Friday, June 13, 2008

effect without cause

We were watching Donnie Darko the other night. It was the second time for me, but this time around Seth Rogen was a more well-known face. When the movie was done, a conversation ensued about Maggie Gyllenhaal and what other films she had been in (especially films we had seen). A short movie sequence flashed through my mind: Maggie Gyllenhaal wearing an apron baking cakes. My friend, mysteriously enough, had the same flash. We then started piecing bits of memory together until we saw (in our mind's eyes) the protagonist of the film ... Will Ferrell. The film was Stranger Than Fiction, a film we'd seen over a year ago.

I had also forgotten about the wonderful soundtrack accompanying the film: the Mad World cover has since acquired even more fame thanks to having featured in the commercial for Gears of War; and the other song that was going to stay in my head for a while was The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen.

A day later, I turned to page 79 in Vikram Chandra's Red Earth and Pouring Rain and the page began with

beers and talked about Lawrence. The one in the movie, I mean, not the real one. The music suddenly got louder, and it was Echo and the Bunnymen doing "The Cutter"

Spooky. But they have a word for it: synchronicity. I can live with that. The chapter was titled "A Thin Kind of Happiness"; perhaps noticing something like this offers a stab at that.

update: That was Saturday, June 07, 2008. A week later, I'm in the library dropping off some DVDs and picking up a couple on hold for me. I scan the shelves dedicated to new books. I spot a familiar name: Richard Matheson. It's a collection called Button, Button. The little bit "a new introduction by Matheson himself" on the back cover and the simple page inside listing the old copyrights for the individual stories along with information about their renewal are the only indicators of this being a recycled collection. The reason is clear for all to see on the front cover: "features Button, Button, soon to be a major motion picture The Box starring Cameron Diaz"; it's also part of the block on the back cover, just in case you missed it. A few minutes later, I'm sitting in Caribou Coffee sipping on a caramel cooler and exercising their free WiFi to find out more about The Box. The film's wikipedia page tells me that it's been adapted for the screen and directed by Richard Kelly. Whoa! Kelly directed Donnie Darko. I think it might be time to scream.

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