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Friday, August 24, 2012

Whole Wide World

This week, to begin the new school year, my class on "Global Politics Through Film" viewed "Stranger Than Fiction." If you haven't seen it, Will Ferrell plays an IRS tax auditor named Harold Crick. Roger Ebert explains why Crick turns to a literature professor in order to understand different kinds of narratives.
Harold begins to hear a voice in his head, one that is describing his own life -- not in advance, but as a narrative that has just happened. He seeks counsel from a shrink (Linda Hunt) and convinced he is hearing his own life narrative, seeks counsel from Jules Hilbert, a literature professor (Dustin Hoffman). Hilbert methodically checks off genres and archetypes and comes up with a list of living authors who could plausibly be writing the "narration." He misses, however, Kay Eiffel (Emma Thompson), because he decides Harold's story is a comedy, and all of her novels end in death. However, Eiffel is indeed writing the story of Harold's life.
Ah yes, the old comedy-versus-tragedy argument.

Anyway, I'm posting the following video because the song "(I'd Go the) Whole Wide World" by Wreckless Eric figures prominently in a key scene. Since watching the film on Tuesday, it has been an earworm that I cannot escape:

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