Movies

The Grand Budapest Hotel

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After I finished watching Wes Anderson’s latest delicacy, I made the following note. It came back to my mind afterwards, and I retrieve it here hoping to learn whether others felt the same way about it.

I believe the deeper meaning of THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL hides in the tribute to those stories that mean everything for those who were their protagonists and then passed on to others, and disfigured and diluted over time, as if obscured by layers and layers of dust, [faded] until they became only endearing anecdotes to those who heard or read them. Enchanting, but meaningless. 

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Footnote: I thought Moonrise Kingdom superior to The Grand Budapest Hotel, but I still enjoyed the latter immensely.

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Screenwriting

Matthew Weiner on Screenwriting

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The Paris Review —that hipster-ish magazine that must be read with horn-rimmed glasses while smoking a pipe— features a not too frequent series of interviews with screenwriters under the title, “The Art Of Screenwriting.” I have only read their latest one, with Mad Men showrunner and creator Matthew Weiner. A few of his ideas called my attention and gave me interesting material to reflect upon.

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Entertainment Industry

Broken Toys

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Toys are objects of wonder, full of potential, containers of endless possibilities. Kids oftentimes take their new toys and observe them first in awe, taking in every angle and mechanism, before milking infinite worlds and tales out of them. But sometimes, all that wonder ends abruptly when the toy is stepped on by a careless adult; or when its gears —not infrequently flawed by poor manufacturing— get tired and give out.

But other times —most of the times, maybe— toys break because kids put them to the wrong use. Wingless action figures take a shot at flying, RC cars attempt audacious submarine journeys, and all kinds of innocent objects transform into blunt force weapons. 

Yesterday Robin Williams was found dead in his home. Early reports have told us about a possible suicide. We know about his troubles with drug addiction. And we have also heard about his depression. We all mourn his loss, as someone who, through his many memorable performances on the screen, became part of our lives.

But like many other times, this kind of news makes me think. They always make me think there is something wrong with the deaths of so many vibrant, wonder-filled, awe-inspiring, well achieved public figures. They make me think about broken toys.

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Creativity

Who Said, “Succeed Fast”?

Because he or she was wrong. Very wrong. If you got to read this quote from famous Austrian psychiatrist and neurologist Viktor Frankl, you’ll know that success, by its very nature, must “ensue,” and not “be pursued.” I now receive from a good friend a link to a very brief life lesson from radio host/producer Ira Glass, in which he develops the idea of The Gap, that is, the tough times of hard work that lie ahead of you when you undertake any creative activity.

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Quotes

On Success and Hard Work

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Viktor Frankl was Austrian, and Jewish. He was a psychiatrist and neurologist. He founded a whole form of psychotherapy. And he survived Auschwitz, and other concentration camps. This is what he had to say about success:

“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.”

This came about the other day, talking with some tweeps.

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