- "That's the best card trick I've ever seen. I wish you had a bigger audience."
- "You're all the audience I ever needed."
- "Sometimes I think he'd love to die on a job, cornered at midnight on a run to Jakarta. That's his dream: to tell stories so well that it fulfills itself. It would finally make it real for him."
- "That's kind of the thing we all want."
- "Well, trying to get something real by telling yourself stories is a trap."
- "Then I was going to leave but my mom got sick so I stayed. She stayed sick a really long time."
- "Do you feel cheated?"
- "The trick to not feeling cheated is to learn how to cheat. So, I decided this wasn't a story about a miserable girl trapped in a house that smelled like medical supplies, wasting her life on a dying person she sometimes hated. No, this was a story about a girl who could find infinite beauty in anything, any little thing, and even the love the person she was trapped with. And I told myself this story until it became true. Now, did doing this help me escape a wasted life? Or, did it blind me so that I wouldn't want to escape it? I don't know. But either way, I was the one telling my own story so, no, I don't feel cheated at all."
- "It's a pinhole camera. You can make a pinhole camera out of anything hollow and dark."
- "It's gotta warp the image, though."
- "Yeah, it does, but, I mean, that's what's good about it. I mean, you could point this baby at the most menial, everyday thing like fabric or your face or anything and depending on how the pinhole eats the light, it will come out peculiar or imperfect or odd. It's not going to be reproduction, it's...storytelling."
- "It's a lie that tells the truth."
- "I don't know about truths. A photograph is a secret about a secret: the more it tells the less you know."
- "I'm thirty-five years old, I'm useless. Crippled. I don't, I've only ever lived life through these roles that aren't real, that are written for me by you."
- "Tell me what you want."
- "Why, so you can write me a role in a story where I get it? You're not listening to me! I want a real thing. I want, I want, I want-"
- "You want an unwritten life."
I think the thing I love most about the movie, The Brothers Bloom, is the artistry to the storytelling and the genius of the dialogue.
“He writes his cons the way dead Russians write novels with thematic arcs and embedded symbolism and shit. And he wrote me as the vulnerable anti-hero and that’s why you think you want to kiss me: it’s a con.”
It could be the fact that I have a slight vindictive streak (something that I think, comes from having too many siblings and not enough room of one’s own) but I’ve always felt a bit cheated in movies (never in books, though), when, after a heart wrenching betrayal, the leading lady always takes back the deeply apologetic man even after he broke her heart into fifty-eight pieces and trampled at least forty-two of those said pieces. Shouldn’t these women have more confidence that their inhuman beauty will inevitably snag them another man who will fall in love with them on a completely physical level (and assuring them to be lifelong soul mates)? We don’t even have to call it self-respect, we could call it righteous indignation!
Personally, if I was betrayed on such a deeply emotional level, it would take more than one half-hearted gesture of regret and a sometimes-eloquent-though-more-often-than-not-poorly-worded apology to undo the damage that was done. Are these females honestly that desperate that they are so afraid of being spinsters that they can’t spend another moment alone without taking him back on the first try?
One of the (many) reasons I love How I Met Your Mother is that Marshall doesn’t immediately return to Lilly (even though they’re soul mates) after she runs away in the midst of their wedding planning. He tries moving on, even dating, and they take some time apart, eventually getting back together and living happily ever after. Nobody thinks that breakups are fun but that doesn’t mean you should swallow any excuse as justification for not sticking to your guns and remaining broken up for just a little while longer.
Maybe it’s just me but I believe in freezing people out, in multiple apologies and cold shoulders, and, the holy grail of all vindictive acts: the guilt trip. I want a little justified vindication, is that too much to ask?
“It looks more natural.”
“It matches your eyebrows.”
“See, I don’t think it matches your eyebrows.” (My mother)
“It makes your eyes look more brown.” “That’s because my eyes are brown.” “Oh really? I’d never noticed.”
I have a tendency to do stupid things. I am not a stupid person, I just have this attraction towards making childish, idiotic choices that provoke one of two reactions:
1. You are so dumb. Have you told Mom? This is of course said in the voice of my older sister. These were her exact words when I told her about: a) my tattoo, b) my plans to go abroad after college, c) my intention to get a motorcycle license, d) many other choices I have made and many more choices to come.
2. That is so fucking awesome. This seems to be the general consensus when telling people about my summer plans to go to Montana and be a white water rafting guide.
There is not much middle ground. I like things that I shouldn’t and the reaction is part of the attraction: tattoos, piercings, extreme water sports, my lack of interest in a career or steady place of residence at this point in my life.
When I first got into college, I wanted to graduate with a husband and plans to settle down. I have a semester and a half left and everything that I wanted at the beginning has changed radically. Now, there’s nothing that I don’t want.
I want to own a motorcycle, maybe even get a pilot’s license. Speedboats: I like them. White water rafting is only the beginning. The Peace Corps has always interested me. There isn’t a place on my body that I haven’t considered covering with ink.
I’ve always been mature, made the right decisions, stayed on the right path. I like learning but I wasn’t crazy about going to college. I made it through in three and a half years because I wanted to get out. And now I want to make my own path. I want to take several wrong turns and a few bad decisions all for the sake of a few good stories.
I think the stories people choose to tell and how they tell them say a lot about a person. A man once told me a story about how, when his wife was away one weekend, he ate fried chicken. He didn’t say which meal or when or how many times but it didn’t matter, only that he ate fried chicken. Out of the 72 hours, the most notable fact was the meal of fried chicken. I think someone who can tell a story about fried chicken with such zeal is a person I can respect.
I like words. I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady. I like solemn, angular, creaky words, such as straitlaced, cantankerous, pecunious, valedictory. I like spurious, black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demi-monde. I like suave “V” words, such as Svengali, svelte, bravura, verve. I like crunchy, brittle, crackly words, such as splinter, grapple, jostle, crusty. I like sullen, crabbed, scowling words, such as skulk, glower, scabby, churl. I like Oh-Heavens, my-gracious, land’s-sake words, such as tricksy, tucker, genteel, horrid. I like elegant, flowery words, such as estivate, peregrinate, elysium, halcyon. I like wormy, squirmy, mealy words, such as crawl, blubber, squeal, drip. I like sniggly, chuckling words, such as cowlick, gurgle, bubble and burp.
I like the word screenwriter better than copywriter, so I decided to quit my job in a New York advertising agency and try my luck in Hollywood, but before taking the plunge I went to Europe for a year of study, contemplation and horsing around.
I have just returned and I still like words.
May I have a few with you?
385 Madison Avenue
Job application letter, 1934. He won an Oscar for screenwriting.
(via Letters of Note)