Thursday, August 12, 2010

Poetry & the Movies: The Hot Tub Rhyme Machine

Regular P&PC readers might have surmised by now that someone in the P&PC office has an abiding interest in Hollywood's ongoing relationship with poetry. Not only are there lots of movies explicitly about poets and poetry, but film after film—ranging from Citizen Kane to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Long Hot Summer, Groundhog Day, and Fight Club (just to name a few)—makes use of poetry as a plot device, as shorthand for one type of character development or another, or (seemingly) as an almost entirely gratuitous detail.

Think back to Woody Allen's 1977 masterpiece Annie Hall, for example. Alvy Singer (Allen) and Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) have just met while playing tennis. She gives him a harrowing ride home, weaving in and out of traffic on New York's narrow streets, and ultimately invites him to her place for a glass of wine. There—on what is more or less their first date—Alvy peruses Annie's bookshelves and pulls out a copy of Sylvia Plath's Ariel. Here's that exchange:

Alvy: Sylvia Plath. Interesting poetess whose tragic suicide was misinterpreted as romantic by the college girl mentality.

Oh yeah. Right. Well, I don’t know. I mean, some of her poems seem neat.
Alvy: Neat?

Annie: Neat, yeah.

Alvy: I hate to tell you, this is 1975, you know? Neat went out, I would say, at the turn of the century.

Predictable? Maybe in Annie Hall. But what about Steve Pink's 2010 comedy Hot Tub Time Machine in which three unhappy friends—Adam (John Cusack), Lou (Rob Corddry), and Nick (Craig Robinson)—are transported, along with Adam's teenage nephew Jacob (Clark Duke), back to "Winterfest '86" which was a pivotal weekend in all of their lives. Caught between the need to recreate the past exactly (so that the future is unaffected and Jacob still gets born) and an understandable desire to change the events that led to their current unhappiness, the three are forced in hilarious fashion to re-live and/or revise some of their most humiliating moments: Lou gets abandoned by his friends and beaten up by the psychotic head of the ski patrol; Nick gets a second chance to rock the house at what was an otherwise uninspiring concert the first time around; and Adam gets a second shot at finding the woman of his dreams.

Part of Adam's respon- sibility in this process is to recreate his break up with his high school girlfriend Jennie, who stabbed him in the eye for splitting with her the first time around. This time, however, Adam is fraught by second thoughts and delays the break, giving Jennie time to beat him to the punch. (She gives Adam a break-up note but still ends up stabbing him in the eye.) Devastated to have things turn out even worse than they did the first time around (or so he thinks), Adam retreats to his hotel room and gets stoned out of his mind. This is where Jacob finds him: in darkness, wallowing in self-pity while listening to The Cutting Crew's song "(I Just Died) In Your Arms Tonight," and—what else?—writing poetry. Here's that scene:

Jacob: Adam, hey. Thank God you’re back. Awesome. What’s going on here? Where are the guys?

[Cusack hands him the breakup note.]

What’s this?

[Jacob reads] "Dear Adam, you are a super terrific guy, and I love you, which is why this is so hard for me. I cherish our friendship…”

[Jacob laughs]

She broke up with you? And you still fucking got stabbed in the eye?

Adam [while writing]: Leave me alone. Get out of here.

Jacob: What are you doing here? Are you writing poetry?

Adam: Just leave me alone and get out of here. No.

Jacob: You’re writing fucking break-up poetry.

Adam: Alright, I’m writing break-up poetry, ok? … Because my heart hurts.

Jacob [looking around at all the drugs]: What is this shit? You’re wasted!

Adam: I’ve had like two wine kills, Captain Buzzcooler. God!

Jacob: You’re fucked up.

[Jacob picks up Adam's poem and reads]

"Jennie’s eyes,
like a gypsy’s lies,
cut right through the night.
Now those eyes
are another guy’s,
and I’m alone with my pain."

Adam: That was clean!

Jacob: Are you shitting me with this, Adam!?

Adam: Look, you can recite it straight or to the tune of "Sweet Child O’ Mine." It doesn’t matter.

Jacob: Are these mushrooms? Did you eat these mushrooms, Adam?

Adam: I like to eat 'em, you know. A couple of 'em.

Jacob: Holy fuck, man, you gotta stay straight. You’ve got to help me get the guys back.

Adam: You know, it’s not always about my emotional journey. It can be about yours.

Jacob: Put the coke down!

