Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Better with each passing day

There's a popular Latin American saying about Carlos Gardel, who died
in 1935: "Cada dia canta mejor." It means, as this
<http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129783483> NPR
piece reminds us, that Gardel sings better with each passing day, that
his music ages like a fine wine. As a native speaker of Spanish, I can
only agree.

I saw Casablanca the other day, for the first time in years. And I was
blown away, again, and for the umpteenth time. Every line gets better
every time I hear it. Even the lines that aren't in the movie, like
"play it again, Sam." Has any movie shaped the language more than
Casablanca? When was the last time that a classic movie, the locus
classicus of dozens of phrases and idioms, was made? Is it because
movies have been superseded by TV series in the American cultural
repertoire, as A.O. Scott suggested in the Times the other day:


Or because adult movies (no, not that kind) are a thing of the past
(or almost), as Matt Zoller Zeits argues in Salon,