Dark Harbor (1998)

Directed by Adam Coleman Howard
Starring Alan Rickman, Polly Walker, Norman Reedus.
Tagline: A drifter. An affair. A murder.



#1:

Wax: The movie is like, 'Er. Symbolism. Heh heh heh.' Check out the colours. I get the feeling that it all MEANS something, if I only knew what. The colours of the clothes and stuff. And every prop and so forth. The dialogue is pretty absurd. especially in their wacky accents. Norman whispers every line, basically. He's sort of adorably trashy next to super-posh Polly and stiff upper lip snarky Alan. He's like an alley cat with a torn ear in a Siamese cattery.

"It was a dark and stormy night..."

Rossetti: It looks like New England and badly done fake rain!

This is a tiny movie. In the credits, there are six actors listed and only three have more than, like, three lines, so it's very intense that way. It's more like a play.

It could be a poorly done Albee or Miller.

Is Alan actually attempting an... American accent?

Yes, he is. Sort of. Badly.

We don't see Alan's reaction shot to Norman, just hers.

They're hiding his smug muahahaha face. He's rubbing his hands together and twirling his moustache.

Norman looks straight up to Alan. Poor Alan! He's burning with sexual tension!

All of their accents sound off.

Notice how after a while, Polly gives up on the accent altogether.

Norman's LIGHTING A CIGARETTE!

Yep. He smokes constantly. It's probably significant.

The whole accent thing is killing me.

Norman doesn't speak much. They probably told him to shut up with his actual real American accent.

Polly sounds British all the time.

They could've just set it in England and, like, made Norman do a bad Brit accent instead. That way it'd be like... one less bad accent.

Probably would've found a better audience. I think something about the motel room reminds Alan of his time with Norman, which is why he has to get out right away. Maybe the curtains or hideous bedpsread. His accent is killing me. He gets some of the vowels right, but then others slip by. Hers is blatantly still English, so it doesn't bother me as much.

That's a lot of thigh. How old is she?

Polly Walker is just a couple years older than Norman, but he looks like a child, so.

Alan sure likes chicken. Haha! He forgot about the food!

That's when you know he's not really into the whole het thing. He's got a hot lady crawling all over him and he's like, 'no, wait, food.'

OK, Alan's doing a pretty good job but he keeps on forgetting to fully pronounce his h's.

Straight from the car to the boat, eh? They be rich people. Yeah, i knew by the shape of her sunglasses that they were rich but I think we're supposed to understand just how rich they are.

Well, on the other hand, everyone who has a summer house on an island has it like that. The whole place looks exactly like it's here. I went out last weekend, to the islands, and it's like... just like that.

In American terms, this isn't very common in my experience.

I live in the archipelago, though, so everyone's got it like that.

Poorly done hitchcockesque music.

If I were sleeping with someone else, I'd hide it... then MURDER YOU!

::twirls mustache::

Lots of wine drinkage in the early afternoon = dissatisfication.

You kinda feel sorry for the wife. She's not so bad! But she's not Norman, alas.

She's not happy either. But Alan doesn't want to get divorced. Is it her money?

She's an heiress.

So he wants the money AND his man. Quite noble in Shakespearean terms.

He has to have enough money to support the little layabout.

I think they both need to layabout. Well. Lay each other about.

I think that's the plan.

There goes the pickness basket! The symbol of marital bliss!

Into the drink with it!

Convenient disposal of the flares. He's been planning this since the fourth of July, at least.

I mean, conceivably - ahahaha - he could've replaced them then taken them out. But I prefer to think that he had to plan to use them on the fourth.

Why don't we see Alan brain Norman and how much it PAINS him to do so?

Norman's got the snark when he's just been bopped on the head.

And subtle allusion: "A lot of instinct lately." He goes around to Alan's side of the fire.

They don't say if Alan is a successful lawyer.

They don't actually say he's a lawyer.

That's why "we get the Harvard Law Review" could be her attempt at a joke, or just making Norman feel comfortable, but! It could be that Norman's slipped up!

Oooh, a Clue.

Norman's so quiet and subtle and workin' the kid vibe.

And Alan's a bit rude. He must outweigh both of them and they have to swing on the mast? Maybe he claimed old age, but Norman is, like, concussed and no one cares.

