Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

Question: Where were the children when the house was burning?

Ashlee Ambuehl

Chosen answer: On the beach, where Mr. Poe comes to inform them of the fire as the movie starts.

Question: As we know, the magnifying glass in Olaf's tower started the Baudelaire fire. This is the same tool that Klaus uses to burn up the marriage certificate. If the magnifying glass was powerful enough to cause the Baudelaire mansion to burst into flames, which was 37 blocks away, why didn't the stage burst into flames as well?

Chosen answer: A magnifying glass concentrates all the light that goes through it at its focal point, and it is this focal point that needs to be placed on the object which one wants to set on fire. The distance of the focal point to the lens depends on the magnifying glass characteristics, and it is more than likely that Count Olaf chose a glass where the focal point would be situated exactly "37 blocks" away from his house, that is, at the Baudelaire's mansion. When trying to set on fire an object much, much closer, the glass would concentrate much, much less energy, and would only be able to set on fire easily burnt objects, such as thin paper.

AnthonyA

Question: Why did Lemony Snicket tie the book in a rope by the clock?

Chosen answer: This is a theme in the books. It is too dangerous for Snicket to deliver the books himself, so the books get lifted up and delivered via the rope.

Question: Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, is a born and raised American, he writes books in English. Now why, in this movie, does the letter the children receive in the end contain the text "Groeten Uit Antwerpen" which is Dutch/Belgian? Maybe the answer is obvious if you've read the book, but I haven't.

Chosen answer: The children receive a letter from their parents, who are on vacation in Europe (in this case Antwerp, Belgium - the phrase means "greetings from Antwerp"). They thought it was lost or never sent. It has nothing to do with the author.

Zaphod Beeblebrox

Question: How come, Aunt Josephines house collapses, yet reappears later, when we see Count Olaf having to redo the tasks the children faced. Surely they didn't rebuild it! It looks exactly the same, anyway.

Hamster Premium member

Chosen answer: They probably built a simple replicant of the house. They wouldn't rebuild every detail just to punish Olaf, especially since it was just going to fall down again.

Question: I'm still confused about something - what exactly was the whole point of the spy glasses?

Matthew Gem Premium member

Chosen answer: The spy glasses are not explained in the books, but it seems that these are symbols of the fact that they are in VFD, the secret organization we learn about later on in the series. Both Dr. Montgomery and Aunt Josephine's husband and brother-in-law, the Anwhistle brothers, are implied to have been a part of VFD.

Question: Where and when does Klaus find the drawing depicting the lens of Count Olaf?

AnthonyA

Chosen answer: Right before Aunt Josephine's house falls apart. The door to Ike's room is blown open and the drawing flies into Klaus's hands.

Brad Premium member

Question: When the evil Count Olaf disguises himself at Captain Sham, how did he end up with the peg leg? To get the children's money, did he literally cut off his own leg to be rid of the identifying tattoo on his ankle and also create a more effective disguise?

Chosen answer: Of course not. It's common practice in theater (and movies) to simply tie the lower leg to the thigh and attach a peg at the knee.

Xofer

Question: Is there any trivia behind the fact that the Baudelaire's home is in Boston, a detail not mentioned in the book?

Chosen answer: No. It's just the town they picked. The only reason they picked a specific location at all was because the house had to be somewhere since they get a letter at the end.

Question: How did their Auntie know about all the things that would happen to them? I.e. the fridge could crush them, the cooker could catch fire, the door handle could splinter into 1 million pieces etc?

Chosen answer: It wasn't really a matter of *knowing* that those things would come true. She was a paranoid elderly woman, given to flights of fantasy about awful things that MIGHT happen, however unlikely. The joke is that all those things did occur in exactly the way she described, which is why the kids were so shocked.

Rooster of Doom

Question: In the scene when Sunny is walking around the reptile room and is about to find the Venomous Viper, Lemony Snicket says "witnesses from that day." Because he says "witnesses", is it implying that the children are no longer alive to tell their story?

Chosen answer: Not specifically, in fact, the witnesses could be the children themselves. It is more of a manner of speaking, and if anything it is just leaving the question of whether they are alive open.

Question: In the audio commentary with the director and 'the real Lemony Snicket' on the DVD, who is voicing Lemony Snicket? Is it the actual writer or a stand-in, which is also plausible, seeing as how the whole commentary is like a long joke.

Chosen answer: It's the actual author of the Lemony Snicket books: Daniel Handler.

Sierra1 Premium member

Question: What year or period is the film (and the books for that matter), set in? Eg. a certain year, or a period, eg. 80's 90's?

Hamster Premium member

Chosen answer: Like the books, it's really up to your imagination. Mr. Poe mentions a fax machine, yet all the cars are pre-1970's models. There are car phones, but they are ridiculously old fashioned. Did anyone really ever have reel-to-reel tape players in their cars? The books give the same aura of occurring at no specific time (a blacksmith shop and a computer repair shop on the same street, telegraph machines and advanced computers both existing). It's up to you as a viewer and reader to decide.

Question: What shape is the mouth of Curdled Cave supposed to represent? It's too odd to be a coincidence, & the camera is focused on it quite a bit.

Chosen answer: If you look carefully, you can see that it is an eye, which is an ongoing theme in the movie. It is mentioned in the audio commentary.

Question: In the beginning, during the Paramount Pictures logo, we softly hear a female voice singing a short, creepy tune. This sounds a lot like something I heard in a black-and-white horror film from the 50's, but I'm not sure which. It sounds like something from the original "House on Haunted Hill" or "13 Ghosts" or one of those other horror "classics." Does anyone know if this was intentional or if it was just a coincidence?

Chosen answer: The voice is just a few notes from the opening song with the littlest elf sung in a really high pitch.

Question: Where might I be able contact Brad Silberling? I have tried searching the Web and Paramount's website with no success.

Chosen answer: You should be able to contact him care of Paramount. Find the Paramount address, and write that on an envelope. And at the top, simply add "Brad Silberling C/O" (with "C/O" next to "Paramount"). If/when they receive it, they should forward it to him.

Cubs Fan Premium member

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More for Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

Quotes

Count Olaf: I must say, you're a gloomy looking bunch. Why are you so glum?
Klaus Baudelaire: Our parents just died.
Count Olaf: [nonchalantly.] Ah, yes. How very dreadful. Wait, let me do that one more time. Give me the line again while it's fresh in my mind.
Klaus Baudelaire: Our parents just died?
[Olaf pretends to be shocked.].

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Mistakes

In the scene where the Baudelaires and Aunt Josephine are looking in the photo album, Violet turns a page. You can see the photo Aunt Josephine does not want the orphans to see, but when Violet turns to the next page, the same photo is there.

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Trivia

If you look at the poster advertising the play "The Marvelous Marriage," you'll see it was written by Al Funcoot. "Al Funcoot" is an anagram of Count Olaf. This is a common theme in the Lemony Snicket Books.

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