Scrooby's Musings

Started by Scrooby, March 08, 2022, 12:28:53 AM

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The human perspective : order in Nature.

"Wouldn't think a car would burn like that." (i.e., 1.42.06)


ἐπιλίγδην : "glance shot"

Iliad, XVII, 599.

Wait! In the same sentence is the phrase γράψεν δέ οἱ ὀστέον ἄχρις : "cut all the way to the bone", which recalls :

"Mister, you got a bone sticking out your arm."



Apocalypse Now (Final Cut) 35.50–36.15

similar moment and vibe :

No Country 18.50–18.56

Sudden stark contrast from clamorousness to dreamy dawning.


" . . . to the elevator."

". . . Scared."


No Country (29:45): "You can see the sipes real clear."

Ovid, Metamorphoses (Bk II.133) : "manifesta rotae vestigia cernes"


Imagine, reader, the present subject of 'Fundamentals' as the shape of an arc printed in a mathematics textbook. The treatment of this theme, just here, will be located at the initial start of the arc, and nothing more than that.

Changing the metaphor : random fundamental particles of commentary herein ensue.

On Storytellers : No matter the degree of detail, whether it be a word in a text, or an element in a film frame, the storyteller will, during the duration of creation, have concern with that detail, to some degree or other.

Thus far so obvious. Now let's look at No Country.

Aggressors, armed with weaponry, have entered the vicinity of the protagonist.

The aggressors get off two rounds. Here is the first detail I am concerned with. At first glance, the two rounds are off-target : the protagonist successfully transits the space between the two vehicles, and arrives safely behind the vehicle up ahead.

In the 'actuality' of the film, however, the aggressors have precision marksmanship, as we will come to understand as the scene plays out.

What the audience at first may think about this moment (whether it be "okay, they missed", or, "okay, he dodged those bullets"), the audience has been engineered by the storyteller to think it.

The audience has been manipulated to interpret wrong. Like a magic trick. This is no small subject : the entire duration of No Country is intensely aware of the relationship between story/character and audience.

During the duration of a finely crafted narrative, the audience is sometimes ahead of the game, sometimes in alignment, and sometimes the audience is behind the game. The more artfully the storyteller manipulates this relationship reveals the 'first-rate' from the rest.

The reader here may ask, 'If the aggressors are precision marksmen, why don't they just waste the protagonist Moss?' Obviously : because if they kill him, he takes the location of the money with him. They must not then kill him with bullets, but only hobble him. So we can say that the bullets are not wildly shot, but precisely placed : the bullets are aimed for the legs, not the easiest element of a long-range moving target—hence they miss.

The reader may ask, 'Why conclude these aggressors are precision marksmen?' These two shots :

Takeaway : "ever-evolving perspective".

BONUS for the glorious ones : Interested in storytelling of your own? Contrast and Conflict. Good luck and best wishes.


Stitching a film, not only sequencing it but threading secret craft in the fabric ~ I appreciated this last post! If I had a blu-ray player, I'd rip some higher quality grabs myself to complement the analysis. But best I can manage at the moment follows:

magnifying the detail/particlez


ἔριθος = "day-labourer" (Iliad, XVIII, 551, 560)


The Armour of Achilles (1)

Then the artist, his body hobbled at birth, a drab inheritance,
spoke out solemnly in answer, and said :

"Be eased, dear Thetis. Your wishes are no longer a worry.
If only I had power to turn him away from bitter death,
when sombre fate falls, just as the armour I shall provide him
with will be a marvel in the eyes of men, whoever it
may be who see it. Zeus may always have the final word, but
I will fight for you, dear Thetis, until the last day there is."

So saying, immortal artist-god Hephaestus left her there
with Charis, his darling wife, and went forward to his bellows.
These automata, twenty in all, obeyed the turn of his thoughts;
so now all twenty swivelled toward the fire, while he watched them,
standing with his colossal physique hard-by the dancing flames.

