Daily Dialogue — May 30, 2016

May 30th, 2016 by

KEATING: Now, who’s next? Mister Anderson. See you sitting there in agony. C’mon, Todd, step up. Let’s put you out of your misery.
ANDERSON: I…I didn’t do it. I didn’t write a poem.
KEATING: Mister Anderson thinks that everything inside of him is worthless and embarrassing. Isn’t that right, Todd, isn’t that your worst fear? I think you’re wrong. I think you have something inside of you that is worth a great deal. (Writing on the chalkboard) “I sound my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world. WW.” Uncle Walt, again. Now, for those of you who don’t know, a “yawp” is a loud cry or yell. Now, Todd, I would like you to give us a demonstration of a barbaric yawp. C’mon, you can’t yawp sitting down. Let’s go. C’mon, up. Now, get in yawping stance.
ANDERSON: (walking to the front of class) A yawp?
KEATING: No, not just a yawp. A barbaric yawp.
KEATING: C’mon, louder.
KEATING: Oh, that’s a mouse! C’mon, louder!
KEATING: Oh, good God, boy, yell—
KEATING: There it is. You see, you’ve a barbarian in you after all. Now, (stops Anderson) you don’t get away that easy. Picture of Uncle Walt up there. What does he remind you of? Don’t think. Answer. Go on.
ANDERSON: A m..m..madman.
KEATING: What kind of a madman? Don’t think about it, just answer again.
ANDERSON: A crazy madman.
KEATING: No, you can do better than that. Free up your mind. Use your imagination. Say the first thing that pops into your head even if it’s total gibberish. Go on, go on.
ANDERSON: A sweaty-toothed madman.
KEATING: Good God, boy, there’s a poet in you after all. There, close your eyes. Close your eyes. Close ’em. (Covers Anderson’s eyes.) Now, describe what you see.
ANDERSON: Uh, I…I close my eyes…
ANDERSON: Uh, and this image floats beside me.
KEATING: The sweaty-toothed madman…
ANDERSON: …the sweaty-toothed madman with a stare that pounds my brain…
KEATING: Oh, that’s excellent. Now, give him action. Make him do something.
ANDERSON: …his hands reach out and choke me.
KEATING: That’s it. Wonderful, wonderful.
ANDERSON: …and all the time he’s mumbling…
KEATING: What’s he mumbling?
ANDERSON: …mumbling truth, truth like a blanket that always leaves your feet cold… (the class laughs)
KEATING: Forget them, forget them! Stay with the blanket. Tell me about that blanket.
ANDERSON: Y…y…you push it, stretch it, it’ll never be enough. You kick at it, beat it, it’ll never cover any of us. (Keating backs away and kneels.) From the moment we enter crying to the moment we leave dying, it’ll just cover your face as you wail and cry and scream.
KEATING: (Rising) Don’t you forget this.

Dead Poets Society (1989), written by Tom Schulman

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Teacher. Today’s suggestion by Will King.

Trivia: The draft that writer Tom Schulman sent out to the studios was his first one.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by Will: “Anyone who has seen this movie will remember the final scene where his students defiantly stand on their desks in honor of his efforts in their behalf. This scene demonstrates why John Keating became so loved by the students (and audiences). His teaching style helped his students grow, not through knowledge drummed into their brains, but by giving them a chance to grow and shine, even when they didn’t realize they had it within. For me, the great moment in this scene is when Keating kneels to join the class as a student while Todd Anderson recites his impromptu poem and stands as the instructor at the head of the classroom.”

Daily Dialogue — May 29, 2016

May 29th, 2016 by

“I should have had you wear double condoms. But if you ever do it again, which is a favour to women everywhere you should not. But if you do, you should be wearing condom on condom. And then wrap it in electrical tape. You should just walk around always, inside a great big condom. Because you are shit!”

Inside Llewyn Davis (2014), written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: The Coen Brothers.

