Review

  • Warning: Spoilers
    Spoilers herein.

    I stumbled upon `No Such Thing' and was dumbfounded at its abstract richnesses. So I sought out other Hal Hartley projects. This one has the highest IMDB rating, whatever that means.

    Rottentomatoes gives `Thing' a 100 and this a 31! I suppose that is because the distance from the story is not so obvious -- it just looks like bad acting and the story might seem to make sense if you are not paying attention.

    We have Audry, a perfect vision, interested in doom, reading and being photographed, newly sexual. We have the hapless man in black: not a preacher but a mechanic who has paid for an unadjusted memory. Everybody else is props, including the driver/bum/'entertainer' and the photographer

    They engage in a dance of representation. This is an early work to be sure, with none of the ineluctably sophisticated layering of `Thing,' but you can still see an American Godard, a young Jarmusch in what is really his first open film.

    Adrienne Shelly is not required to act here, that's the point -- she is a `model.' But she is quite lovely as she comes through the camera.

    I recommend this to students of film narrative as an introduction to folding over nothing with an ironic neofabulism. Paved the way for later Lynch. Added to our ability to handle vision abstraction.

    Ted's evaluation: 3 of 4 -- Worth watching.