Brushes with Greatness: John Waters’ Moustache

Memory—well, my memory—will sometimes persuade me to remember my memories with a specificity of a snapshot stared at and studied for the pop quiz that I assume life will throw at me on any given school day.

John Waters’ moustache did not knock me out of the way on a Provincetown street one summer afternoon. But that is how I recall my memory of our split-second encounter. He didn’t say or do anything, my memory tells me; his pencil moustache did.
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On That Edge

I’m a damn sap.

Sometimes it’s the television ads. There are some that get me every time. “Aw, they’re getting a new kitten!” (Never mind what the ad is selling.) Or if a character in a movie—at any point in the movie—says something about wanting to “go home,” and at the end of the movie they walk through their front door and say they’re “home,” and the music swells and the credits start rolling, I’m a goner.
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What Dreams Are Made Of

Alfred Hitchcock is credited with coining the term “MacGuffin,” but not the thing itself, which has been around since people started telling stories to each other. In spy movies and thrillers, a MacGuffin is the object that sets the plot of the movie in motion; it’s usually a something people desire that the hero and his nemeses pursue, and that pursuit provides the film’s plot. The specific nature and form of the MacGuffin is usually unimportant to the overall plot. In plot terms, but not theological ones, the apple in Genesis is a MacGuffin.

Neither of the two most famous examples of a MacGuffin in film history appear in a Hitchcock film however, even though he used the device quite frequently in his many movies (he directed more than 50 films from the 1920s through the ’70s).
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