So all the bellows blew upon the crucibles, and their strong-
blowing breath came from all angles round, and in a variety
of strengths, so that the very fire itself was sculpted, like
all the exquisite hand-work to come, by the mind of the god;
and as he worked, now this one, now that, would breathe fiercer
and harder; and when he paused, all paused; so in every way
his bellows worked for him spontaneously without him turning
his head, so that his hand-work could come to completion at speed.
On the fire he put adamant bronze, and tin, and precious gold
and silver; then, with his massive arms, he lowered an anvil,
huge and heavy, onto the anvil-block. Then in the one hand
he took up an enormous hammer, and in the other he held
the fire-tongs.

First he hammered out a thick, round circumference of a shield,
embellishing it cunningly in every way; and every part
of the surface was covered over in brilliant adornment.
Round about the whole he fit a shining rim, triple-layered,
and bright enough to blind; then he fashioned and attached
to it a silver shield-strap. This shield was heavy, five layers
thick. And its surface was exquisite with carven adornment
from his artful, careful fingers.

Thereon he incised out the earth; thereon the heavens; thereon
the waves of the sea; and the indomitable sun, and the moon
at fullest round; then he touched the picture with the heavenly
stars, and the constellations that crown the heavens in serene
encirclement : the Pleiades, and the Hyades, and mighty
hunter Orion; and the Bear, that people down below also
call the Plough, and the Bent Plough, and the Big Dipper,
and the Great Wagon, and the Great Wheels and Carriage,
and many other names, all for these magical seven stars,
which ever-circle in place and watch hunter Orion, and
never sink into the waters of Oceanus, and leave us.

Thereon he carved two cities of men and women, beautiful
mortals, all. In the one, he arranged marriages and holiday
feasts; and, by the glow of blazing torch-light, they were bringing
the bride from her chamber through the city, awaking the loud
bridal song. Young men in the dance spun round, and among them
the lyres and pipes sang continuously; and each woman
stood in her doorway and smiled. But, not far away from this,
the people at the place of assembly were quarrelling :
two men were contending over the price paid for a dead man.
The killer declared he had repaid the debt in full, and spoke
out his cause to the people; but the other denied he had
received all that justice demanded. So both demanded
arbitration, and a fair decision of authority.
Meanwhile the people around them were shouting out, pleading
for one side or the other, and the officers held them back.
There, then, sat the elders, gathered upon the polished stones,
and, in a solemn circle, with staffs of office in their hands,
they deliberated on the dispositions of the people.
And a loud-voiced herald stood nearby, to deliver judgments
to the people, each contention in turn. And in the middle
of the circle lay two pieces of gold, for he who delivered
the most admired decision of wisdom.

But circling the other city were two armies of men
in glittering armour. Now the one army was debating
whether to obliterate the city and be done with it,
or to gather up all the property first, and divide it
out justly among the warriors, all the lovely treasures
gathered inside the city. But the city was having none
of this, and had armed themselves in secret, and planned to ambush
the enemy. Women and the little children stood on the
city wall, as a last defence, beside the men of old age;
but all the others had gone, led by  Ἄρης and Athena.
These gods herein were fashioned of gold, and over their figures
the artist had put golden garments of wondrous detail.
Beautiful and strong were the two gods in their armour, and stood
out from the rest, for all the people at their feet were smaller.
So when the company had come to the place that seemed perfect
to execute their ambush, a river-bank, which happened to serve
as watering-place for all sorts of herds, there the men sat down
in their flaming bronze. Then, hidden in the carving, were two spies,
sent by the army to scout out the flocks of sheep, and herds
of twist-horned cattle. And all these came, followed by herdsmen
playing on pipes. There were two of them, and suspected nothing.


The protagonist and his sister must come from a wealthy family, because there is no way in any universe that the fashion establishment, with such a small workforce, would generate much income after covering expenses. So we may conclude, if we wish, that the protagonist's fashion house is as the production company of Eyes Wide Shut : "Hobby Films".

