Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Sad Cafe

The Ballad of the Sad Cafe is my first exposure to the black comedy movie genre not counting The Royal Tannenbaums and the like. The combination of Carson McCullers, Vanessa Redgrave and Ismail Merchant is what made me pick up this movie and I really liked it.

Like "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" (the only McCullers book I have read) this is a difficult story to understand and keep up with. It holds your interest but you are not sure you and the author are quite on the same page at any point. That to me is the draw of McCuller's writing.

The bloody fight scene at the end of the movie was amazing in how it managed to convey so many different things to the viewer. I was shocked to find myself going from laughter, to tension and then finally a deep sadness. The movie is reminiscent of A Streetcar Named Desire and Baby Doll for the southern gothic element but the characters of Sad Cafe are wackier by a light year.

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