Friday, September 01, 2006

Forest Whitaker Quote of the Month: September 2006

When I needed a Keith David quote last September, I turned to Blue in the Face, the backstory of which can be found in that year-old post. For this September, I'm using Smoke, which is the film that made Blue in the Face possible. In addition to being a lovely film, it has some great performances by Harvey Keitel, William Hurt and a very young Harold Perrineau as the intelligent but shifty Rashid (I'm so used to seeing him on Lost as a grown man, that it's freaky to watch this film I remember so well and realize that it's over ten years old).

Also in the film, of course, is Forest Whitaker. He plays Cyrus, a mechanic that Rashid has tracked down and discovers to be his long lost father. Without letting him know who he is, Rashid forms a friendship with Cyrus. When he finally becomes comfortable around Cyrus, Rashid asks him about his artificial arm. As with many of the characters in Smoke, he takes this cue to tell the whole story, and he does so with passion and feeling.

Cyrus: "Twelve years ago, God looked down on me and said, 'Cyrus, you're a bad, stupid, selfish man. First, I'm going to fill your body with spirits, and then I'm going to put you behind the wheel of a car, and then I'm going to make you crash that car and kill the woman who loves you. But you, Cyrus, I'm going to let you live, because living is alot worse than death. And just so you don't forget what you did to that poor girl, I'm going to rip off your arm and replace it with a hook. If I wanted to, I could rip off both your arms and both your legs, I'm going to be merciful and just take off your left arm. Every time you look at your hook, I want you to remember what a bad, stupid, selfish man you are. Let that be a lesson to you, Cyrus, a warning to mend.'"

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