Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Lulu on the Bridge. Paul Auster, 1998

The script for the directorial debut of Paul Auster is a genre-less highly cinematic text - a combination typical of everything penned by that author. It flows between the fantasmic and the literary-intertextual. The author explores an alternative train of events that follow the dramatic shooting scene at the beginning. The author traces the steps of the main character, the jazz musician Izzy, as he meanders into a parallel dream world of pain, guilt and true love. Is this the dream world preceding death--because the film ends with the actual death of the hero? Or just a "second chance"-story, an alternative plotting device for the author, which he needed to explore...The answer is not really of importance.
This plot line is cross-cut with a second one - the shooting of a film based on Wedekind's Lulu. And there is the rub - because what does it all have to do with Lulu, as fascinating a literary myth that may be...? The inteprlay between the two stories is very obscure, if present at all. Lulu's plot closes in on itself, and Izzy's plot just unwinds arbitrarily as a loose end...Still, some scenes especially in the beginning (Izzy roaming the streets of New York, encountering the murdered man, the mystic stone) are fascinating -- just because they contain so much promise...


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