Monday, April 11, 2011

They Are Good That Are Away

"Every one of these minor characters has a line of development through the story...and that's the way Ford handles characters. Each character, each minor character is believable because the character has a life that could continue after the movie ends and you could figure out what that vector is. What he does so brilliantly is he has a whole bunch of these minor characters realized in this way that form a community, so that you get the sense that if the community were to continue, these relationships would continue to play out. That's the most powerful illusion of the Ford film, that differentiates it from a lot of other action films, where the characters are just vehicles for certain kinds of stunts. He's got a sense of character, and character, to be conceived properly, you have to conceive of it as existing beyond the space of a story you've designed for it."
—Richard Slotkin, Lecture on Stagecoach

There are few feelings as powerful as feeling that someone really gets it. Watching, reading, or hearing someone telling the world to you in a way that is out of step with the standard presentation but truer for it. It's not necessarily the entirety of a work that produces the feeling so much as the flashes of insight that light up corners of your brain you thought only you could fathom.

FreeDarko is turning off the lights. It's not a retirement so much as a disbanding, but I'm going to miss that corner of the internet something fierce. I have my eulogy in with the rest of them in the final post, but I was watching that Slotkin lecture tonight and that line stopped me. Theories and in-crowd theatrics aside, at its core FreeDarko was at its best when it reminded us sport is a world filled with individuals at all levels, where what made one a star was the spotlight, not some magical intrinsic quality that only some players enjoyed. They showed us that when you stop equating scoring the most points with being the most interesting, magical things happened.

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