Like a circle in a spiral, like wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning wheel
Michel Legrand, and Marilyn and Alan Bergman (1969)
The sound backdrop to Fay Dunnaway and Steve McQueen’s encounter in The Thomas Crown Affair hauntingly evokes an alternative notion of
Music and stories reveal another ambiguity in time.
In the west we are used to our world having a beginning, as with an act of a god, or in a big bang, it then runs for a period, and ends in a grand dénouement, or maybe a whimper; so a line is formed. In the Far East, circles are preferred: time is essentially exhibited in the cycles of days,
A page on dusk.
of seasons, of generations. We see such wheels repeated internally; psychologically linear cause and effect start to circle one another, leaving us with no agreed beginning: think of ‘The Troubles’, or the disintegration of a marriage. Metaphysicians offer compromise: A page on the idea of explanations and the problem of encompassing contradictions. end-on, a spiral looks like a circle, and a “slinky” (for example) can also be seen as a single strand of metal. Line, circle, spiral, it is viewpoint Viewpoint is the crucial element here, it is vital to seeing how explanations work. that is critical.
The sound track for the film was composed by Micael Legrand, with words by Marilyn and Alan Bergman. Noel Harrison sang it in the film and he can be heard on Youtube, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEhS9Y9HYjU Others have their own versions. The writers were not in the least concerned with Chinese ideas of time. The cylindrical compressed helical spings called 'Slinkys' were inveted in the 1940s and have entertained children of all ages ever since with their capacity to walk down stairs.
The photograph was taken under the main railway station in central Glasgow where the line crosses the River Clyde.
Above, hovering on blue introduces a link: click to go, move away to stay.