a juxtaposition of giraffes

Near the end of the Italian film “the Great Beauty,” a magician claims to be able to make a giraffe disappear. The protagonist, Jep Gambardella, who has been lovingly wandering the streets of Rome, is silenced by the beauty of a giraffe standing in a courtyard. Eventually, he asks if the magician can really make a giraffe disappear, because if this is true, he would like the magician to make him vanish. The giraffe is shifting from foot to foot, watching the two men talk. “It’s a trick,” the magician says. “It’s just a trick.” Jep turns away for a few seconds, and when he turns back around, the giraffe has disappeared.

In the American movie, “The Hangover III,” a movie that can be watched while you are doing several other things at the same time, one of the characters has just bought a giraffe and is driving on freeway — hauling it in a trailer. He is child-like happy. The giraffe’s long neck and head is sticking up above the trailer. The car drives safely under several overpasses but then drives under a low overpass and the giraffe is decapitated. Its head causes a multi-car pileup. The driver turns around to see the accident and shrugs it off — oblivious to what has really happened.

For the record, I prefer the Italian giraffe.

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