If you can write, it can be real

I love getting lost in a Wes Anderson movie. After I feasted on his latest, The Grand Budapest Hotel, I met Andy for lunch to discuss. We share a great enthusiasm for his films, so as often happens, the conversation ended up covering the entire catalog. We talked about favorite lines and scenes, how we would rank the movies, and the intricacies of the soundtracks. It was sort of like the Uncommon feature we're currently building, sharing favorite things, with the addition of Thai food.

Forced to choose a single Wes Anderson moment, I always arrive at one from Moonrise Kingdom. Young Sam and Suzy have run away and are alone for the first time in the woods. Suzy reveals that she is sometimes depressed and that her parents think of her as a troubled child. Sam, awkward and new at all of this, bursts out laughing. Suzy, hurt and crying, walks away.

The only thing harder than being honest and vulnerable with another person is wondering if you made a mistake during the interminable silence that follows.

Sam realizes that he's done something awful. He catches up with her, gives her his neckerchief, and apologies. Then, he says:

"I'm on your side."

Since I first saw the scene, I've been mesmerized by the clarity and simplicity of that statement. It succinctly captures the very essence of friendship, love, and loyalty.

When I think of what friends mean to me, and the sort of friend I hope to be, that's what I think about: I'm on your side. There is strength and freedom in those four words.

The Moonrise Kingdom script, with scenes from the film, is available online.


Last week's dispatch asked, What is best laugh you've had online recently?

Stephen wrote:

Definitely this gem. Trailer for Alejendro Jodorowsky's surrealist masterpiece, "El Topo". The film itself completely lives up to this. My "Pretentious Movie Night" group has christened it our Favorite Cult Classic.

Sara wrote:

My husband recently discovered his knack for imitating the dramatic chipmunk meme, and it cracks me up every. single. time. An online laugh, somehow made even funnier IRL.

Chas wrote:

Oh man, it has to be from our friends over at McSweeney's. The dry humor is a gosh darn delight. The latest, "CONFESSIONS OF AN UPWORTHY EDITOR," is so true. This line is a beauty: "My ex-wife used to say I took my work home with me, but in my line of work you have to stay sharp. I’m not the kind of husband who’s gonna say, 'Honey, you wanna order a pizza?' No, instead I’ll jump out with, 'You’ll never guess what this husband does after feeling a hunger pain.'"

Ben wrote:

Best laugh I've had online recently. The #changelastwordoffilmtodracula hash tag. It hits so many of the things I like in a joke: It's really simple. It takes advantage of word play. Anyone can play. Some good ones I came across: An Inconvenient Dracula. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Dracula. Being John Dracula. If these aren't funny, then don't look for the hash tag, I guess. It's not for everyone, but I was in tears over this ridiculousness.

Caleb wrote:

The best laugh I've had online recently came from this link. A friend sent it to me late one night as I was crawling into bed. Maybe exhaustion had set in by that point and I was out of my mind, but it gave me a cheap but good laugh before I went to sleep.

Sam wrote:

Having 6-month old twins and a two year old mean one thing for my wife and I... bedtime happens well before The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon airs. Thanks to the internet, we are able to still enjoy some of the banter and shenanigans orchestrated by Fallon and The Roots on a daily basis. Most mornings -- after the whirlwind of breakfast -- you can find us huddled around our iMac, holding babies (always holding babies), watching a few clips to get our day started with a laugh. Some of the most recent giggle inducing sketches are: Tonight Show Funny Face Off with Jude Law, Kevin Bacon's Footloose Entrance, Tonight Show Celebrity PhotoBomb with Jon Hamm, and the Castrating Hogs Monologue (a favorite as we live in Iowa and yes... being a farm kid, I have castrated hogs before).

Uncommon reads

The Values of the Web by Brad Frost:

As I scroll through my feeds littered with stories of deplorable behavior coming from the tech industry and beyond, I rest assured knowing there’s a massive community of people working on the Web that value honesty, openness, and collaboration.

Return to Nib’s Knoll by Robin Sloan:

I don’t mean to mythologize a crusty old system; its innocence and simplicity were handicaps as much as they were virtues. But even so, I’m grateful that MicroMUSE, of all places, was my training ground. Social systems have values – arguments baked into their design. For example, Twitter’s core argument seems to be: everything should be public, and messages should find the largest audience possible. Snapchat’s might be: communication should be private and ephemeral. The video game Counter-Strike’s is almost certainly: aim for the head. Back in 1994, MicroMUSE’s core argument was: language is all you need. If you can write, it can be real. I left the holodeck, but I never abandoned that notion.

Your turn

Do you have a favorite line from a film?