Friday, August 31, 2007


in the fabulous Wes Anderson film The Royal Tennenbaums, the character Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow in her best work) uses a lighter over which i have developed a pretty intense obsession (possibly, my obsession emerges from my experience of Margot's coolly-blasé smoking mode; is this simply about Paltrow's fine performance ?).

i managed to find the "flambeau," which is very beautiful but doesn't feature the same lighting mechanism as Margot's fab, slim, sleek, silver, minimalist-designed-single-action lighter (the flambeau's "lid" must first be raised . . . oh the torture!). i am simply obsessed with finding this lighter. anyone who can help will be rewarded (i don't know how, but i'll think of something).

so now i'm probably supposed to say something about the influence of film on certain "behaviors." it's no secret that film-smoking is seductive and that when i watch certain films, i want to smoke more than ever before (i smoke so rarely i don't even smoke). i actually remember the days when you could smoke in a movie theater; those were some pretty heady days for film spectation, health issues notwithstanding.

Slate recently ran a pretty good piece on the "jihad" against public smoking; i am using it in my class to demonstrate the "suprising reversal" move writers often make. it's interesting because in Utah, it's very, very challenging-to-nearly-impossible to imagine my students considering smoking and anything associated with it as beyond simple "evil." Let's see what we think about William Saletan's informative Slate piece in which he explains that tobacco can be used to grow an anthrax vaccine and another to fight diabetes but that the stigma associated with tobacco disallows development of this work.

but my point is this: i want that lighter. help me find it.


Kafkaz said...

The kind of lighter you are looking for has what is called a "single action ignition." So, if you look for a slim silver (or maybe it's nickel) lighter with a single action ignition (circa 70s, I'm guessing, but a reproduction would be fine) you should have it.

bonnie lenore kyburz said...

i will look for that.

have you seen Anderson's film? do you recall Margot's fabulous lighter? really stuck with me!

thanks for writing w/ the info, Kathy ;)

bonnie lenore kyburz said...

and, by the way, "single-action ignition"??!!!!! could that sound any cooler?

no wonder people want to smoke :)

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