Category Archives: VINTAGE MOVIES

Vintage Movies: “Eyes Wide Shut”

MAGNET contributing writer Jud Cost is sharing some of the wealth of classic films he’s been lucky enough to see over the past 40 years. Trolling the backwaters of cinema, he has worked up a list of more than 500 titles—from the silent era through the ’00s—that you may have missed. A new selection, all currently available on DVD, appears every week.

EyesWideShut

Eyes Wide Shut (1999, 159 minutes)

It’s difficult to discuss a Stanley Kubrick film without speaking of its director. Beginning with his first widely successful effort, Spartacus in 1960, through Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and his final work, Eyes Wide Shut, he made only nine films over those 40 years—all classics. The director’s fear of flying forced him to build a mock-up of New York’s Greenwich Village at England’s Pinewood Studios for Eyes Wide Shut. It’s a brilliant farewell from Kubrick, with as much percolating eeriness as anything by David Lynch.

Tom Cruise shines as Dr. Bill Harford, married to Alice (the always reliable Nicole Kidman). The Harfords have been invited to the Christmas extravaganza of Victor Ziegler, one of Dr. Bill’s wealthy patients. “Why do you think he invites us to these things every year? Do you know anybody here?” asks Alice just as the society band strikes up “I’m In The Mood For Love.” “Not a soul,” replies Bill.

Ziegler and his wife greet them with arms wide open. “Alice, look at you. You’re absolutely stunning,” says Victor (Sydney Pollack). “And I don’t say that to all the women, do I?” he asks his wife. “Yes, he does,” she chimes in. “Hey, that osteopath you sent me to, to work on my arm, you ought to see my serve now,” he says to Bill, punctuating the remark with an overhead tennis stroke. “He’s the top man in New York,” says Bill. “Oh, I could have told you that just by looking at his bill,” groans Victor.

Alice, slightly tipsy on champagne, trips the light fantastic in the arms of a suave Hungarian who can’t help but evoke a couplet from one of My Fair Lady‘s forgotten numbers (“There he was, that hairy hound from Budapest/Never have I ever known a ruder pest”). Her husband, meanwhile, is being lured slowly into an empty room by a pair of pretty young things, when one of Ziegler’s employees interrupts, asking him to come upstairs immediately.

Very agitated, Victor is pulling on his pants as Bill enters the room. A beautiful girl is sprawled, naked on the couch, totally unresponsive. “She shot up something … a speedball, I think,” says Victor. Bill kneels down and forces her to make eye contact. “Look at me, look at me, Mandy. Good, good!” he says, quietly insistent. Eventually, she comes around. “Well, that was one helluva a scare you gave us, kiddo,” says Victor, eager to get her dressed and on her way. “Better give her another hour,” says Bill as the host looks at his watch. “Listen, I can’t thank you enough. You really saved my ass,” Victor tells the doctor. Bill will one day be equally grateful to this near-casualty of a girl.

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Vintage Movies: “Dead Calm”

MAGNET contributing writer Jud Cost is sharing some of the wealth of classic films he’s been lucky enough to see over the past 40 years. Trolling the backwaters of cinema, he has worked up a list of more than 500 titles—from the silent era through the ’00s—that you may have missed. A new selection, all currently available on DVD, appears every week.

DeadCalm

Dead Calm (1989, 96 minutes)

This early look at Nicole Kidman, 10 years before Eyes Wide Shut, is an Australian thriller that co-stars New Zealand-raised Sam Neill (of Jurassic Park and TV’s Reilly, Ace Of Spies). Oddly enough, the simple plot is a dead-ringer for one used in Laurel & Hardy’s last great comedy, 1940’s Saps At Sea. Needless to say, no one in the Aussie picture is motivated to stand up to a belligerent stowaway by imploring his pal to play the trombone.

