[R2] Words are greater than actions (sometimes)

I have been unusually quiet these past few days; that was primarily because I did not have an Internet connection in the first place. The wire that connected my ‘modem’ (and I encapsulate the word in quotation marks because the machine isn’t actually one yet serves a similar function) to my computer finally gave in. Try as I might to reconnect to the Internet, I was not able to.

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The tagline is indeed catchy.

Since I didn’t have Internet I found the absence of the connection to be a good time to watch some movies that I have backlogged. I haven’t watched movies for about three months already: I spent a lot of time dealing with my academic requirements, and my entertainments have been to resort to watching anime (again). It was in this vein of reasoning that I picked up They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, a film starred by Jane Fonda and Michael Sarrazin and one directed by the recently departed Sydney Pollack.

The film was set in the Great Depression, where no one could find jobs and everyone had to scrounge for money. The attractions of the day were ‘dance marathons,’ events where people danced for very long periods of time to compete for a huge cash prize at the time. People danced the whole time and only had ten-minute breaks for every two hours. Fighting fatigue, swollen feet, and stress, the couples (a boy and a girl, whether in a relationship or not) danced themselves away until a winner was declared. I won’t spoil the film: go watch it.

Like the period the film was set in, the film was also very depressing. It painted a picture of man’s inhumanity to man: people were treating the people that competed in the dance marathon simply as great spectacles, and nothing more. I won’t quote the ethical philosophy of Kant, Aristotle, or Mill, but even an ignorant person understands that treating people merely as objects isn’t a good thing at all.

The film doesn’t really dig into its characters; in fact, its mystique is one of its advantages. There are only suggestions. Yet these suggestions and the silence that accompanies them is so powerful that they have driven the characters of the film (notwithstanding whether these suggestions are true or not) into their final acts.

I was sad because what was budding up to be love between two people became the seed instead for both of their inevitable tragedies. The film is one big antithesis to the saying that ‘actions speak louder than words.’ I believe that in the case of these friends, the actions were clear. Both evidently cared for one another. Without affirmation, however, it transformed to become their doom.

I am sure quite a few of you haven’t watched the movie, but the tragedy of Robert and Gloria (the two primary protagonists) is akin to the enmity between Lelouch and Kallen. A friendship that was budding into love was jarred and deformed into an incomprehensible hatred, simply because Lelouch would not speak of the truth. Had Kallen been more perceptive, however, she would have observed that Lelouch’s personality was simply that of an altruistic liar. As by the time she kissed her he was already on a death wish, he could not drag her down with him: he could not speak. Kallen now wants to end Lelouch’s life.

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Of course, I actually approve of Kallen hating on Lelouch.

Actions speak louder than words. That is true. Words, however, have their own utility; actions have to be placed in a context of words: the actions must be understood for what they are, and words are present to do that. Words sometimes do speak louder than actions.

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11 Responses to “[R2] Words are greater than actions (sometimes)”

  1. Ryan A Says:

    Things can be spoken that cannot be done.

    Yea, the week after Pollack passed I caught Three Days of the Condor on TCM. Funny movie, reminded me a bit of Bebop, wrote an entry about it too.

  2. Baka-Raptor Says:

    It painted a picture of man’s inhumanity to man: people were treating the people that competed in the dance marathon simply as great spectacles, and nothing more.

    This dance marathon thing sounds like Kaiji.

  3. lelangir Says:

    Get thee to an anime bloggery?

  4. Michael Says:

    Baka-Raptor:

    I haven’t watched Kaiji yet. I will, soon, if my HD space will permit. x|

    lelangir:

    I am blogging about anime … >.>

    RyanA:

    True. Sydney Pollack is a great director. He also was a great actor. 🙂

  5. sage Says:

    tl;dr Kallen is braindead for not noticing Lelouch’s true intentions.

    In other news: The sky is blue.

  6. Camario Says:

    sage: And grass is green.

    But you know…I don’t think that’s quite it.

    It’s pretty clear that Lelouch hurt Kallen with his silence, his lack of words, but even if she had perceived he was just an “altruistic liar” all along…what does that really say about his “true intentions”, when the “lie” still consists of basically playing the role of archetypical JRPG villain no. 5?

    Even if you suspect the guy may be seeking something beyond world domination for its own sake, that’s still what he appears to be doing in practice, forcing you to beat him over the head with a sword and magic spam, so that you can learn the truth via last minute sympathetic exposition.

    I haven’t played any kind of JRPG in months, possibly a year or two, but the formula should remain unchanged. Which should go just fine with the sort of theatrics Geass likes to use (or abuse, your pick).

  7. Michael Says:

    Camario:

    It’s pretty clear, but if he said something he would only drag Kallen along with her. She doesn’t know that. What you’re saying is a very good point, but that still doesn’t convince me that Kallen has failed to see through who he really was despite all those times being together. o.O

  8. Nergal Says:

    In 24 hours, we’ll know the answer mate.

    Will it be a CC end ?

    WILL IT ?!

  9. Michael Says:

    Nergal:

    I’m actually refraining from posting because I lost sleep just thinking about Code Geass and my ship.

    RAGE

  10. C.I. Says:

    C.C and Lelouch will produce the greatest being to ever grace Code Geass. Like ever.

  11. i'm madly in love with lelouch Says:

    what about deaf-mutes who are born without limbs? how do they speak?

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