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The Invariant Memory of Empire

The Aztec Pantheon and the Art of Empire, Getty Villa –  When, in a crowded casino, the endangered hero of a lousy movie grabs his girl and jumps into a car that is on display to zoom out through shattering windows into the neon-lit boulevards of Las Vegas, it is all about generating a moment of surprise. When Teardrop, in the film Winter’s Bone by Debra Granik, grabs his niece Ree by the hair and tells her “I told you to shut up once with my mouth” we are caught off guard, and in that shocked opening we engage anew with the world. When Shakespeare writes “And pity, like a naked new-born babe…” he varies the um-pah, iambic rhythm in the last three syllables to surprise us, and then focuses our opened minds on that vivid closing … [Read more...]