In early Chinese thought, heaven was considered "round" and earth "square." Westerners from St. Anselm to Kant taught that round and square are opposites. I will explore the connections between east and west (round and square) in a blog that takes seriously the little details of our lives. Round and square; east and west—never the twain shall meet (it has been said). Except when they do, and that is the whole point of this blog.
From Round to Square (and back)
For The Emperor's Teacher, scroll down (↓) to "Topics." It's the management book that will rock the world (and break the vase, as you will see). Click or paste the following link for a recent profile of the project: http://magazine.beloit.edu/?story_id=240813&issue_id=240610
A new post appears every day at 12:05* (CDT). There's more, though. Take a look at the right-hand side of the page for over four years of material (2,000 posts and growing) from Seinfeld and country music to every single day of the Chinese lunar calendar...translated. Look here ↓ and explore a little. It will take you all the way down the page...from round to square (and back again). *Occasionally I will leave a long post up for thirty-six hours, and post a shorter entry at noon the next day.
This is the scene that brings the movie full circle, and I consider it here the "ending" to the circuitous events set in motion by the opening scene. Note the symmetry of cars, cold, and music. I have two versions of the scene below. The first gives almost nothing away; the second does. The only problem with the second one (if you have seen the movie before) is that the sound and picture are a little bit "off."
In any case, here is Marge Gunderson—life poet and supercop.
This is followed by a lackluster "chase" scene and then the real ending. Fargo is often remembered for several short, gruesome scenes (notably the woodchipper, which I have never found particularly "gruesome," even though I am a complete wimp when it comes to movie images). The conclusion takes it to a "new level," though. It is hard not to think of the Coen brothers as sentimentalists in the final scene.
Of all the curve balls in the film, I never saw this coming (and that is entirely a good thing—it is a terrific ending).