The Armour of Achilles (2)

Now the state of things was the following : those men lying in wait
saw the herdsmen coming. Straightaway they intercepted them,
cutting them off from the herds of cattle and flocks of fair sheep;
then without much ado they killed the two of them. Meanwhile
the enemy army, gathered together at their speaking-place,
heard many groanings coming from those herds of cattle;
so straightaway some men swung onto their horses, and set out
on the way, and soon came to the full weight of their opponent.

Both sides, then, assembled into lines, and fought beside the banks
of a river, and cut each other down with bronze-pointed spears.
Chaos and Discord descended on unfurléd wings, and joined
the battle; with the Goddess of Death, a visitor of Fate
who swoops in, to carry away souls in her arms. Now she laid
hold onto one man alive but just wounded, on another
wholly unhurt, and on one more, a third, who was dead, and she
dragged all three by their heels through the tumult around them, leaving
track-marks with their heavy bodies, while the Goddess' robes
ran dark with the blood of men, all the way up to her shoulders.

And the careful artist placed soft, deep-soiled earth, rich, fertile
fallow-land, three-times turned up by the plough, there on the shield.
Thereon were many ploughmen driving their yokes this way and that,
up and back. And whenever they came to the limit-fence, they
spun round. Then a boy would run up with a cup of honey-sweet
wine; and the ploughmen would drain their cups to the lees,
then eagerly continue to turn the soil up to the next
limit. And the field grew dark under the plough—though, truly,
all of it was made of gold. This shading-work behind the moving
ploughs was a wondrous touch of the artist's hand.

Thereon he also incised out a king's royal domain, to
complement the common field of the community. There, day-
labourers were reaping, bearing the sharp sickle in their hands.
Handful after handful of grain were tumbling to the earth
in ordered lines, along the swathe they cut, while the binders
of the sheaves followed close behind, gathering up the riches
with plaited ropes of straw. Small boys would pick up all the handfuls,
then hand the armfuls to the trio of binders, over and over;
and this process went quickly. And, standing among them, the king,
his sceptre of authority in hand, watched the growing swathe
with joy in his heart. Nearby, his ministers were preparing
a feast under an oak tree, and were seasoning a great ox
felled in sacred sacrifice; and the women sprinkled white crushed
barley over all of it, for the labourers' afternoon meal.

Thereon he also placed a vineyard, its trailing vines weighed
down by heavy clusters of grapes, a beautiful golden spot.
The grapes were bunched dabs of black, while the vines hung on silver
poles, in a line surrounded by a trench elaborated
in a beautiful blue; and he put around that, as if hammered in,
a fence of green-tinged tin. One lone pathway led to this spot,
where the bearers of the grapes proceeded to and fro, when they
harvested the vintage. Maidens, light-hearted virginal girls,
skipped beside the youthful boys, as they carried the wickerwork
baskets abundant with honey-sweet fruit. Then among them came
a child with a many-stringed lyre voicing itself clearly,
and he moved his fingers along the parallel strings, singing
the song of Linos, a mythical minstrel from long ago.
To his charming voice, all together they stamped their feet,
and with cries of joy they followed on, and frisked in the dance.

Thereon he also carved in a herd of straight-hornéd cattle.
The cattle were made of gold and tin, beautifully composed;
and with their deep lowings they processed from cow-yard
to a grassy place of pasturage beside a rushing river,
its current joyfully rushing through swaying thickets of reeds.
Golden were the herdsmen, who marched in ranks together
with the cattle. There were four of them, and nine frisky dogs
came with them. Terrible, however, to look upon were two
lions at the front of the line of cattle, holding in their jaws
a loud-bellowing bull. The lions proceeded to drag the bull
away, and the dogs pursued with the young men. The lions'
teeth had pierced the wall of bull's hide, and were greedily gulping
up, and swallowing down, the innards, and the dark blood, while
the herdsmen set the dogs on them. But the dogs slunk back :
sometimes lurching forward to bite, then stopping themselves.
They kept away, though every lost bite stung them at heart.
All they did was bark and howl and keep back from the monsters.