It's a funny, riotous scene in which the grown-up Adam revisits the genre of teenage poetry, and the ridiculousness of the entire endeavor (aside from the Guns N Roses homage, of course) serves to illustrate in miniature why the three adult men can't be entirely held hostage by the past. No matter how much poetry may express longing for a time it can't recover (as in pastoral poetry), or despite poetry's attempt to escape time altogether (as in many conceptions of the lyric), time must move forward and the guys must re-enter and make history. As if suggesting this very thing, the movie interrupts the argument between Adam and Jacob with the arrival of Chevy Chase who plays "the mystical time travel guide guy" come to remind them—as the thunder and lightning of a Romantic poem storm in the background—that the hot tub time portal will be closing soon. To get things done (or to make things happen, as Auden might put it), one needs more than the self-indulgence or reflection that poetry as a genre offers; one needs a plan or a plot to move forward in time (and/or through the pain of a breakup)—the exact thing, or so the movie's logic goes, that Hollywood provides that poetry cannot.

What all these movies have in common— Hot Tub Time Machine, Annie Hall, Citizen Kane, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Groundhog Day, and Fight Club—is their substantial focus on moving through time in one way or another. In Steve Pink's comedy, that movement is backwards and forwards; in Groundhog Day, Bill Murray is stuck repeating the same day over and over; in Fight Club and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, characters completely lose sense of time when they change into their alter egos. And Annie Hall and Citizen Kane are about sorting through the past, reflecting on what is now unattainable and what might have been. Thus, at some level, all these films must confront the fact that they are treading on poetry's traditional and culturally-sanctioned terrain, and they solve the resulting rivalry in different ways, all of which end up—no surprise here—privileging the technology of film and leaving P&PC, like Adam in Hot Tub Time Machine, alone with our pain.


Brian S said...

Cusack's done that before, though not in an explicitly time travel movie. There's a scene in Grosse Pointe Blank at the high school reunion where the drunken car salesman buttonholes Cusack's hit man character in the hallway with a similar poem. Now I'm tempted to go back though Cusack's career and see how many other times he's done the same thing.

Mike Chasar said...

Thanks Brian! I guess I know what movie is going on the P&PC office Netflix queue next. The fairly recent Cusack/Freeman movie "The Contract" also had poetry in it, but Freeman was the one quoting it, not Cusack.

Zspas Arun said...

Assurance comes from our partnerships with USA Balboa Water Group who create the world s best Hot Tubs systems Global Spa brand Zpsas

swaggy said...

Your website is really cool and this is a great inspiring article. ge washer repair

historypak said...

Thank you very much for this useful article. I like it. Blog Comments …….. Link Building

Unknown said...

Packers and Movers in Hyderabad
Packers and Movers in Bangalore
Packers and Movers in Pune

Unknown said...

Packers and Movers in Mumbai
Packers and Movers in Gurgaon
Packers and Movers in Delhi

Unknown said...

Packers and Movers in Chennai
Packers and Movers in Noida
Packers and Movers in Navi Mumbai
Packers and Movers in Thane
Packers and Movers in Ghaziabad
Packers and Movers in Faridabad

Unknown said...

Packers and Movers Hyderabad
Packers and Movers Bangalore
Packers and Movers Pune
Packers and Movers Mumbai
Packers and Movers Gurgaon
Packers and Movers Delhi

Field engineer said...


Mitel Pbx engineer
At TCI, our people are our most important resource. We value work-life balance, which is why we offer a variety full and part-time employment and consulting opportunities. We are currently looking for talented, passionate individuals to fill the following position.

Freelance Marketplace said...

I Am Rudra, work as a marketing specialist and staff author at Externetworks which is a pioneer in Managed Technology Services with over 17+ years of experience in providing end-to-end solutions featuring design, deployment and 24*7 support to top IT companies. We offer world-class managed services for businesses to stay agile & profitable. Our services include 24/7 Network Monitoring, Uptime maintenance, NOC Support, IT Helpdesk services. managed helpdesk

Geremy said...

Its also providing Who Will WIn the Toss in today match. They not only predict match winners but also best batsman and bowlers of the match with great accuracy. BalleBaazi App Review They are continuously posting about every match which keep followers updated. You can also visit to their site and can get better prediction from there.

Muhammad Asad Shabbir said...

best baby swing for small spaces
best baby swing for newborn
best swing for colic baby
best baby swing for reflux
best baby swing bouncer combo
best baby swings for infants

Unknown said...

While you are choosing the best baby monitor for your baby, you should also consider the size and weight of your baby. Most of the time, these units are smaller, while those of bigger babies need a bigger unit to accommodate the baby's growth.

Collectever said...

