THE BIGAMIST

1953, Directed by Ida Lupino, who also plays Phyllis. Since the film is told mostly through narrated flashback, I will also begin at the end by describing the courtroom scene in which this tightly wrought personal black and white narrative is integrated into the justice system. As the judge hears the defendant’s lawyer plea for mercy on the grounds of “love” (being in this case a synonym for the complex interplay of self evaluative epiphanies and the vague desires of one or more superfluous parties to be ‘needed’ once the alienating mechanics of capitalistic self sufficiency have become routinized in…

Kicking Glass

Live Free or Die Hard Too, With A Vengeance First, a plane lands into a shimmering pool of melting sun- someone has arrived somewhere. The next shot after this is through a window, two men, the environment reflecting glassily on their faces, talk about “making fists with your toes”. From this point on DIE HARD takes transparent panes as its primary visual metaphor, and the things that a buff man can do to these surfaces as its basic depiction of action. Throughout the film, John McClane and his adversaries stare blankly through it, furiously smash it, frantically struggle to smash…

Psychedelic Cop

  First of all, the title is misleading. Dee, the Chinese syllable in question, is more psychotic than psychedelic, in that the latter term refers explicitly to drug use and throughout the movie the cop is clean as a licked badge when he’s not drunk. That three identities dwell unknown to each other within him makes him both, however. Simultaneity, the symbolic fluidity of identity: these are concepts experienced most fully as revelations while under the influence of drugs, I’d argue. I’d perhaps struggle hopelessly to back up my argument with something other than a desperately warm smile and a…