Amy Elliot Dune – Full Tidal

I liked instantly Rosamund Pike when I saw her in Pride & Prejudice (Joe Wright, 2004).  An Education (Lone Scherfig, 2009), Johnny English (Oliver Parker, 2011), The World’s End (Edgar Wright, 2013), and Hector and the Search for Happiness (Peter Chelsom, 2014) have only reinforced my admiration of her mise-en-scene and talent.

Upon discovering that she would portray Amy Elliot Dunne in David Fincher‘s adaptation of Gillian Flynn‘s novel of the same name, I was determined not to see it.  Why?  I listened to the audio book a few years ago and absolutely despised the character of Amy.  I didn’t want to see Rosamund Pike’s acting abilities make me hate her.  Even though Nick isn’t entirely sympathetic throughout the entire narrative, he is supposed to be the less villainous of the pair.

Nevertheless, I changed my mind and saw it today.  Surprisingly, I did not hate Rosamund Pike afterwards.  I actually found the film more enjoyable than the audio book as it leveled the playing field of character (non)likeability.

For those of you who’ve seen the film, I recommend this article about the concept of “irrelationship,” something that breathes much better in the film than in the book.

While listening to Fiona Apple‘s Tidal album on the way home, the lyrics to every song struck me as quite fitting for the motivations and themes of this story.

The track list:
1.  Sleep to Dream
2.  Sullen Girl
3.  Shadowboxer
4.  Criminal
5.  Slow like Honey
6.  The First Taste
7.  Never Is a Promise
8.  The Child is Gone
9.  Pale September
10.  Carrion

The titles alone correspond to the plot development (though not necessarily in that order).  Observe the lyrics:

I tell you how I feel, but you don’t care
I say tell me the truth, but you don’t dare
You say love is a hell you cannot bear
And I say gimme mine back and then go there – for all I care

I got my feet on the ground
And I don’t go to sleep to dream
You got your head in the clouds
And you’re not at all what you seem
This mind, this body
And this voice cannot be stifled by your deviant ways
So don’t forget what I told you
Don’t come around, I got my own hell to raise
- Sleep to Dream


Once my lover, now my friend
What a cruel thing to pretend
What a cunning way to condescend
Once my lover, and now my friend

Oh, you creep up like the clouds
And you set my soul at ease
Then you let your love abound
And you bring me to my knees
- Shadowboxer


I’ve been a bad, bad girl
I’ve been careless with a delicate man
And it’s a sad, sad world
When a girl would break a boy
just because she can

Don’t you tell me to deny it,
I’ve done wrong and I wanna suffer for my sins
I’ve come to you
‘Cause I need guidance to be true
And I just don’t know where I can begin
- Criminal


The song that made me do a mental double-take was “Slow like Honey” :

You moved like honey in my dream last night
Yeah, some old fires were burning
You came near to me and you endeared to me
But you couldn’t quite discern me

Does that scare you?
I’ll let you run away
But your heart will not oblige you
You’ll remember me like a melody
Yeah, I’ll haunt the world inside you

And my big secret gonna win you over
Slow like honey, heavy with mood

I’ll let you see me
I’ll covet your regard
I’ll invade your demeanor
And you’ll yield to me like a scent in the breeze
And you’ll wonder what it is about me

It’s my big secret
Keeping you coming
Slow like honey, heavy with mood

Though dreams can be deceiving
Like faces are to hearts
They serve for sweet relieving
When fantasy and reality lie too far apart

So I stretch myself across like a bridge
And I pull you to the edge
And stand there waiting, trying to attain
The end to satisfy the story
Shall I release you? Must I release you?
As I rise to meet my glory

But my big secret
Gonna hover over your life
Gonna keep you reaching
When I’m gone like yesterday
When I’m high like heaven
When I’m strong like music
‘Cause I’m slow like honey, and
Heavy with mood


Pic creds: google image search; movie poster reinterpreted by me.

The Cinematic Response

The textbook answer for what impact cinema has on humankind is that of guru, lover, muse, family, friend, nurturer, mentor, philosopher, scapegoat, cheerleader, historian, entertainer, and inquisitor.  Movies teach, inspire, document, provoke, terrify, amuse, comfort, distract, and hypothesize.

I studied film in college and graduate school because movies did all of these to me and more.  They enraptured me when no non-celluloid (or non-literary) person could; they planted tapestries of experiences that my own mind could not conjure.  I wanted to acquire the tools to deconstruct and demythologize the mind and body of this technological, cultural creature.

Five years of proper schooling and many years of movie-going and reflection have brought me to this moment.  Today.  Whereupon a late afternoon screening of Hector and the Search for Happiness (Peter Chelsom, 2014) has helped me realize that cinema for me has always been about the access point to the ways in which other people think about, see, and taste reality.

Even taking into account my bias towards any of the cast members or that I still enjoy watching movies for amusement, it’s cinema’s role as portal to another person’s perspectives that reach into my innards and push and pull at sinews and mitochondrial DNA.*  Cue my favorite filmmakers: Whit Stillman, Hal Hartley, Stanley Donen, Ang Lee, Dario Argento, Wong Kar-Wai, Claire Denis, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Tarsem Singh, and Mira Nair among others.

I’m becoming keenly aware as well that this response that I have is not limited to audiovisual media experienced via theatre, television, or disc.  People who publish/distribute their creative works online taps into the same pool.  Enter: Beckie0, MayBaby, the Fung Brothers, QworterLifeCrisis, Daniela Andrade, Marie Digby, admiral potato, and pascal campion among others.

The premise of Hector and the Search for Happiness is literally in the title.  It’s based on Francois LeLord’s book (Le voyage d’Hector ou la recherche de bonheur) and achieves a clever pinch of profound introspection, anxiety, and humor.

As for how I see and taste reality?
On a bad day:

On a good day:

In the most authentic way, my child self, who stands in front of flamingos and proclaims, “What’s the big deal? Que sera sera.”  I loved this jacket.  So comfortable, so many pockets.


* Music and literature produce analogous effects.

Off Topic: Today’s Verse 76

Part two of Fairburn tweed sells.  First part included below for convenience.


Let’s pretend the switch has been flicked on
and I suddenly comprehend all you tried to feed me
and it goes down smooth,
like a champion ship sailing,
but there’s still the calculation
that I’d stay the course you set –
I’m still taking in the water ride,
I’m still convincing myself it’s real,
and I don’t know if I want to keep going

to stay in treble
to the table of your contents,
where intersecting laces must overlay,

if it were so easy,
if the pivots and seldom-spoken dreams
could mix and tumble like honey serums,
the shadows which trail me wouldn’t sing so proudly

Let’s pretend the nectar potions
enchant and perpetuate echoes
of a wiser phantasm,
than that which nestles itself
inside the sighs of my ankles.

– yiqi 9 Oct 2014 8:31 pm


From Black Elk to Lucy

Or rather, from Black Elk to Luc Besson.

Far out, high contrast, momentous.  Lucy (Besson, 2014) is a prism for the mind, an inheritance for atomic particles, and its message is aptly conveyed through this passage from Black Elk Speaks:

Crazy Horse dreamed and went into a world where there is nothing but the spirits of all things.  That is the real world that is behind this one, and everything we see here is something like a shadow from that world.  He was on his horse in that world, and the horse and himself on it and the trees and the grass and the stones and everything were made of spirit, and nothing was hard, and everything seemed to float.

John G. Neihardt, 53.


The first time I saw the poster for Lucy, I thought of The Clan of the Cave Bear (Michael Chapman, 1986)

Original pic creds: IMDB and Amazon