Tuesday, January 28, 2014

True Detective Speak

HBO series created and written by Nic Pizzolatto, left (author of the novel Galveston, which he has adapted for a film).

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, below (Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre).

The dialogue is so good in True Detective, it almost hurts, as a fellow admirer put it.  Below are some highlights from the first season. Woody Harrelson plays Martin Hart; Matthew McConaughey is Rust Cohle.

Spoiler alert--watch the episodes first!

The Long Bright Dark  (S1, Ep 1)

Rust:  I get a bad taste in my mouth out here.  Aluminum, ash, like you can smell the psychosphere.
Marty:  I got an idea.  Let's make the car a place of silent reflection from now on.  Okay?

Rust:  This place is like somebody's memory of a town, but the memory's fading.  It's like there was never anything but jungle.
Marty:  Stop saying shit like that.  It's unprofessional.

Rust:  Most of the time I was convinced that I lost it.  There are other times, I thought I was mainlining the secret truth of the universe.

Seeing Things (S1, Ep2)

Rust:  I mean it's like...if something's got your name on it, like a bullet or a nail in the road....Shit.  Sorry, I drift.

Rust:  That's just drug insanity.  That's not this.  This has scope.

Marty:  You're lookin' for narrative...build a story day after day.

Marty:  I get a connotation bein' implied here about my wife?
Rust:  You say that's wife, that high tide you're walking in with?

The Locked Room (S1, Ep3)

Rust:  You just look at somebody and think like they think.  Negative capability.

Maggie Hart:  You guys don't give things a chance.  I don't know why that is.
Rust:  That's because we know what we want and we don't mind being alone.

Rust:  The world needs bad men, Marty.  We keep the other bad men from the door.

Who Goes There (S1, Ep4)

Rust:  So...enough with this self-improvement, penance, hand-wringing shit.  Let's go to work.
Marty:  Fuck!  Hell of a beside manner you got, Rust.
Rust:  Ah, you know bein' stupid's different than callin' in sick.  And this is a bar, not a fuckin' bedside.
Marty:  ...You are like the Michael Jordan of being a son of a bitch.

The Secret Fate of All Life  (S1, Ep5)

Dewall to Rust Cohle:  I can see your soul at the edges of your eyes.  It's corrosive.  Like acid.  You got a demon, little man.  And I don't like your face.  It makes me want to do things to it...there's a shadow on you, son.

Reggie Ledoux:  You'll do this again.  Time is a flat circle.
Rust Cohle:  Listen, Nietzsche.  Shut the fuck up!

Rust Cohle (on his interviewing technique):  Look, everybody knows there's something wrong with them.  They just don't know what it is.  Everybody wants confession. Everybody wants some cathartic narrative for it, the guilty especially.  Oh, but everybody's guilty.

Marty Hart:  See.  Infidelity is one kind of sin, but my true failure was inattention.  I understand that now.

Rust Cohle:  This is a world where nothing is solved.  Someone once told me, time is a flat circle.  Everything we've ever done or will do we're gonna do over and over and over again.

Rust Cohle:  In eternity, where there is no time, nothing can grow.  Nothing can become. Nothing changes.  So death created time to grow the things that it couldn't kill.  And you are reborn, but into the same life that you've always been born into.

Click here for a link to an interview with Pizzolatto about this episode and TD as metafiction.

Haunted Houses (S1, Ep6)

Maggie Hart:  I mean...Rust knew exactly who he was, and there was no talking him out of it....You know, Marty's big problem was that he never knew himself.  So he never really knew what to want.

Marty Hart:  Know what it's like being your partner, huh?  Fuck you.
Rust Cohle:  No buddy.  Without me, there is no you.

Maggie Hart on Rust:  I said something about forgiveness, and he said that there was no such thing as forgiveness.  That people just have short memories.

After You've Gone  (S1, Ep7)

Rust:  You look like you're doing all right.
Marty:  Father time has his way with us all.  Looks like you must have pissed him off.

Rust:  I'm telling you it's a fucking family thing.  That's what I mean when I talk about the sprawl, Marty.
Marty:  ...all this--this--the "sprawl," as you call it, which I call conjecture.  Do you know how fucking crazy that sounds?  It's like you been gone too long, like you maybe told yourself this story and kept drinking it till you believed it.
Rust:  Marty.  I had my time when I wondered if this was all in my head.  That time passed....I won't avert my eyes.  Not again.

Rust:  Life's barely long enough to get good at one thing.
Marty:  If that long.
Rust:  Yeah.  So be careful what you're good at.

The LT:  Oh, business gotten so bad you gotta become a writer?
Marty: Nope.  I always wanted to do it.  I just never had the time.

Rust:  Fuck.  I don't like this place.  Nothing goes in the right direction....My life's been a circle of violence and degradation as long as I can remember.  I'm ready to tie it off.

Form and Void (S1, Ep8) - Season Finale

Rust:  Look, as sentient meat, however, illusory our identities are, we craft those identities by making value judgments.  Everybody judges, all the time time.  Now you got a problem with that, you're living wrong.
Marty:  What's "scented meat"?

Marty:  Hey, I brought you something.
Rust:  Are we gettin' engaged?
Marty:  If we were getting engaged, I'd have got a nicer ribbon.

Marty:  Feel better?  Your head, I mean.
Rust:  Ah, I shouldn't even fuckin' be here, Marty.
Marty:  I believe "no shit" is the proper response to that observation.
Rust:  Nah, I didn't mean like that.  It's something else.
Marty:  Well, so.  Talk to  me, Rust.
Rust:  There was a moment--I know when I was under in the dark--that something--whatever I'd been reduced to, you know, not even consciousness.  It was a vague awareness in the dark, and I could--I could feel my definitions fading.  And beneath that...darkness, there was another kind.  It was--it was deeper, warm--you know, like a substance I could feel, man, and I knew, I knew my daughter waited for me there.  So clear.  I could feel her.  I could feel a piece of my pop, too.  It was like I was a part of everything that I ever loved, and we were all, the three of us, just fadin' out.  And all I had to do was let go.  And I did.  I said, "Darkness, yeah, yeah."  And I disappeared.  But I could still feel her love there, even more than before.  Nothing....There was nothing but that love.  Then I woke up.

Rust:  It's just one story.  The oldest.
Marty:  What's that?
Rust:  Light versus dark.
Marty:  Well...it appears to me that the dark has a lot more territory.
Rust:  Yeah.  You're right about that....You know, you're looking at it wrong, the sky thing.
Marty:  How's that?
Rust:  Well, once there was only dark.  If you ask me, the light's winning.


For a wonderful parody of True Detective Speak, check out Bobby Finger's True Detective Conversations!

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