Monday 3 March 2008

ITLAD movie reference: "American Beauty"

With regard to my theory one wonderfully emotional reference can be found in the great movie American Beauty. Although none of the science or neurology is referenced the ending is a simply wonderful visual, musical and verbal evocation of everything I suggest in ITLAD. This is yet again support to my suggestion that ITLAD is simply part of a wider cultural phenomenon engineered for some ulterior purpose by the weltgeist. In this section the character Lester Burnham (played by Kevin Spacey - who interestingly enough plays another profoundly itladian character in the movie K-Pac) has just been shot in the head and is lying dying. As the glutamate flood hits his temporal lobes he begins his adventures within the Bohmian IMAX. As the curtain comes down on the Cartesian Theatre his mind drifts away in space in time and a piano starts to play. Spacey's voice-over says the following:

"I have always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die. First of all, that one second isn't a second at all, it stretches on forever, like an ocean in time. For me it was: lying on my back in boy-scout camp watching falling stars. And yellow leaves from maple trees that blind our street. Or my grandmother's hands and the way her skin seemed like paper."

Simply beautiful and so close to ITLAD that it could have been written by somebody who had read it. (it was, in fact written by Alan Ball - I always rated him at Everton but his writing was even better *joke*).
I think that the real telling line is the very last one of the movie when Lester says:
"I am sure that you haven't a clue what I am talking about - but you will one day".
Totally, totally Itladian!

To watch this fantastic piece of cinema by director Sam Mendes follow this YouTube link:


Hurlyburly said...

What's this? A movie refference not made by me?!!! ;0)

"Ok honey i won't be weird, i'll be (extreme deadpan alert!)WHATEVER YOU WANT ME TO BE!"

Great film and a great point. The speech he gives at the end of the film that you have quoted is similar to the speech at the end of K-Pax. He says about the universe expanding and contracting over and over so you should get things right this time around. K-Pax is one of my favourite films ever and the book - The trilogy is outstanding.

Anthony Peake said...


Sorry about that - unfortunately I love my movies to and sometimes I cannot help it.

I must re-watch K-Pax and with my itladian glasses on.

I wonder if his final speech is avaialable on You Tube?

SM Kovalinsky said...

I remember being moved by this when I saw it, but I had forgotten it, somehow. It is beautiful, and it is Peakian.

Karl Le Marcs said...

*adds to list of films to see*
Martin, when are you going to get to me your list of 5 films I MUST see !!
I'm your literary educator but I'm relying on you to direct me (pun very much intended) towards the film references.

Hurlyburly said...

On their way good sir!

Karl Le Marcs said...

Excellent !
*Monty Burns style*