Trivia: This is the second Coen Brothers movie with a plot partly inspired by Homer’s The Odyssey. When the first one, O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), came out, the Coen brothers told several interviewers that had never actually read The Odyssey; in 2013, they told Terry Gross that they had still never gotten around to reading it. One of them said to Gross, “Yeah. It’s right by my bedside table. I keep looking over, at it and going, ugh.”

Dialogue On Dialogue: I wanted to feature the last line of the movie in which Llewyn, after having been beaten up, says, “Au revoir” to his assailant, in effect saying good-bye to his music career, but could not find supporting video. So here is one of the best bromides of woman vs. man ever.

Daily Dialogue theme next week: Teacher

May 28th, 2016 by

The Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Teacher.

The School of Rock (2003)

Teachers. We’ve all had them. I’ll bet each one of you can recall a teacher who served as a mentor. Or maybe you had an absolutely atrocious experience with a bad apple. In either case, teachers have a big influence on our lives.

Here’s your chance to honor or get back at teachers from your past with your suggestions this week. I mean, check out these titles. That’s a lot of movies about teaching.

Let’s see if we can get 7 great examples for this week’s Daily Dialogue series.

The usual drill:

* Copy/paste dialogue from IMDb Quotes or some other transcript source.

* Copy/paste the URL of an accompanying video from YouTube or some other video source.

I’d also ask you to think about why the dialogue is notable. Is there anything about the dialogue which provides some takeaway related to the craft of writing? If so, feel free to lay that wisdom on us.

Consecutive days of Daily Dialogue posts: 2,935. We’ve got 3,000 in our sights! Less than 3 months away!

Be a part of the proud Daily Dialogue tradition, make a suggestion, and have your name emblazoned on a blog post which will forever hold a hallowed spot in the Go Into The Story archives!

Upcoming schedule of themes:

June 6-June 12: Dog
June 13-June 19: Stoned
June 20-June 26: First Date
June 27-July 3: Rant
July 4-July 10: Apology

Be sure to post your ideas for this week’s theme: Teacher.

Daily Dialogue — May 28, 2016

May 28th, 2016 by

Rabbi Marshak: When the truth is found. To be lies. [clears throat] And all the hope. Within you dies. Then what? [clears throat again] Grace Slick. Marty Balin. Paul Kanta. Jorma…
Danny Gopnik: Kaukonen.
Rabbi Marshak: …something. These are the members of the Airplane. Interesting. Here.

He gives Danny back his radio.

Rabbi Marshak: Be a good boy.

A Serious Man (2009), written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: The Coen Brothers.

Trivia: Rabbi Marshak misquotes the Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love,” changing “all the joy within you dies” to “all the hope within you dies” – appropriate given Danny’s family situation. Furthermore, he then names three or four members of the band (comically stumbling over Jorma Kaukonen’s last name), as an apparent attribution to the quote, but the song was in fact written by Grace Slick’s brother-in-law, Darby Slick.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Such an awesome scene and classic Coen brothers. Surprise after surprise — a Rabbi impressed by the Jewish members of a rock band? — ending with the return of a cherished item: Danny’s Walkman.

Daily Dialogue — May 27, 2016

May 27th, 2016 by

“Where is pancakes house?”

Fargo (1996), written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: The Coen Brothers.

Trivia: Gaear Grimsrud has 18 lines of dialogue in the entire movie and never says more than a complete sentence at one time. By comparison, Carl Showalter has over 150 lines of dialogue.

Dialogue On Dialogue: I picked this because the Coens insisted that Peter Stormare, the actor who played Gaear Grimsrud, say “pancakes house,” not “pancake house” which is the actual name of the restaurant. Yes, the Coens are that precise when it comes to their attention to detail.

Daily Dialogue — May 26, 2016

May 26th, 2016 by

“Look, let me explain something to you. I’m not Mr. Lebowski. You’re Mr. Lebowski. I’m the Dude. So that’s what you call me. That, or His Dudeness … Duder … or El Duderino, if, you know, you’re not into the whole brevity thing.”

The Big Lebowski (1998), written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: The Coen Brothers.