Airport Transfer
Airport Transfer
Airport Transfer
Airport Transfer
Airport Transfer

Collectever said...

Today Jobs in Pakistan
Today Jobs in Pakistan
Today Jobs in Pakistan
Today Jobs in Pakistan
Today Jobs in Pakistan

Collectever said...

If you have never been to the off plan slough before then you may be wondering what kind of things you can do there. There are several different options available to you when it comes to your party. You can have a wedding or a picnic, or you can rent some tents to go on the farm and enjoy the view all day. There are also plenty of facilities available for those who want to use them to enjoy the sun and the views.

Unknown said...

Aaron Emmett is currently Managing Director of CLICK and Click Above which are independently funded property companies, specialising in creating innovative and sustainable housing solutions. Click Above Ltd is delivering 'Rooftop Developments' and Penthouses in London, and Click Properties provide superior homes at an attainable price. We championing off-site build methodologies and innovative construction methods.

Collectever said...

Full unpacking services are also offered by packers from UAE. You can arrange a moving company that can do it for you. They have packing trucks which have facilities like air conditioner, refrigerators and even beds. Budget movers has many services of the best movers packers in UAE.

Collectever said...

There are some great things about the clothing line of Long dressess. From the dresses to the accessories and all of the various styles they offer, it is hard to imagine a woman's wardrobe without their products.
Veronica M dresses are perfect for any occasion or situation. They are practical, fashionable and easy to find on any budget.
The name, "Veronica" is actually a female persona. Her name means "a maiden." It was created by Christina Davenport in 1998 to honor a female friend she had known for years who passed away from leukemia.

aaron emmet said...

Grant Cardone
has been called the "Rajneeti of real estate." This is because his first real estate business was set up with the help of a Rajneeti family member. His other ventures include: owning and managing hotels, restaurants, and clubs

aaron emmet said...

Managing rental properties is often, not an easy task as it entails legal processes. If not done properly, it could result in legal problems for both landlords and tennants. Landlords and property managers can learn a lot from Aaron Emmett and always think about solutions to problems even before they happen. With this, you will find management a simplier process and therefore maintain order. This will not only make your tenants feel comfortable; it will also make it easy for you to handle multiple or large properties. A well-organized property management company just like Aaron Emmett’s Click’s management companies keeps everything in check easily and with the best measures to go through the management process.
Tip 1 – Get an expert property manager
As a property owner who has little or no knowledge about property management, you should seek the advise of experts initially to avoid mistakes, and get a professional property manager until you’ve had the opportunity to learn. Aaron Emmett is a professional property manager who will ease the management process for you. A professional estate manager has experience and knowledge in the real estate industry. A professional will know the right process and the right organization to make the management process a hassle-free one. With a professional manager around on your team, there will be fewer problems to tackle.
Tip 2 – Handle tenants appropriately
Before renting your property to tenants,Aaron Emmett advised that you screen them. With the right screening, you will prevent troublesome tenants from moving into your property. In addition to this, you should ensure you have a robust tenant-landlord agreement. This will help maintain equality among your tenants while treating them without discrimination. A homeowner may get into trouble if he discriminates against his tenants based on disability, origin, sex, race, or even familial status. Every homeowner must always respect the personal privacy of his or her tenants. Handling tenants appropriately will help protect you from trouble legally.
Tip 3 – Embrace technology

aaron emmet said...

Whether you have a residential or commercial building, it requires a high level of care and maintenance to keep your property in tiptop shape for many years. All building types require maintenance, and this must be done by a professional service provider like Click Properties managed by Aaron Emmett. This will guarantee quality all the time as such a professional will conduct routine emergency repairs, cleaning, and so on. Every homeowner must carefully select a property maintenance company to avoid unnecessary damages.
When choosing a property maintenance company for your property, you need to come up with a perfect plan that suits you best. Most times, homeowners can enter into a contract with such a maintenance company in question for a routine inspection. To make this work, such a homeowner will have to choose between the long-term and short-term kind of contracts. Aaron Emmett advises homeowners to always go for long-term contracts as these provide security for the tennent. If you choose the property and management company with the help of Aaron Emmett, you will get a satisfactory job without stress.
Aaron Emmett’s Factors to Be Considered
When choosing a property maintenance company, Aaron Emmett listed some factors you should consider. Some of them are listed below:
Client portfolio

Unknown said...

One of the best things that you can do in order to get the best deals for safari is to look for used options and buy second hand products. There are many products which can be used in order to help you enjoy your safari. These products are not very expensive and you can definitely find many great new products which can add more color and excitement to your safari. The used options and the second hand options will surely help you find the best deals for safari.

