Shoulda, Coulda, Oughta

Immigrants keep warm by a fire at dawn after spending a night alongside the U.S.-Mexico border fence on December 22, 2022 in El Paso, Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.)

Dear Reader (Including those of you who are just reading this to avoid your crazy uncle’s holiday rantings),

My favorite scene in Christopher Best’s A Mighty Wind is a bit obscure. Ed Begley Jr. is kibitzing in the control room for the big TV special that’s about to start very soon. He starts telling the director how great it would be to have a crane. “Another great thing would be one of those shots where you pull back to see the enormity of the event and the venue—would be a crane. Do we have a crane standing by?”

“No, we don’t have a crane.”

Begley keeps talking about how great it would be to have a crane, as if the key to getting one is persuading the director that it would be good to have one. “You know those swooping shots where it goes over the audience and hammers in on a shot of one of the musicians playing?”

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