I spent a chunk of this past weekend hanging out in my apartment, not wanting to think about either the quantity of work I have to do in the next two weeks or the fact that somehow all of my belongings in this apartment need to transport themselves back to California at the end of that same two week period. When I don’t want to think about the things directly in front of me, where else should I turn but the magic of digital cable.

I finally managed to catch Sofia Coppola’s rendition of The Virgin Suicides, based on the Jeffrey Eugenides novel, which I haven’t read. (Eugenides, incidentally, is numbered among the “New White Guys,” a putative “group” of writers that includes David Foster Wallace, Rick Moody, Donald Antrim, and Jonathan Franzen. I’m suspicious of this groupness, however; DFW was quoted in a Time article [which I can’t link for you as our good friends at AOL-Time Warner charge for access to their archives] as dismissing the idea by saying “Well, we’re all white males between 30 and 40, at least as far as I know.” None of this is particularly to the point of this entry; I’ve been looking into it for the famous conclusion and I just found it interesting.) The film is odd: oddly paced, oddly structured, eerie in its prettiness.

But the main events of the weekend were the pay-per-viewings of The Others and Vanilla Sky. And, for benefit of those who haven’t seen them, I’m just going to say Hmmm… on the correspondences. Very intriguing. Very revealing. If you’ve seen them both, follow me into the comments — I’m dying to talk about them. If not, well, hurry up and watch them so we can chat.

3 thoughts on “Hmmm…

  1. Okay, so he produced hers. And then there was the split. And then he shows up in his, with Penelope. Whatever. The question I’ve got: is the fact that the solution to the mystery is roughly the same in both movies just attributable to the cultural zeitgeist, or is there something else at work here, something to do with their relationship?

  2. Haven’t seen VS, but I’d make the case that it’s somewhat zeitgeist-y, if not just about a coolish idea being worked over rather thoroughly by Hollywood, which happens a lot — the solution to The Others is essentially a version of that in The Sixth Sense, no?

  3. I’d completely forgotten about the Sixth Sense — so yeah, it’s got to be something in the air. But what? What is it that’s got so many writers/producers/development execs all thinking “but he’s really dead, get it?” Some wish-fulfillment representation of death as being exactly like this life, so much so that we won’t even know the difference? Some comforting assumption that everything we can’t comprehend can be explained by death?

    Maybe it is just an overworked coolish idea, but I still want to know why so many folks had roughly the same idea at roughly the same time…

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