The Idea Of Order At Key West by Wallace Stevens has been on my mind lately. It may be the best examination of the relationship between art and life that I've ever seen.
The lights in the fishing boats at anchor there,
As the night descended, tilting in the air
Mastered the night and portioned out the sea,
Fixing emblazoned zones and fiery poles,
Arranging, deepening, enchanting night.
Art, like the lights, works in the context of of the world in which we live.
Anyway, I followed a link to this blog, which I'd never seen before and which is too self-aggrandizingly nerdy even for me. It retorts to some critiques of Tarantino's hermetically sealed films in part by comparing Tarantino's work to Midsummer Night's Dream, which, the blogger argues, catered to theatre nerds by being about theatre in the same way that Tarantino caters to film nerds by making movies that are only about film.
But while Midsummer has a theatre plot thread, it nests theatre within a broader social context, and then nests that social context within the greater context of The Fairy Realm, which I read as the natural world viewed through an anthropomorphic lens.
Midsummer's rude mechanicals are there for the theatre nerds, no doubt, but the play isn't an act of total nerd indulgence. Shakespeare isn't putting foil on the windows, metaphorically speaking. His is an outward bound, omnivorous and expansive intellect, so when he includes some fun for the theatre nerds it isn't an exercise in keeping nerds inside a narrow nerd-ass comfort zone.
In closing, a quote from Eric Rohmer, translated by Carol Volk, from the introductory interview in The Taste For Beauty, a collection of Rohmer's essays (Rohmer is one of my favorite filmmakers, and an expert at navigating between reality and the artifice of film):
"...cinema has more to fear from its own cliches than from those of the other arts. Right now, I despise, I hate, cinephile madness, cinephile culture. In 'Le Celluloid et le marbre" I said that it was very good to be a pure cinephile, to have no culture, to be cultivated only by the cinema. Unfortunately, it has happened: there are now people whose culture is limited to the world of film, who think only through film, and when they make films, their films contain beings who only exist through film, whether the reminiscence of old films or the people in the profession...film is the art that can feed on itself the least. It is certainly less dangerous for the other arts."