Alan should care! He made them tea, at least.

If you've passed out, you're concussed and you may DIE. On the other hand, this is a thriller, it doesn't have to be one hundred percent realistic.

It's so funny, knowing parts of the plot, but not remembering all of it.

Alan: "What'll people say?"

What people? It's YOUR ISLAND.

She's gone. Now they can kiss. Secret kisses, before Alan creeps penitently upstairs...

A few little gropes under the robe...

Rubbing of the head... to make sure that Norman's OK. Apologies! But not enough time for a blow job, probably. Poor Norman. An apology blow job would be quite fitting.

Well, he's probably too concussed to be into any shenanigans. He might have an aneurysm. And he has a hard job in front of him, making like he's into the ladeez.

Spreading her fingers! Oh, sexy, he's igniting a 'fire' between them.

This dream sequence is a thing of 'beauty.'

There's a sweater--

--suddenly. And a big one too. What does it MEAN?

There's a 'Y' on it. It means she actually likes pussy

Well, or it can mean he likes cock. Which is more, you know, textually true.

Or it means - SMOKE RINGS! - that-- forget the symbolism of that scene. We got some slash!

See, she's had premonitions of their plot and she also senses their attraction to each other so she dreams about sex. And death.

But the Alan-with-an-axe thing, like... wtf?

The axe thing, because it's symbolic of their plot to kill her. And we get to see that she dreamt the pjs he was wearing

Yeah, but why would she know about the plot yet? Oh well, magic.

Premonition, man! Their will to get rid of her is so strong.

Norman doesn't have to ask if Alan wants sugar! He just gives it to him!

And to make it obvious, he asks Polly.

And we're supposed to notice, because...

That's sort of a significant thing.

And here's Norman, wondering why Alan even managed to stay with her this long.

"Not in any sense of the word!" Ack!

Yeah, but did you see the guilty look! All "sorrysorry."

Also, like - "I didn't mean it! I wish i could say!"

"It's my ACT, baby."

"I DO love you!"

And the 'challenge' is Alan saying 'it's ok!'

Playing badminton . . . CIGARETTE!

Norman really sucks at badminton. Which makes sense, cause it's kind of an upper class twit hobby.

I'm glad you've seen this. Those jeans are a thing of beauty.

They're so trashy!

Yet Alan's outfit is more declasse.

But Norman's attitude is great. He's so... comfortable, and then he remembers not to be.

Is Alan... not... wearing much. Wow. Norman's really enjoying this.

Yeah, ah. The whole hosing thing.

Norman's like, heh heh, there you get for hitting me with firewood, bitch.

And now Polly is smoking topless. He doesn't want to touch the icky girl! and Norman's like 'I don't either!' but he has to. Sexual tension, or so she thinks.

And Alan checks out his ass when he walks past.

"Whatsisface!" So careful not to know! And as he leaves, he really thinks that's the last time he's going to see her. PLEASE DON'T FORGET THE MUSHROOMS.

But alas, it's not that easy. Norman puts in a hard day's work, though.

Oh, bitch! Waking up Norman! Wow, his voice really gets to me.

Yeah, it's all smoky. Without being, like, low. I'd say Mr Chainsmoker has brought the voice on himself. But I don't mind.

It sounds like he just partied to hard last night. Every night. Which, really, is rather sexy.

For ten years. He looks it too. He always looks a little hung over.

Ahaha - Norman tries to do the 'I can't remmber the name' trick, too.

Polly's stories are sort of upper class twitty, though, so at one point I was like, kill her already.

God, he has the perfect body type. It's not quite androgynous; he's obviously a guy. But he's not... bulky or annoying.

Broad shoulders. And not gangly. Average in the way that doesn't mean boring. Average in the way that means juuuuus' right.

Swigging the Glenmorangie!

Yeah, like, glug glug glug, oops, was that expensive?

God, her stories are boring! And she thinks they're all interesting, you can tell.

Good, cause now he'll have no compunctions about trying to feed her the magic mushroom.

He's trying so hard to be interested. And failing.

He's like, 'heh heh. er.'

This is somewhere between a sexual playland and a murderous playland. She's still a child, really, mentally. Way too coddled.

I don't know what I think of the random frolicking. Although I blame all that Scotch.

He looks good in fuchsia.