Trivia: The Dude is in every scene of the movie. Even in the scene where the Nihilists are ordering pancakes you can see the van in which the Dude and Walter are driving. This is in keeping with the traditional film-noir, in which the protagonist is the narrator and acts as the audience’s guide throughout the film.

Dialogue On Dialogue: One of the most iconic characters in the Coen brothers oeuvre… and he goes by The Dude.

Daily Dialogue — May 25, 2016

May 25th, 2016 by

“Whatcha got ain’t nothin new. This country’s hard on people, you can’t stop what’s coming, it ain’t all waiting on you. That’s vanity.”

No Country for Old Men (2007), screenplay by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, book by Cormac McCarthy

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: The Coen Brothers.

Trivia: When Joel Coen and Ethan Coen approached Javier Bardem about playing Chigurh, he said “I don’t drive, I speak bad English, and I hate violence.” The Coens responded, “That’s why we called you.” Bardem said he took the role because his dream was to be in a Coen Brothers film.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Another Coen side of dialogue which zeroes in on a central theme of their story, Ed Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is an anachronism, a fish-out-of-water. The violence of modernism, as represented by Chigurh, is too much for his kind. His fate must be to quit and get the hell out of Dodge… which he does.

Daily Dialogue — May 24, 2016

May 24th, 2016 by


Barton Fink (1991), written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: The Coen Brothers. I will be teaching my popular 1 week online class “The Coen Brothers and the Craft of Storytelling” starting Monday. If you are interested, go here for more information.

Trivia: Written by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen after a trip to see Baby Boom (1987) while suffering writer’s block writing Miller’s Crossing (1990).

Dialogue On Dialogue: This line, delivered while Charlie a k a Karl Mundt barrels down the hallway with a shotgun, killing two policeman, speaks to a central theme in the movie, how Barton is stuck in his mind. Indeed, the entire story may be a twisted fictional tale in the writer’s brain.

Daily Dialogue — May 23, 2016

May 23rd, 2016 by

“The world is full o’ complainers. An’ the fact is, nothin’ comes with a guarantee. Now I don’t care if you’re the pope of Rome, President of the United States or Man of the Year; somethin’ can all go wrong. Now go on ahead, y’know, complain, tell your problems to your neighbor, ask for help, ‘n watch him fly. Now, in Russia, they got it mapped out so that everyone pulls for everyone else… that’s the theory, anyway. But what I know about is Texas, an’ down here… you’re on your own.”

Blood Simple. (1984), written by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: The Coen Brothers.

Trivia: The title is based on a phrase from the Dashiell Hammett novel ‘Red Harvest’, in which “blood simple” is a term coined to describe the addled, fearful mindset people are in after a prolonged immersion in violent situations. Blood Simple writers Joel Coen and Ethan Coen later made Miller’s Crossing (1990) which is loosely based on that novel.

Dialogue On Dialogue: The Coen brothers like to use preambles in their movies. In this, their first movie, they provide a glimpse of things to come.

Daily Dialogue — May 22, 2016

May 22nd, 2016 by

Older Stilwell: Hi, Dottie. You remember? “You’re gonna lose!”
Older Dottie: Stillwell, angel! My goodness! Where’s your mom?
Older Stilwell: Mom died… a few years ago.
Older Dottie: Oh, I’m sorry. She was a real nice lady, and a damn fine ball player.
Older Stilwell: Yeah. When I heard about this, I… I felt I owed it to her to be here. She always said it was the best time she ever had in her entire life.

A League of Their Own (1992), written by Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel, story by Kim Wilson & Kelly Candaele

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Celebration.

Trivia: The film portrays the league as initially unpopular and unprofitable, until demeaning gimmicks are used to attract male audiences. In reality, the league was popular and profitable from the start, largely because it played in towns in the upper Midwest that had no way of watching a live baseball game. Eventually, the league grew into a ten-team two-division league. The advent of televised baseball games in the early fifties, however, would lead to the demise in the popularity of the league.

Dialogue On Dialogue: The ending of the movie is wonderfully moving, the reunion of the women after all those years, a bittersweet celebration.