10 April 2008

Gossip of Laundry

Last week I watched a movie titled "Chisme de Lavaderos."

The title is a Spanish phrase that literally translates as "laundry gossip."

It was a strange, low-budget movie, with a couple of formulaic endings that cancelled each other's effect.

The bulk of the movie had the structure of a Whodunnit. There was a homicide victim, and plenty of people in the neighborhood with a reason for despising him, due to his low-rent lothario ways.

We see a rather slip-shod police department investigating the matter -- and this produces the airing of dirty laundry that presumably inspired the title.

There's also a subplot about how the victim will be buried, at whose expense and with what sort of casket.

These are perfectly fine materials for a story, of course, but the twin endings bug me. Since I doubt I'm spoiling a movie that any of my readers will be likely to see for themselves anytime soon, I'll tell you about them.

The first ending indicates that the bulk of the movie was the apparent victim's nightmare. This is a classic story structure, and presumably, as with the nocturnal visions of Ebenezer Scrooge, this nightmare should lead to the reformation of a sinner.

On the other hand, the producers of this movie didn't want to leave it at that, so they tacked on to that a "here we go again" ending -- as if Scrooge, having had his visions, reformed and given the Cratchit family a huge Christmas feast, had returned to his home to find Marley there waiting for him again, still ticked off.

That doesn't make a lot of sense? My point exactly.

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.