Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I saw Wes Anderson’s new movie, “The Darjeeling Limited,” on Saturday. It’s one of these movies where the characters have such interesting exchanges that I come away wanting to communicate better in my own life. Why do I leave so many things unsaid? Why don’t I open up more?

Don't get me wrong: The movie is not weepy. The main characters are three brothers, so their communication is more visceral. Sometimes they fight, or they're uninentionally funny, or they just give meaningful looks. Still, I envy them.

Of course, what I have to remember is that movies come from a SCREENPLAY, in which responses are scripted and considered and no one ever blurts out the first thing that comes to mind. In other words, all that frank and honest exchange isn’t really honest -- it just sounds like it.

I felt this way years ago after I saw “The Secret Lives of Dentists,” in which I admired the ability of the characters played by Hope Davis and Campbell Scott to argue and fight, openly working through conflicts that among my own family members would probably produce only cool, stubborn silence.

I guess all of this comes from my roots as a repressed WASP.

Anyway, “The Darjeeling Limited” is a fun movie -- terrific atmosphere and very quirky characters and plot. Beautiful photography. And it introduced me to an interesting folk singer named Peter Sarstedt, whose late-’60s song “Where Do You Go To My Lovely?” plays a prominent role.

(Photo: Doors between Lafayette Street and Broadway, NoHo, Sept. 2007)


  1. As a Scorpio, you are naturally inclined towards privacy.

    I'm Jewish, so I grew up in a family of overly expressive people who hold absolutely nothing back. T.M.I. !!

    I'm trying to remember any conversation I've ever had in real life that was open and honest but not over the top. Maybe I've had one ... but I can't remember when or where!

    We humans are so funny, aren't we?

  2. I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes during movies I have to remind myself that the reason I'm not as expressive as these people is b/c my life isn't scripted!

    I think you've hit on the inherent contradiction in fictional movies: the story/character/dialogue is moving, but its not real. So you have to be careful how you reflect on movies and your own life.

  3. I'm glad you liked the movie, I think I will go see it. I had only read on review and it wasn't a real good one.

  4. non movie-related comment: i've had darjeeling on the brain for the last few days. . . i'm planning a trip there for early december. . . how does the film portray that part of india? LP

  5. LP: Most of the movie's action takes place on the train and in towns the train passes through -- I don't know if any of it was Darjeeling proper. But the scenery in general is really amazing. I've always wanted to go to India, so this gave me more motivation! Enjoy your trip!

  6. I want to see that movie now, before i was not so sure.