Neil Jordan (the Irish filmmaker) has perfected the technique of using tragedy and comedy simultaneously—of making the spectator laugh and cry at the same time. I’ve been privileged to watch him perfect the technique: 10 years ago he made The Butcher Boy, a dramatic-tragic-black-comedy, which alternately makes you laugh and cry. More recently, his Breakfast On Pluto (the stylistic and spiritual sequel to The Butcher Boy) does both at once. These are uber-powerful moments: The comedy/tragedy, laugh/cry, happy/sad binaries are deconstructed and then fed back to us, us who are not used to such reconstructions, us who want to maintain our belief that happy is good and sad is bad, us who can’t emotionally handle the at-once impact of both, who are weakened and vulnerable when faced with such brilliant cinematic techniques. It’s a rush, almost a high, if you let it be: the thrill of a brand-new emotion to experience that challenges your stubborn compulsion to delineate boundaries between so-called “conflicting” emotions.