Then the artist, his body hobbled at birth, a drab inheritance,
carved thereon a beautiful green place of pasturage, in a fair
place : and inside the farmyard were shining white sheep;
and huts, some open-aired, some covered over; and also pens.

Then the artist skilfully fashioned a dance-floor, recalling
the one that Daedalus in Cnosus had made for fair-haired
Ariadne, all those years ago. Youths were dancing; and girls,
their fathers rich in cattle, had joined themselves each to each,
with fingers dropped lightly upon the next one's wrist.
These ripe maidens wore fine linen garments, while the boys
wore tunics, well-spun and scented faintly of oil, which gives
clothing a shine. The girls wore wreaths upon their charming heads,
while the boys wore daggers dangling from silver belts.
Now, with knowing feet, they danced in place exceedingly well,
in a round; just as in the open palms of a potter,
sitting over his wheel, just then he makes test of equipment
and skill, and all runs well, as if with the talent of the gods.
Now again the lines of dancers would run to one another;
and a great crowd had gathered round the passionate dance to watch,
and took great pleasure in the sight : and two acrobats tumbled
this way and that, up and down, as authors of the dance's pace,
whirling in the centre of the bodies.

Then the artist placed atop the uttermost band of the rim,
that was layered in dense order round the well-composéd shield,
the mighty stream of strong Oceanus.

And when the shield, strong and dense, was done, then the artist made
the corslet with breastplate, both shining with the light of fire.
And the helmet, too, heavy and strong, and made to fit snugly
to the temples of its wearer's forehead (just that so skilfully
wrought), and marvellous to see, for it was beautifully
decorated with a terrifying crest of horse-hair, fixed
in a socket of gold; and he made the leg-armour to follow
the contours of the hero's long and mighty legs.

So when the immortal artist had completed his work,
all that shining armour, he limped with it back to the goddess
Thetis, mother of Achilles. So she soared down from the white
peaks of Olympus, and raised up all that glittering treasure,
and carried off the beautiful art from the house of Hephaestus.

End of Book XVIII


Anton : "It will be brought to me and placed at my feet."

This phrase is very common in Homer. Such as :

"θεὰ κατὰ τεύχε᾽ ἔθηκε πρόσθεν Ἀχιλλῆος" (Iliad, XIX, 12–3)

[goddess] - [down] - [armour] - [to place] - [in front of; i.e., at the feet] - [Achilles].


Imagine this image as a Renaissance painting, in which each element is symbolic, by virtue of being in the frame.

A mirror : a face : a door : a window.

What happens if a person begins to think about all that?

Every shot in a first-rate film is its own canvas. All depends on the concentration devoted to the process.

Best wishes.


Domino, doomed youth financing university as prostitute, in EWS : "I'd rather not put it into words."

Oedipus, whose every move he could ever make was wrong from the start, regardless of his great-hearted efforts, in the first lines of Seneca's play : "eloqui fatum, pudet." (19)


Brandt to The Dude : "Her life is in your hands."

Oedipus to Tiresias : " ἐν σοὶ γὰρ ἐσμέν " (Sophocles, 314)


The Dude : "Oh, man, don't say that . . ."

Tiresias : " φεῦ φεῦ, φρονεῖν ὡς δεινὸν ἔνθα μὴ τέλη λύῃ φρονοῦντι " (316–7)

[ Tiresias : "Damn, man, why must I know what I don't want to know?" ]


Alma's habit of pouring from afar?

Recall the accord between the dense drawing on New Year's Eve and "All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy" : the artist's racing, associative mind is always heated to nuclear.

Alma's pouring of the water, however, is : slow. One must do this slowly, or one spills, or burns. One must concentrate on the one thing.

So, to do this with precision, one must play it cool.

(Too cool, though, might end with icicled Jack.)


Quote from: Scrooby on September 24, 2022, 03:30:57 AMAlma's pouring of the water, however, is : slow. One must do this slowly, or one spills, or burns. One must concentrate on the one thing.

So, to do this with precision, one must play it cool.

Anton's "one right tool".