link impromptu speaking prompts to Groundhog Day . "Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." - Bertrand Russell I think it's necessary to broaden this one right off the bat to link it to Groundhog Day since, obviously, this film has next to nothing to do with patriotism. But, if we broaden this out to something bigger, it connects. See, I think this quotation is dealing not exclusively in "patriotism" but all -isms. When we subscribe to -isms, we set asi

what are you looking for?

The following is a segment from an informative speech I did a few years back regarding the the Pirahã (pee-duh-hon) (you can read the entire text here ): They have no phatic communication— hello , goodbye , thank you , I’m sorry . Daniel Everett [in his book Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes ] suggests these phrases "don’t express or elicit new information about the world" and are thus hardly as useful as actions could be in expressing the same sentiment. The closest they have to what we might call a greeting translates as "I have arrived." Thank you would be "transaction acknowledged." They prefer action over words and experience over ideas… …and this brings us to our second point, two concepts specific to the Pirahã, first xibipíio [roughly pronounced ih-bih-pee-ee-oh], experiential liminality . Translated roughly as "going into or out of the limits of experience," xibipíio can be equally applied (as noun or verb) to a man going out of si

you're missing all the fun

I The thing is, maybe the time loop isn't even about Phil Connors at all. A case could be made... or rather I would now like to make the case that the time loop might... oh, I'll just say it. The time loop is about the people of Punxsutawney and it begins when they boo Punxsutawney Phil's prediction that there will be six more weeks of winter and ends when they are listen quietly but alertly to Phil Connors eloquently proclaiming more winter to be something good. Maybe Phil has to change to get to that point, but it could all come down to the people. They don't appreciate winter. And, that seems very wrong to me, considering they live where they do. You'd think they were new to cold winters. Unfortunately, the film Groundhog Day chronicles not the learning experience of the locals but only of Phil, the one stranger who knows what is going on. I imagine the god of winter is a fickle bastard, punishing the whole town and not even letting them know about it. II In al

there wasn't one today

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So, 2 out of 3 acts down, 6 out of 8 sequences, 4 out of 5 key moments. The screenplay breakdown of Groundhog Day continues. Where were we? Phil was changed by the second act. I mean, that thing broke him down, killed him... a few times, and then there was god day. Dyer doesn't break down the third act much. It's all "buildup to resolution" for him. More specifically, the protagonist "should now be so changed by everything that he has gone through that he can no longer be satisfied living the way he did before." I get that. This past summer, living in my tiny apartment alone, there were a lot of quiet, empty moments that demanded change. From an outward perspective, I maybe didn't change too much, either. Change doesn't need to be big to be drastic. I still watch a bit too much television sometimes. I still watch movies when I can--honestly, though, watching this one particular movie every day has put a slight damper on my spare movie time of late

what if there is no tomorrow?

Yesterday , I only made it through 1 of 3 acts, 2 of 8 sequences and 2 of 5 key points... let me back up a bit, in case you didn't read that entry. I'm dealing with screenplay structure in relation to Groundhog Day . Now, on with it. We'll pick up the action at plot point one, which Dyer puts at 25% of the way in--remember, we're rounding it off so that will mean about 25 minutes in. The Script Lab puts plot point one between sequence two and sequence three. And, of course, plot point one is where act one becomes act two. I've suggested in the past that act one ends with date night, but arguably the usual screenplay structures put this somewhere in the middle of act two instead. The Script Lab defines sequence three as that in which the "first OBSTACLE... to the central character is faced, and the beginning of the elimination of the alternatives begins..." I'm not entirely sure what that "elimination" entails, but I would suggest that fo

catch you tomorrow

I won't be getting to impromptu topics today. Today was "sinus day" or "allergy day" or whatever you want to call the day my not that bad allergy to cats catches up to me living with three cats. Every few weeks I'll get a day where my sinuses go crazy. It's fun, but not my kind of fun. Anyway, though I'm breathing right this second, I'm not sure sinus day is over just yet, so I don't want to get into anything too complicated. So, instead, I will deal with screenplay structure today, because that topic is totally simple. Seriously, you follow the basic structure of 3 acts, 5 key points and 8 sequences and make sure the guy gets the girl and Hollywood will buy your screenplay like that. (Picture the snapping of fingers.) Or your screenplay will be tossed onto a pile of numerous other screenplays with the exact same structure... in the trash, or on the desk of some "reader" who will then toss it into the trash. And, then they'll

not today

It's that time of the... couple weeks again when I take some impromptu speaking prompts and link them all to Groundhog Day , which I did here , here and here before (actually, that last one I didn't finish in just one entry because it was late and I was tired, so there was a part two ). Now, on with the show... Actually, I must interrupt first. See, today at the tournament there were several people asking me about this blog, what's the goal, what's the point, what's the value, and once again "what the fuck are you doing?" But, that last guy, aside from the profanity, can't be trusted anyway because he doesn't like museums or beaches or trees. That's just not normal. The museum thing is funny because a) he doesn't like paintings because they're abstract representations and not reality itself but he has been known to write screenplays and b) if he doesn't like abstract things, I suppose he wouldn't understand why I'm doing

the same old schtick

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I might lament that there's no new things to notice on the blu-ray. Visual things I mean. But a) that puts me in Phil's position in a way and b) that's crazy talk, there's always new things to notice. Regarding "b" I did notice that one thing the other night when I was actively searching, the chocolate wrapper on the table. And, just tonight I discovered a new thing not in the movie but on the disc. There are two sets of subtitles for English. The first is the old, plain one, words across the bottom of the screen. Second one, though--that's more fun, slightly different font it seems (hard to compare properly because I've got to cycle through 16 different subtitle settings to loop around and there's a pause between just the one English set and the other), and it's doing that thing where dialogue from a character on one side of the screen is positioned on that side of the screen. I almost worked at a place that did subtitles several years back