Friday, May 22, 2015

Folly & Fancy

Just promenading around the square and ran into Lee Durkee, so we talked about CYMBELINE some more, aren't you glad? I bet you thought that part of your life was over! I got to remind Lee about that "Hell is here" line I liked and Lee said, "That would've been a throwaway line in ROMEO AND JULIET." Lee's not cutting CYMBELINE any slack! I also got to tell Lee that Samuel Johnson agreed with him. I read in a Peter Ackroyd book that Johnson criticized "the folly of the fiction, the absurdity of the conduct... faults too evident for detection, too gross for aggravation." Ackroyd takes up for the play, though, seeing "fancy" where Johnson saw folly and "deliberate farce" instead of absurdity. Now, this has nothing to do with the play, but a few times I thought the movie was making visual jokes or being visually extravagant where Lee saw (in Samuel Johnson's words) "the impossibility of the events in any system of life"... such as when they light the queen's body afire in her body bag... "Right next to a cop car!" as Lee exclaimed. And the tone of farce is hard to detect in the movie, that's for sure, buried under all that supposed grit and sullenness and those leather jackets. Okay, we're done.