Sunday, September 14, 2008
A Kaleidoscope of Meaningless Ectoplasms pt.2
We first wrote about filmmaker Ed Wood here, but let's get into his 1953 feature debut, "Glen or Glenda." "Plan Nine From Outer Space" is the film Wood is most famous for, but "Glen or Glenda" might be my favorite. It's not genre sci-fi/nudie/exploitation like Wood's other stuff. Actually, I don't know what the hell it is. It's usually described as a ground-breaking look at cross-dressing. Well...sort of. Documentary realism is mixed with pure surrealism that doesn't really have anything to do with the subject, such as the weird devil guy (pictured), a taunting little girl, and Bela Lugosi in a mad scientists' lab. These characters don't seem to be real figures in Glen's world, or even figments of his dreams, but rather are symbols of...something.
Wood isn't ranked with the film world's prime surrealists, but these scenes are pure David Lynch, complete with ambient drone soundscapes. Divorced from the visuals, they make for fascinating listening.
"Bevare!" (Bela Lugosi)
"Pull The String" (Bela Lugosi)
Contrast the above clips with this amusingly straight-faced narration describing Glen's dilemma:
Glen or Glenda narration