Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Man's Got To Know His Limitations

I've written before about film critic Tom Carson's writing in GQ. This month he has an article about No Country For Old Men, which as I've also said before, you should see. I need to point out this sentence about Javier Bardem's performance:

"Made up and coiffed in a blatant tribute -- once a film nerd, always a film nerd, eh, Joel? -- to Lon Chaney's getup in London After Midnight uttering every line with the sepulchral calm of a man who thinks his larynx is a government, he's terrifyingly funny."

I've been trying my hand at public writing for close to 3 years now and I can say I can't write like that. Sure I can be self deprecating and call myself a nerd. I might even make a reference to Lon Chaney (and I've seen some of his films) but I've never heard of London After Midnight, probably because there are no surviving prints. While I've never used them in a sentence I know what sepulchral and coiffed mean. But to come up with the phrase "a man who thinks his larynx is a government"?!?! It's been almost a year since a sentence has impressed me as much.

I'll stick to straight ahead blogging and software user guides, cause I can't do that other stuff.


Sean said...

Honestly, I felt the quoted description was way too overwrought. your favorite sentence might have been more compelling standing alone instead of buried in that sea of pretension and "hip" references.

Howard said...

I can see your point, but this one sentence was in a long article that was not filled with pretension. Hence the whole sentence stood out for me.