He immediately goes for the genderfuck. Well, she did too, but it was in a very clueless way. The little song!

Oh my god. This is really sexy. He's doing a good job. Those eyes.

Yeah, despite looking like Marilyn after a binge and getting slapped around by the Secret Service.

Man, you almost think that's a dream sequence, too.

Like, what kind of wacky foreplay is that anyway?

I really think it's a dream sequence.

Maybe it is. Cause next he's like zoning.

That's his idea of foreplay! Genderfuck! Singing!

But later, Alan finds the bottle in the crate. So I think that actually happened. Weirder than the damned dream.

This movie would've been 100 times better if they'd had a competent continuity editor.

Yeah. And a competent director. And some goddamn dialogue coaches. Borman's the only one who doesn't need one!

Man, he's almost crying here. The ominous bells in the background!

With his little suicide letter? He's remembering when he and Alan cooked it up.

They're hunting mushrooms!

Awww. Not long now, Normancakes.

She lives inside a dreamworld, man. Norman captures what she can't.

She's so easy to kill.

"David's going to love you'"

Yes. Yes, he is.

She's, like, stalking the mushrooms.

I've picked mushrooms, and it didn't really involve any stalking.

She's wacked out. Her mom hates David.

Note that Norman ate the Viagra mushroom.

Sex and Death! Aphrodisiac mushroom! Secretly the poisonous one!

He is behaving, because he doesn't kill her. Trying to seduce! He likes hands. He's like 'No, you need to die. Alan's mine.' He doesn't really want to apologize to her.

And note that even though Alan seems squeamish... there's no hesitation in Norman. See there how Norman kicks the plot back. Norman knows what needs to be done.

Norman has to get things started but Alan carries through. Hm, maybe it's that Polly is psychic. That could explain the dream and her weird . . . mushroom stalking.

"I see mushrooms!"

"The boat... died. After we fucked. You're still... here. I want to fuck... again. Go away."

Alan is so careful not to mention Norman's name.

Cause he HAS NO NAME! Bwahahah.

This speech of Alan's is a little long. He needs his real accent for it. 'We did that together, as one.' Mur.Der!

And Norman's all, 'awww, baby' and Polly thinks it's about her.

That's the first time he's said something nice and it's because Norman's there.

He became lost in Norman's bruised eyes and zoned out and waxed lyrical.

What is wrong with the camera here! Who is holding it? Idiot!

It's wiggling?

Yeah, in the kitchen.

He has a rash from Norman kissing him... from the aphrodisiac mushroom.

It looks more like poison ivy.

Yeah, but I can dream.

Just wait for Norman walking in...

NO SHIRT! NO SHIRT!

And he's all, 'streeeeeetch' and aaaaaaaah. All sleek and tattooed and rar.

Alan can't stand not touching so he has to touch himself! I might have to watch this scene again. Notice how - ahahahaha - Norman informs him of the phone, which could possibly change the plan. He's so worried! Aand Alan's holding his hands in front of his crotch! Norman's made him hard, stretching! Closeup on Norman's hands... just because they're pretty hands, I think. The sexual tension is almost TOO MUCH TO BEAR. He looks at Norman's hand, and has to drink from the carton like a MAN.

Alan's so twitchy! 'He's like, omg. Must. Find. Plan C.' And maybe he's having doubts about Norman. Like, is this plan on or off or what? And Norman's like, what IS the plan, again?

He thinks Norman's changed his mind, because of the boat

He's trying to wing it.

Fixing the boat and fixing the phone! Aww, he's so desperate.

Yeah, and then the wife didn't die but still Norman spent all day with her. So many undertones here. I don't think Alan knows himself if he's afraid or jealous or angry.

Oh, man, he's a drama queen. Wow, they've only been married seven years!

She's really young, mind. I mean, she must have been like 25 when they married. He's a bit of a chickenhawk, is Alan.

'I was sure the day I married you. I just didn't have the courage to admit it.' Wow, he kind of needed to say this before she dies to get the table clear with Norman, as well.

Also, he just came out.

Only Alan could pull this off. And she's such a kid, man. She's really naive. This is their impromptu plan?

Norman decides to jump into the fray and wing it. I think Alan has some buried issues with Norman. All that bashing of him with blunt objects.

