Sunday, June 18, 2006

Open Conversation

Many months ago, I blogged about the movie technique of "slow motion dropping", and referred to Gankutsuou and FACE/OFF. Anyway, now I'd like to mention "open conversations", which I like hearing, and also would be interesting if they were applied in real life.

An Open Conversation is a conversation where both parties are open with each other, with the whole truth laid out in front. For example, if two people are in a singles-bar, instead of being nervous in asking each other out or starting a conversation, they can have an open conversation - if they both know they're nervous, they can cancel that and just talk openly without being nervous.

There's also another thing, and that's the whole truth, which they can joke about... ...

For example, in "Hitch" (starring Will Smith), near the beginning, Will Smith meets the other lead woman in the movie. They start talking, and although I don't remember everything, she started with "So what's going to happen now?" And Will Smith responds "Well, I'm going to sit down now, start a conversation with you. You will think I'm like every other man trying to score a date with you, and I will try to act very gentle-man like, to make you think that I'm different than the other men."

"But that won't work," says the woman - "I will just see through the BS. So instead, how'bout instead you don't act all nice and instead throw me a line or something?"

"Well, that also won't work - you'll just see through it - so there's no way I can win," Will Smith says.

"Well that's a problem, isn't it?" she says.

And so it continues. Both sides know exactly what will happen, and then they discuss it openly, and then they can have a real conversation after that without any masks or nervousness.

A second example, that is much different, has some sarcastic truth in it - I'm referring to Memento, when Leonard Shelby first meets Natalie (in the movie, not chronologically).

Leonard asks "so you have information for me?" - and he asks it in such a confident way... and Natalie responds with "Is that what your note says?" And Leonard blinks, grins, and says "yeah."

So this is kind of funny, but they both acknowledge his weakness, and that certain grin shows the funniness of it, and the possible flaw of it all. So it's a kind of funny type of open conversation.

My last example has a certain funny double-truth kind of thing, and it's from the first episode of Firefly, at the end, between Mal and Jayne.

First, Mal asks a pretty honest, yet suggestive question. A bad guy offered Jayne a deal that would involve turning against the captain, so Mal asks:

"How come you didn't turn on me, Jayne?"

That's a pretty open, honest question. It's like asking someone "Why don't you love me?" - I don't think people ask a question like that too often. Anyway, Jayne answers with "Money wasn't good enough."

Mal responds with "What happens when it is?"

And Jayne calmly responds "Well... that will be an interesting day."

"I imagine it will."

"That will be an interesting day" is a pretty open, truthful line. And then the captain didn't get mad or anything, he just acknowledged it as a fact. It's... such an open conversation, with much truth, and that makes it pretty funny.


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