Sunday, March 10, 2013

one hundred killer hurts

A couple of brief follow-up thoughts on earlier posts:
  • Memorable character though he is, Anton Chigurh from No Country For Old Men represents a fairly common fictional trope: the articulate and philosophical hired killer, able to discourse on a variety of subjects, or at least dispense some vaguely karmic bollocks about fate and coin tosses before popping a cap in your ass. Personally I blame Quentin Tarantino, for giving us numerous assorted badasses in Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction quite capable of rapping about pop culture matters or the tricky niceties of foot massage. That in turn spawned a swathe of increasingly ludicrous imitations in films like Shoot 'Em Up and this year's Killing Them Softly. I mean, I daresay there may have been one or two real-life paid killers who have been like this, but most of them are barely-sentient goons.
  • A weird footnote to the linked story above about the murder of Aamir Siddiqi is that Hazel and I were probably less than 200 yards away when it happened, as it was a warm and sunny spring day in April 2010 and we'd decided to pop over to Roath Park for a picnic. The picnic was lovely, but somewhat disturbed about halfway through by a large number of police cars and vans turning up, sirens blaring.
  • Going back to No Country For Old Men for a minute, you have to do the same sort of life expectancy/novel frequency calculation with Cormac McCarthy as I suggested with Joan Didion, i.e. since he's thus far produced ten novels in 47 years, and he'll be 80 this year, will we get another one?
  • The off-screen demise of Llewellyn Moss about three-quarters of the way through No Country For Old Men (it's similarly "off-screen" in the book), and the brief involvement of Carson Wells (the Woody Harrelson character in the film) before being summarily rubbed out both probably qualify for my imaginary list of Unexpected Deaths Of Leading Characters In Films. Or perhaps if not leading characters exactly, then people played by famous actors who you'd expect to have a prominent role. The other obvious ones that spring to mind are Jack Vincennes (played by Kevin Spacey) in LA Confidential, and Danny Witwer (played by Colin Farrell) in Minority Report, in two almost identical scenes. Oh, and of course Adolf Hitler in Inglourious Basterds. No doubt you can think of more; here are a couple of alternative lists
  • Lastly, a piece of cricket trivia related to the somewhat obscure factoids here, only with the obscurity rating dialled up an extra notch: when Ian Redpath bagged 171 against England at Perth in December 1970 he plugged that spot on the "missing scores" list, and bumped up the lowest entry on the list to 186, where it remained for just over 12 years. 171 remained the lowest score made by only one person for much longer, though, right up until this week in fact, when Hamish Rutherford of New Zealand (on his Test debut) became the second person to bag it during the first Test against England in Dunedin. The lowest entry on that particular list now becomes 218, bagged by Sanjay Manjrekar in December 1989 and no-one since. 

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