I'm really not getting it, actually. How does Alan know that that's Norman's way of saying 'let's keep on going.' I just don't get it.

Maybe he actually got pissed off. Maybe he thought for a while that Norman was actually siding with the wife. Although that'd be weird.

Here's where their secret tryst doesn't actually make sense.

Well, on the other hand, maybe they planned the whole scene. Like, "So, I pick a fight with Polly and then we all run out and so forth. And then you kill her. Get it? Good."

'Yer island!'

It really doesn't hold together, I don't think. That's the only problem.

It's an indie thriller. There's no WAY it'll hold together.

Although, it could be the secret plan to make Polly hate Alan, then get Polly near the mushrooms.

Yeah, to make Polly amenable to have a desperate tryst with the boy.

Now Polly's vulnerable to Norman's charms and right in the middle of the mushrooms! Brilliant!

And he's been even more wounded. And his shirt all torn, oops, how did that happen.

They had to have a desperate kiss to reaffirm it all. And now it's time to have sex. She actually wants this. You almost think she wants it to fall out like this; desperate passion ina forest.

Yeah. On the other hand, I've entertained the notion that she actually wants to die, too. She's unstable and her husband just went postal. So, you know. Norman's just a catalyst.

Which is what Norman always is: a catalyst. Which is why, after plan A and plan B go crazy, it begins to fall apart. Because Norman's done his job, and Alan's done his job, but it didn't work. And Alan's trying to keep the momentum, but it doesn't work. So Norman steps in as a catalyst, again. OK, if you look at it like that, it makes sense. But... damn.

It's a pretty wacked out plan. They must have been smoking crack.

That's a poorly done suit, on Alan.

The movie is so indie they can't even fake rich people.

So, if he ends up with someone else, who happens to be a guy... no one really knows any better.

And they'll live out on the Island of Solitary Lovers.

But they'll never eat mushrooms.

Nope. Stick to clams.

Alan's... stripping. Wow. First with the watch his wife gave him!

It's the rebirth symbolism scene. Rather nippy, though. It's probably October.

They make him look really old in this movie, man. I mean, he really does like chicken.

He IS old, dude. He's like... fifty four or something.

Nice butt for an over fifty guy! Wow, man. He's aged well.

He had to wait! He had to wait for MONTHS!

They're so cute, with their purposeful movements for the camera.

He had to wait long enough that Norman's bruises have faded, at least.

Alan looks so human here. But how did he "prove" it... that's what I want to know.

Yeah, I mean, it was Norman who did all the wetwork! And Norman's accent suddenly seems to have gained a rather... southern flava.

What is with the accent?

Aww! Hands!

I don't know. 'You proved yourself by letting me off your wife so we could have this house'?

Nookie!

Nookie! Desperate, finally-together-foreva-nookie.

Past-the-bad-night nookie.

And then they sleep all tangled up.

Norman kind of wanted a stability figure.

But you can imagine how much sense this movie makes on first viewing without the benefit of, like having read a transcript and looked at caps first.

I would be quite frustrated with it.

My comment in LJ was like,' WTF?'

As it is, I've enjoyed looking for the slashy bits and the subtexty bits and the symbolism bits.

And not have to try desperately to find the plot in the big hodgepodge.



#2:

Is it worth it to watch with director's commentary?

Dude, I want the director's commentary!

I'll watch, for you.

I've heard it's really pretentious in that indie director way.

Maybe it'll shed some light on the whole thing.

I'm going to fast forward to the kiss, though.

'The credit sequence is the first of many scenes in the movie where we had steal and be very resourceful with footage that we had, because we did not know what the credit sequence was going to be. And, a series of blurry, intercut closeups did not wokr at all, so what we ended up doing was using a four second shot of rain, which was all we had before the car appeared. And we ended up triple framing it into slow motion and then repeating the exact same pieces of footage over and over again by a series of hopefully invisible slow dissolves.'

That's the first thing he says.

Dude - THEY call him the young man.

'A lot of people wouldn't pick it up that the mother hands him the suicide note. While she doesn't kow what's going on, she knows her daughter's husband forgot her suicide note, like most people would forget their wrappers at McDonald's.'

Oh my GOD. There is not that level of symbolism there!

ODE TO THE MURDERER!

