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The movie whose name I couldn't recall in 170-01 today is Last Action Hero. It's longer than it should be but still a lot of fun, I think. By far the best minute-and-a-half or so is this clip, in which the protagonist, a young boy named Danny whose hero is the action-movie star Jack Slater (Arnold Schwarzenegger), is watching the Laurence Olivier film version of Hamlet. Impatient with Hamlet's indecisiveness, he fantasizes how a particular moment in the play might have unfolded with Slater in the lead role.

We're seeing here the power of the imagination to overcome the restrictions of a reality that is itself a product of imagination. I suspect Carroll would like that.

A particularly nice touch: Danny's fantasy is realized not in an ad hoc way but through the conventions of a particular cinematic genre: the trailer.

 

1 Comment

  1. Unknown User (djd10)

    Let me just begin by saying that I would definitely watch that version of Hamlet

    "We're seeing here the power of the imagination to overcome the restrictions of a reality that is itself a product of imagination. I suspect Carroll would like that."

    It is interesting to think about the way in which our reality is shaped by our imagination which is then limited and shaped by that reality which we supposedly imagined. Whether or not you fancy yourself a creative type, you are immersed in a sort of actualized fantasy of a collective imagination called culture. Culture is constantly in flux and it flows with or without your presence; it has flowed before your birth and will continue after you die. It is a sort of living story, being constructed and maintained through language (which operates as a sign system dependent upon imagination as well).

    I think it should be noted that the power of the imagination should not be underestimated. Its implications are much larger than merely escaping the more mundane aspects of life–it is the lens through which we view life. Imagination isn't just the tool of the artist, it is the art of thought itself. 

     It has been estimated that, on average, we spend 33% of our lives sleeping and 20% daydreaming. Discoveries in neuroscience also claim that we recreate a memory every time we access it, therefore using our imagination every time we recall a memory. 

    So much depends on imagination

    and our imaginations depend on so much.

    I wonder what would happen, if even for just a day, we all thought of peace.

    I can only imagine.