'(The Blog) With No Name', perhaps best described as a stream of notes and thoughts - 'remembered, recovered and (sometimes) invented'.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Deja vu - Scolari

Throughout this World Cup, as I followed the fortunes of Brazil with hope, then shock and then abject despair, their boss Luis Filipe Scolari kept giving me a strong sense of deja vu - there was this undismissable feeling of having seen his face somewhere long ago. No, not at the 2002 World cup when he coached Brazil to glory - 2002 is simply not long enough ago for someone my age!

I decided to investigate. Wiki, where I started, said "the media has been fond of pointing out Scolari's facial resemblance to actor Gene Hackman". Many other online pages mention this resemblance. But I knew this was not what I was looking for - today was the first time I heard about Gene Hackman! I did check the Wiki page on the actor and felt: "okay, there is a resemblance but Hackman's face has distinctly more pronounced angles than Scolari's".

There was plenty of time for just this kind of thing; so I fetched my old books and pored over them, especially those associated with strong visual memories of childhood. Among them was Readers' Digest 'Library of Modern Knowledge' - a tome of 1979 vintage that I had not opened in a good quarter of a century. And in one of its articles on visual arts, I saw exactly what I wanted, this picture of a marble bust of Roman Emperor Vespasian (1st Century AD)

Further online searches yielded this page which says Vespasian bears "more than a passing resemblance to Gene Hackman". But the same page says Vespasian also looks like a whole host of other characters ranging from Lyndon Johnson to some other XYZ.

But there are folks who have done much better! Here is yet another page that is titled: "emperor vespasian looks totally like gene hackman". And, a little below, is the confident comment by a certain Rogerio Esteves: "replace hackman with scolari and you are right!". . Absolutely, Senhor Esteves! 'Big Phil' just has to get rid of his moustache to actually become old Vesp (not to merely look like someone)!

Note: And at least one website says Vespasian and Scolari share the same birthday - November 9th - albeit nearly two millennia apart! Dampener: this is not corroborated by Wiki which says the emperor was born on 17th November in the year 9 AD. But we can argue further: mabye Vesp's birthday was 17th November as per the Gregorian calender; what if according to the Julian calender which was THE calender then, he was indeed born on the 9th? There are doubts - indeed, the date of the Russian revolution are 13 days apart in the two calenders (whereas 17th and 9th are only 8 apart). Wonder whether this mismatch of 5 days (=13-8) could be due to the difference between the ways the two calenders treat century years. Whatever, even if the dates of birth are not the same, they are quite close.

And, I just noted, this is the first post in a very long time here that has no connection at all with Kerala, oops!

Here is another bit of face-matching:

Question: Is there any resemblance between Roger Federer and super Physicist Edward Witten? The answer must be a very dismissive NO, isn't it?

But there is a certain actor by name Michael Stuhlbarg (I know him a lot better than Hackman!). His youthful pictures bear 'more than a passing resemblance' to Fed; and in 'A Serious Man' (thanks to Vimal, I recently saw this very interesting film), he plays a Jewish Theoretical Physicist who is (to me) at least visually, very consciously modelled on Witten. And as they say in Physics textbooks, I leave it as an exercise to the Reader to verify this proposition.