What is he SAYING? Have we been watching an entirely different movie?

'We scored this scene (Alan in the boat) to be very sympathetic to the emotional difficulties and plight of a murderer, which is not exactly what is playing in the multiplex every friday night: Ode to the Murderer.'

They're not syaing anything during the kiss! Explain something!

Like, isn't it significant that they're GAY?

Aha!

'And the actors were very nervous about this scene, with the intimate kiss that was required. But on the day of shooting they showed up totally prepared, and it totally couldn't have been easier.'

Totally prepared, indeed.

'And here there's a look of both peace and anxiety on Alan's face that took a long while for both him to be comfortable with and me to be comfortable with, and he finally got it to such a degree that I find astonishing.'

Spend less time on the peace and anxiety and more on his WACKED OUT ACCENT!

'We cut out immediately on the door slam because the future of these two people who share a very special and disturbing kind of love is their own private world, and I didn't wnat the audience to even linger on the door, I wanted them to be immediately locked out and left alone at the end of the movie. I enjoyed speaking to you, and that's the end of the movie. I hope you watch it again. And again.'

Ahahahahahahahahahahah.

Well, you know. We will. But not for the reasons you think! Stupid director.

I'm not sure how much more of this director crap I can take.

So it's as pretentious as I heard.

Wacked out dream sequence one:

'And this sequence I shot one lines or two lines a piece, and then called cut, and restarted the scene at a later point because I wanted the actors not to have to perform the dislocation of a dream, I wanted them to be stuck in it, and they lost their rhythm very much. So you'll see these discontinuous looks that are very 'dream like' instead of giving it the coherence of performance that you see in a real scene.'

'Irrational behavior and subconscious desire absolutely takes over with no reason.'

'When I screened this at the Seattle Film Festival, the audience at this point thought that the movie had really lost its mind.'

(Which it HAD.)

IT'S A YALE SWEATER!!!!! Because the love of her life is from Yale! And her mom got rid of him! 'It's to signify visually that [Norman] reminds her of him.' Oh my god! Oh, i can't handle it!

I didn't pick up on that. Now, why's that?

Because it's NOT BLOODY OBVIOUS.

Because it's INSIGNIFICANT!

From when Norman pulls the trick with the cigarette:

(Ooh. What can he say to ruin the experience of that?)

'Not only is this to establish an odd intimacy between the two men, but it's to establish that the young mad had odd magical talents that will prove crucial later on.'

ODD MAGICAL TALENTS

Magic? He can do tricks! It's not MAGIC! Although it does prove crucial, but please, don't use the word magic here unless you're talking about the magical mystery of a may/december romance between two lost souls.

He's trying to 'play' with the typical tropes of horror movies

Clumsily.

'As you saw those looks that David and the young man exchanged - very often throughout the movie they had a very difficult task of not letting the audience know they knew each other, but also playing the scenes truthfully. So, whenever they're alone both myself and the actors have the very tricky task of being able to watch the movie again and be able to say 'oh, yeah, they knew each other' but not letting the audience know, at first viewing.'

The young man making breakfast is supposed to be a fairy tale trope! I can't listen to this.

A fairy tale... what?

Her fairy tale. Adding to his image. But! Even they recognize that the 'not in love' thing offends David!

'As that look attests to.'

Well, good, one thing we noticed that actually made sense.

'And there are a lot of little things like that that don't make any literal sense on a first viewing, but they do get PLANTED INTO THE SUBCONSCIOUS.'

He's dissing Alan! Subtly! Because Alan wanted to play the character 'heavier' than he'd 'originally imagined.'

Heavier? More evil? More gay? More Alan-y?

Because Alan didn'št think that David would have a light hearted breakfast with his lover and wife.

Alan is all about chewing the scenery. You knew that when you cast him, you twit.

So he played it more seriously.

Alan was right! I'm with Alan. Die, director of pretentious commentary, die.

'We decided that Alan was not as good of a human actor as the young man is, so the young man is much easier with his role, playing, than the character of David.'

How is the birdie thing staged? Wait - they WANT him to get poison ivy? Why?! Aha - he's trying to make himself 'grotesque' to remove him from their physical attraction!

So they don't jump each other around every corner?

Sexily slinking in his jeannnns.

I don't like their interpretation of this movie. Screw director's view.