Unknown said...

Frye is committed to creating crossbody bags for women, using the best materials, craftsmanship and design. This antique pull up leather zip cross body from our best selling Melissa collection, is the perfect cross body from Frye. Details: zipper closure, 1 interior slip pocket, 1 back exterior pocket, adjustable leather strap, printed fabric lining.

aaron emmet said...

Aaron emmet
Aaron emmet
Aaron emmet

ufabet123 said...

Wingers have a tendency to have great speed, some sculpting abilities, and also the capability to make crossing moves that traveling throughout the front of goal and also provide scoring opportunities for forwards. Forwards could be powerful at the air or small and penetrative with rapid ufabet footwork; basically, they need to be proficient at scoring targets in any angle.

dubaieveningsafari said...

Welcome To The Adventures World Of Desert Safari, Traverse & Experience The Beauty Of Dubai Desert With Your Loved Ones & Cheer While 5 Live Shows.

nairobi said...

nice post
executive protection
Best Way to Update Windows Drivers

Unknown said...

Born in Mangalore (now in Karnataka), Sidhu Moosa wala originally calling Sidhu Shaily Man. But his true name was shortened when he was named Sidhu Moose. At some point, he was called Shaily Man while growing up in Mangalore.

Muhammad Abdullah said...

Any particular occupation or employment engaged in for livelihood or gain, as agriculture, trade, art, or a profession is know as business
The word "business" can refer to a particular organization or to an entire market sector

Hatta tour said...

Experience the best desert safari in Abu Dhabi. Get ready for an adventure trip to the Abu Dhabi Desert on our unforgettable Arabic Dubai desert safari buggy said...

Hоw dо ореn-ѕоurсе рrоduсtіvіtу ѕuіtеѕ compare tо MS Office - аnd dоеѕ іt mаkе ѕеnѕе fоr уоur оrgаnіzаtіоn tо сhооѕе frее соmmunіtу software rаthеr thаn Microsoft's commercially licensed оffеrіng?

Desert Adventure said...

operating the best tour in Dubai in best way off adventure hatta mountain tour by the adventure group

Jon Hendo said...

Instead of spending only on highly visible areas of the event make sure each vendor has a fair budget. event marketing and vendor event

AUN ZAA said...

Meet the best football betting website that can be called the most complete in Thailand like Ufabet.
Later, it is a good website that is second to none like Ufabet website, this star-shaped website. Has been famous for far Regional level Asia With a website that is well-designed and luxurious Suitable for men, very nice With a guarantee of stability And safety Which has been in business here for a long time By having opened for more than 10 years, it has a very wide customer base, so at this time no one will not know the website. With fast service And easy access to customers Therefore able to fascinate players for a long time And besides sports games There are also online sports. Online casinos And many other games for you to try and play as well Say in one word that it is really complete. With this great value Comes with fast service Fast with the speed of light such as 24/7 service to answer any queries. And always recommend customers Ready to have a simple membership service that is very fast, less than a minute and it's done. Like this, who does not apply? Must have missed a lot

AUN ZAA said...

PUSSY888 is a real money online slot game company that makes very good results. Because there are tools and technology that are very modern No matter what creates Will make that player Play happily And more fun Because playing with the game That can make money Also in this camp Still made a slot game out In a pretty good direction

AUN ZAA said...

If asking about the web Online casinos Providing a complete range of gambling entertainment services for number 1 in Thailand, now let's give "Sexy baccarat" at all. That is provided for all gambling masters to have fun

AUN ZAA said...

Baccarat online game That would be another game that today, this second…. With this game That is because… it is very loud and it is highly regarded. In the pig people common And when the game is popular Or is already popular It makes a lot of people want to play. Including game developers Website developer There is an increase in the rate Providing even more online baccarat games Therefore, the players That could be a new player That may not have been experienced Exuberant from playing this type of game What these people should have to do that is…. For serving Online casino games that will make the players themselves. Has the most benefits So then we have good information. From the website for the service Online casino games Top level in Thailand Let's leave each other, which will be a website that can not go at all, that is…. Sexy Baccarat website, which information that we will offer that is… everything that is available on this website. Strengths and weaknesses that We think It will be useful to all readers.

AUN ZAA said...

Sexy baccarat today can be considered as a service provider. A major player in the game. A truly online casino, whether you are a new or old gambler. Will just turn to investment in this field Or will it be a seasoned investor Until able to earn several baht From gambling Would have known all

AUN ZAA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AUN ZAA said...

