Monday, February 02, 2009

Nikola Tesla: You're familiar with the phrase "man's reach exceeds his grasp"? It's a lie: man's grasp exceeds his nerve. 


Nikola Tesla: Society tolerates only one change at a time. 

Nikola Tesla: Mr. Angier, have you considered the cost of such a machine? 
Robert Angier: Price is not an object. 
Nikola Tesla: Perhaps not, but have you considered the *cost*? 
Robert Angier: I'm not sure I follow. 
Nikola Tesla: Go home. Forget this thing. I can recognize an obsession, no good will come of it. 
Robert Angier: Why, haven't good come of your obsessions? 
Nikola Tesla: Well at first. But I followed them too long. I'm their slave... and one day they'll choose to destroy me. 
Robert Angier: If you understand an obsession then you know you won't change my mind. 


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Cutter: Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called "The Pledge". The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course... it probably isn't. The second act is called "The Turn". The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it, because of course you're not really looking. You don't really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn't clap yet. Because making something disappear isn't enough; you have to bring it back. That's why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call "The Prestige"." 

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Alfred Borden: Are you watching closely? 


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Nikola Tesla: Exact science, Mr Angier, is not an exact science. 

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Robert AngierYou never understood… why we did this. The audience knows the truth. The world is simple, miserable, solid all the way through. But if you can fool them, even for a second… then you can make them wonder. And you get to see something very special. … You really don’t know. … It was the look on their faces.

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Alfred Borden: Simple maybe, but not easy. 


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Alfred Borden: We both had half of a full life, which was somehow enough for us. But not for them. 

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Alfred Borden: What I didn't count on was that, when I incorporated this bloke into my act, he had complete power over me. 


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