So was all the bopping Norman over the head a way to make him look grotesque too? Cause he looks wackier than Alan for sure.

Even they recognize her immature state of mind! She's on a TOY HORSE.

Mussolini's toy horse.

Whereas he is on the INFAMOUS COUCH!

So, apparently some things got through the pretentious fog.

Wait - please explain the scampering. They're not saying anything about the scampering. Whatever the director was aiming at, he produced something else by accident.

'He uses everything to his own advantage in terms of loosening her up and making her trust him.'

Yeah, thanks.

No, really?

'And it is not a lost irony on a second viewing of him dressed up as a woman.'

Oh! This was done on the first day of shooting!

'And Norman as the young man was so good and so free and so mysterious in this scene. And ironically the first take that he shot was the take that was mostly used.'

Awww, praising Norman will get me in a good mood.

See - instead of it being a bad jump between the playing dress up and the mushroom picking, we're supposed to think it's a reinforcement of the rigidity fo the house and their lives... How did people not realize that the suicide note was the poem? If people don't recognize your most blatant symbolic gestures, then WHY do you include subtle ones!

They're the people who fell asleep halfway through. I mean, the moment I heard the poem I was like, uhuh, this must be a mcguffin of some sort.

'A lot of people were wondering on the production side why I hadn't either done a very huge closeup of Norman during this very intimate poem or at least moved in on him and the reason was I wanted the viewer to hear and see something very intimate in the actor, but be kept coldly away with Alexis in frame, so they would have the visual memory that it was done totally for her and totally because of her, so that her listening is framed mush more intimately than his saying of the poem. Her listening and writing. And he's very casual about her signature, even though her signature is the most important thing.'

I could have done with a huge closeup.

I don't need that 'visual memory.'

I think Norman did a good job with his character, though.

I think Norman and Alan both did. Weird characters, when you think of it.

Young Man was such a vacuum, too. Like, he had to be a construct, only the truth had to shine through in very small doses.

'Those mushrooms were made by a very brilliant prop department, cause we couldn't find the right mushroom and we had to take liberties with the type of mushroom.'

And with a superpretentious director nancying about, it must have been quite an undertaking to get all the subtle points across without getting lost in a torrent of clunky symbolism.

She doesn't say that her father committed suicide by mushroom! Are we supposed to assume it?

Well, it makes sense in a senseless way. But yeah, that's kind of an IMPORTANT POINT. It would make the whole mushroom plot come together. Cause as it's now it's kinda monkey cracksome.

'And here the fairy tale Alexis has been inadvertently and subconsciously reverting to throughout the movie has becme a reality. She now has a participant in her fairy tale, and he's taking over. Little does she know that he's switched the mushrooms, so her reation right here is to the non-poison mushroom.'

They thought the viewer would just GET IT about the father!

...and then not get it about the poison mushroom... People were inattentive enough to NOT GET THE SUICIDE NOTE!

If anyone gives this director funding again, I will scream.

'David is really under the spell and under the command of the young man.'

I can't listen to this.

'They are now back in an even playing field.'

After he takes the DRINK!

Is he trashing our worldview here?

He's ruining it! I want to enjoy our little past!

"Don't think, drink," is, supposedly, when they realign their views, because it's a tight shot on Alan, which goes to a tight shot on Norman. So they MUST be in sync.

That's okay, we're right and they're wrong. And you'll be happy to know that this guy hasn't made a movie since DH.

It's the Marquis de Sade that Polly reads by the fireplace. This guy has overthought his movie to the point where it doesn't make any sense. He's eliminated the normal stuff and instead of jumping the gun, making it brilliant, he skips too far. He expects people to read too much into camera angles.

COVERT LOVE MESSAGE! How is that COVERT!? Where Alan ruminates on love!

That's so blatant I was surprised Polly didn't bitch slap him.

Ahah. She's reading de Sade! Hilarious, actually. The plot is very low-rent de Sade. I mean, their murder plot. de Sade, I suppose, would have had her killed by inserting mushrooms into other, less obvious orifices.

'We let the camera just roll and roll and roll and Alan did take after take after take, and for whatever reason the sixth take of the third reel, of about eighteen or nineteen takes, was the one we used entirely, even though we intercut. It was about take twelve that was so far and away the most powerful one, for reasons that are mysterious to me.'

