Sunday, October 22, 2017

the last book I ever read (Cigarette Lighter (Object Lessons) by Jack Pendarvis, excerpt seven)

from Cigarette Lighter (Object Lessons) by Jack Pendarvis:

A match has a death wish. A lighter wants to live to fight another day. Maybe crazy Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs would have put his lighter to murderous use, but we’ll never know because he got gunned down before he ever had the chance. (My friend Kent Osborne told me it’s a lighter, not a match, and I believe him. I didn’t feel like watching Reservoir Dogs again. I know this can cause trouble. Not to claim that the present volume isn’t riddled with inaccuracies, but in his biography of Henry Ford, on which I rely for the next chapter, even the much-garlanded history whiz Douglas Brinkley completely screws up the plot of Chaplin’s The Circus. I don’t think he watched it.The dazzling Infante botches his retelling of the lighting of an imaginary cigarette in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. But Infante swims in a fantasia of memory and dream and also he died, so I give him a pass. I re-watched every single movie mentioned in this book—usually all of it, occasionally just the relevant scenes—except for Reservoir Dogs. Oh, and as of this writing, there’s a constantly airing trailer for something I haven’t seen called Kingsman, which the jerk who pitched it to the studio probably described as “James Bond meets Harry Potter.” Colin Firth tells a young spy recruit that his cigarette lighter is really a hand grenade—how much gentler Simon and Garfunkel’s “his bowtie is really a camera”—and there it goes whizzing through the air in slow motion with a fireball behind it, just like an action hero, the cigarette lighter so integral to the platonic ideal of the action movie that it gets as much screen time in the trailer as Samuel L. Jackson.)

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