The Search For The Holy Grail
With so much talk about how we all must have the latest craze, or the hottest fad, or whatever BS panacea someone is selling you, I cannot help but be reminded of a scene from a movie I saw recently.
There’s a film titled ‘Yi Yi (2000)’, directed by Edward Yang, which begins with a family wedding and then follows this family as each family member goes through their own adventure in the film. However, the scene I am reminded of in particular is a scene towards the end of the film with the father, N.J., and another Japanese character, Mr Ota, at a Japanese restaurant.
To provide some context, N.J.’s business is not doing well and they’re looking for someone to invest in to save their company. Mr Ota is one of the candidates that N.J.’s colleagues are debating on investing in and N.J. has been assigned to get to know Mr Ota to see if he’d be a worthy investment. By this stage in the film, N.J. and Mr Ota have gotten to know each other fairly well and view each other as friends.
And in this scene, N.J. and Mr Ota are eating dinner together and having a good time when Mr Ota wants to show N.J. something. He gets up and asks the manager of the restaurant for a deck of cards. Mr Ota then comes back with a deck of cards and proceeds to tell the story of when he was little he saw a magician perform a magic trick and was inspired to become a magician himself, whilst also proceeding to perform the same trick for N.J.. N.J. picks a card from the deck and Mr Ota shuffles the cards, whilst continuing to tell the story of meeting this magician when he was a little boy, how the magician stood him down and how he decided to learn how to do card tricks anyway. He practiced and practiced and practiced, and Mr Ota, despite being rejected by the magician, learnt to do the magic trick, revealing the card that N.J. had picked from the deck.
But what is telling about this scene is that Mr Ota explains how he was able to perform the magic trick. He goes on to tell N.J. that he was only able to perform the trick by knowing where every single card is in the deck at all times. N.J. then proceeds to see if he is telling the truth by asking him what the top card of the deck is, which Mr Ota answers correctly, and then the next card, which Mr Ota answers correctly again, and so on, a few times, until N.J. is convinced that Mr Ota knows where every single card is in the deck.
Why this scene is relevant to the film is because Mr Ota is trying to tell N.J. that he thinks that his business partners are searching for a magician, but, as Mr Ota explains, there is no trick, there is no magician, but that if they work together he believes they can do something great.
The sooner you realise there is no trick, there’s no holy grail, no panacea that will save you, the sooner you can get started with remembering the deck of cards.
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Continuing my preparations for the release of my film, Śūnyatā, which is looking more and more likely that it’ll be released in July.
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