There are some things that are mysterious to me, too, Mr Howard. The actors must have been, like, cracking up in their trailers. The mushrooms! And everything.

'This is another example of Alan's acting perhaps being slanted in this scene towards the serious and the solemn, when it could have been more ironic, but when you find out at the end of the movie what was going on at the time, he does a brilliant display of focused nausea, as things are getting very very deadly and uncomfortable for him. He brought real grace to a role and a truth that is real hard and almost impossible to bring.'

Yeah, because you WROTE IT STUPIDLY. They must've been smoking up.

You know how i was complaining about the camera during the breakfast scene? They did that ON PURPOSE to 'disconcert' the audience.

I noticed it especially when I was trying to screencap.

'The young man is such a calculated, brilliant young performer as a person that he gave David a very crucial piece of information, which is that the phone has now been fixed, in a very casual way in case Alexis was listening.'

'And here the character of David is mixing casual repartee with asking very urgent questions.'

Yeah, that was really brilliant.

'And here he's very quick to be the first one to get the phone.'

Some things are SO obvious and then some you can't figure out in any way. So much crack was consumed for the making of this movie they put half of South Central out of business.

Like, I just noticed that Alan takes his ring off when he sits down at the table and then Norman moves to his seat and starts playing with it.

Poor South Central.

No crack for two weeks cause Mr Howard smoked it ALL.

They needed to restock to watch this movie.

At least this is comforting in a way. Now I know that however I try, I can never be truly pretentious. I just can't go that far, ever. I'm always worried.

That makes me feel so much better! Because this is ridiculously pretentious and solipsistic.

Have I now traumatised you for life by making you watch this crap?

They went 'over and over and over' the editing in the kitchen scene to make it a 'piece of music that worked.' We can NEVER be that bad!

There's no way. But it really sounds amazing. I mean, can't he hear himself? How old is he? He sounds like a film student. The imdb doesn't say, cause he's nobody.

I want their explanation for Norman's 'get out' but they're not giving me anything. ...OK, so it was choreographed, and they did mean to do it. That sets that at rest. Weren't we stupid for missing the obvious? I feel the need to smoke up just watching this.

It would have been interesting if they had been winging it. ...Yeah, man. Pass me the joint.

It would be more interesting. I'm not in a mood to roll, but I'll bum ya my bowl.

If we had a Norman, he could roll for us. He's good at it.

Ew. Polly's all nipply.

She's pretty ample-boobed.

I can't find my lighter and they're babbling on about fog machines and actors looping in stuff. The camera just became a predatory animal! I can't handle this!

'I was not easy on them. I was very impatient with any difficulties they had.'

Oh my god!

What? What?

Alan only PRETENDS to beat Norman with the driftwood! It's FAKE BLOOD!

WTF? How can you fake that, in the middle of the night on an island! That's a little... elaborate.

We're only supposed to THINK that he hits him! Seriously.

What, did he like have a pig there to kill for the blood? There's NOTHING to indicate that. Nothing! I mean, I was puzzling over it cause you know, concussion.

I could only finishing watching this by smoking:

'The characters start to EARN their close ups.'

'And it's very interesting to note that these conventional props, like the rolled up cigarettes for the young drifter and David's Dom Perignon champagne, are their signifiers to separate them, and like two actors in the play that they are indeed performing, they are really one and the same. They are really lovers who are deeply in love with each other, who are now performing their assumed identities, as actors would a play. What this movie is is an exploration of textual vs. visual clues.'

We're supposed to assume that Alan and Norman have planned out every single psychological move of this game.

See, I just think they winged some bits. Cause hello. The first plan failed! When would they have time to plot the next one? Or did they have, like, fifty contingency plans? I think NOT.

His point is supposed to be that their plan worked perfectly.

But it CLEARLY DIDN'T!

But they underestimated her fidelity. They underestimated the woman! And didn't respect her!

But the plan didn't work if she didn't die! They had to backtrack and try again!

I think it's obviously winged in places. It makes it more full of tension because they have to reaffirm they're working for the same thing!

And anyway, they're kinda unlikely criminal masterminds.

I have a feeling this is supposed to be some incredibly smart profile of a killer.

Except for the 'smart.'