To use any formula For winning baccarat bets Need to continue to adjust the format according to the style of playing baccarat games today. Sexy Baccarat brought to know. Baccarat games in various forms and baccarat cheating techniques That is an important trick To generate income From Baccarat betting

AUN ZAA said...

Online gambling websites that have been voted on by these The gambling expert then that Sexy Baccarat (Sexy Baccarat) is the ultimate baccarat. That has been accepted most. All genders and ages must be well known. If anyone who still does not know that Not yet reached this industry The circles of gamblers Sexy Baccarat Is designed in an image that is exciting and powerful to attract attention Players stay with the screen for a long time, which sexy baccarat can hit this problem quite well. For playing baccarat for profit We have to be aware of the game Sexy Baccarat (Sexy Baccarat) to be able to walk a hundred times and win a hundred times. Do not be happy.

AUN ZAA said...

For the web baccarat, # 1 Sexy Baccarat is designed to meet big men. Including giving a nice and beautiful woman with a bikini And a heart-pounding dance It would be strange that men would like it. Sexy Baccarat takes a lot because of the dance style of the girls. Look comfortable in the eyes, but enjoyment for women who will choose to play baccarat. In sexy baccarat Would be able to play Women who like to gamble More focused on the game. Looking at the beautiful dessler, the thing who likes to play in the sexiest as well as the man he chose to play Like a bonus that gives cash back. For the players Placing a simple bet that can guess the direction of the outcome is pretty good. And there is also a bonus which Other places do not have this function. For players to choose to play as well, so women can play Baccarat that is sexy baccarat for sure. Playing baccarat for women Will be more careful The man who came to play again The analysis of the game would be good.

Unknown said...

Today jobs in pakistan are easy to find. You only have to go online to get job opportunities available. This is also true in the world of education and healthcare as well. The fact is that today's economy requires people to work from home or at an office or a retail store.

internetically9 said...

One good way to make online is by becoming a affiliate to a reputable company. As an affiliate, you get a percentage of any sales that you refer people to make. If you are marketing a popular product, and customers are clicking through your link to make a purchase, you can earn a tidy commission.

earn passive income online

Travel lover said...

To know the information of the Safari mall sharjah and get tickets from adventure group.

Unknown said...

We all see beauty in different places. What stands out to you might seem unappealing to someone else, and vice versa.Fine art photography doesn’t have a definition of its own. But it does attract those who share a specific vision.if you interested in buying photography art photography art for sale online on my website.

mabuuclothing said...

Wear clothes that flatter clothes your body type. Just because something is in style does not mean that you should wear it. Every style was created with a certain body type in mind. For example, skinny jeans were not made to make people look skinny; they were made for people that already are thin.

ufabet168 said...

The fair-catch kick a rarely used scoring strategy. If one of the teams fair catches a punt from the opposing team, they've got an opportunity to try for a field goal using a free kick on the next play from where the punt was fielded. A holder positions the ball while the kicker kicks the ball into action. It is worth 3 points, which is the same as a field goal. This down is not timed.Be sure to drink lots of water or a sports drink as you play สมัครแทงบอล.

Sỹ Hoàng said...

gel bôi trơn lifestyles

preety saifu said...

On Maryum n Maria Store, you'll find gorgeous dresses by coveted designers like Formal Lawn, Lawn Dress, Lawn Collection, Lawn Suit, Fancy Lawn, Lawn Design. Maryum n Maria are full of popular and trendy styles suited for all body types and budgets.

ufabet123 said...

Even when your team isn't practicing, you should be. Practice constantly, and practice the skills of your specific position the most. On top of that, you should also build your strength and stamina through other athletic pursuits, such as running, working out at the gym and even other sports.Keep a positive attitude at all times when playing football. Even if you feel down about your performance, keep things up beat and focus on the game เว็บแทงบอล at hand. A negative attitude will not only pull your play down, but it will also become contagious and infect the attitude of the entire team.

Travel lover said...

So if you are in Dubai for a limited time, or want to explore its best gifts, take a morning walk on a desert safari. Sleep on a desert safari morning and open the door to ultimate bliss. Want to know more? Read the following highlights of what the Dawn looks like on Dubai blog and plan an important trip.

Travel Blogger said...

What wonderful advice. Thank you so much for sharing. Here's an article on Trekking to Upper Mustang in Nepal. I hope you will enjoy trekking in the restricted area.

ufa88s said...

A great tip is to practice plays as much as you can if you're an offensive lineman. You need to be able pull off the right block every time, and the only way to achieve this is to practice as much as you possibly can. Your running backs and receivers will thank you.