April 8, 2005

Shimmering shining shriek/scream.

I watched the last part of "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" which was playing on cable last night. I noticed this exchange, between Gilbert (Johnny Depp) and his morbidly obese mother:
Momma: You're my knight in shimmering armor. Did you know that?

Gilbert: I think you mean shining.

Momma: No shimmering. You shimmer, and you glow.

Later, I watched the DVD of "After Hours" (a longtime favorite movie of mine). This exchange -- always good -- resonated poignantly with the "Gilbert Grape" quote:
Paul [looking at Kiki's papier maché sculpture]: It reminds me of that Edvard Munch painting. What is it? "The Shriek"?

Kiki: "The Scream."
Googling for a picture for "The Scream," to illustrate this post about how things go together, I hit a Reuters story from one hour ago, saying they've just today arrested a man for the theft of "The Scream." (The painting was stolen last August.) I love that feeling of things seeming to converge. I know it's only an illusion.

I also love the way in which the two movie quotes are dissimilar. The "After Hours" quote has the central character getting something a little wrong, and the character who does the correcting flatly and contemptuously sets him right. The mistake is part of a pattern of everything going wrong, part of being swallowed up in humiliation. The "Gilbert Grape" quote has the central figure in the family, the mother, getting an expression a little wrong, and when her son gently corrects her, she reaffirms her version and turns it into a renewed expression of love for the boy. The mistake becomes a new creation, something beautiful.

1 comment:

EddieP said...

(The painting was stolen last August.) I love that feeling of things seeming to converge. I know it's only an illusion.

Maybe it's an illusion, maybe it's synchronicity.