John Ingram (Neill), a captain in the Australian Navy, eagerly returns home for the Christmas holidays to find his wife, Rae (Kidman), in the hospital with life-threatening injuries after a car crash that has killed their young son. To begin the mending process from this tragedy, he suggests they take a lengthy vacation aboard their handsome yacht, just the two of them, drifting aimlessly in the Pacific Ocean off the Great Barrier Reef, heading slowly toward the middle of nowhere.

Everything changes one morning when the Ingrams spy another ship, a three-masted schooner, that has drifted into sight during the night. Someone from this mysterious vessel is rowing its dinghy as fast as he can toward them. The frantic man, shirtless and out of his mind with fear, stumbles aboard the Ingram’s boat, spewing a bizarre tale of what’s just happened aboard the mysterious craft. All four of his female passengers have died a horrible death from food poisoning, and his ship, rented for a pleasure trip, is now rapidly taking on water, so he claims.

The Ingrams put the delirious man, who calls himself Hughie Warriner (American actor Billy Zane), to bed. But John, with a naval veteran’s sense of something being amiss, decides to row over to the other boat to investigate this bizarre tale. When he arrives, he finds four female corpses, all brutally mangled by the man now comfortably resting below-deck aboard his yacht. Warriner was right on one count, Ingram finds: His craft is definitely taking on water. Scared out of his wits, he rows fast as he can, back toward his boat—but he’s too late.

Warriner, now wide awake, has busted free from his locked quarters below deck and delivered a vicious haymaker to Rae, knocking her senseless. Ingram arrives just a fraction too late to save his wife, as Warriner has already fired up the engines to escape. Ingram makes one desperate leap toward his boat, but bounces helplessly off the side and back into the sea, as his yacht vanishes into the distance. The distraught husband has only one recourse in an attempt to save his wife: to row back to the ghost ship with its grisly contents and follow the runaway madman in a ship that certainly won’t make the distance before it heads toward Davy Jones’ locker.

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Vintage Movies: “Rain Man”

MAGNET contributing writer Jud Cost is sharing some of the wealth of classic films he’s been lucky enough to see over the past 40 years. Trolling the backwaters of cinema, he has worked up a list of more than 500 titles—from the silent era through the ’00s—that you may have missed. A new selection, all currently available on DVD, appears every week.

RainMan

Rain Man (1988, 133 minutes)

When it comes to portraying characters with severe mental disorders, the silver screen has a pretty sad track record. Since the early ’50s, only Clare Danes’ title role in 2010’s Temple Grandin, Russell Crowe playing John Nash in 2001’s A Beautiful Mind and Dustin Hoffman as Raymond Babbitt, a high-functioning autistic in Rain Man, stand out for tackling such heavy subjects as autism and paranoid schizophrenia

For a kid in his 20s, Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) is as self-absorbed as they get. He’s just paid for four Lamborghinis to be delivered to his European auto sales business in Los Angeles so he can sell them at a handsome profit. He bullies his office girlfriend Susanna (Valeria Golina) as they are driving to Palm Springs for the weekend.

“I just got a call from Mr. Mooney, your father’s lawyer,” reports one of his employees over Charlie’s car telephone. “He’s been trying to reach you. Your father has died in Cincinnati.” Expressionless behind sunglasses, Charlie replies, “Uh, huh.” The employee continues, “The funeral’s tomorrow. He said you’d know where. I’ve got his number if you need it.” Charlie replies, “That won’t be necessary. Anything else?”

Charlie walks into the garage of his father’s lavish estate to find the ancient vehicle still parked there, the machine that came between him and his father so many years ago. “I’ve known this car all my life,” he mutters to Susanna. “I only drove it once. It’s a 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible. Only eight thousand were produced. It’s a Fireball 8 from the first full year of the Dyna-Flo transmission.” He tells Susanna about the momentous night he and a few friends drove the car, without permission. His father reported the vehicle stolen and had his son arrested. “He didn’t pick me up from jail until two days later,” says Charlie. “I ran away that night, only 16 years old. I haven’t seen him since.” Later he tells her, “When I was a kid and I got scared, the Rain Man would come and sing to me. He was just one of those imaginary childhood friends.”

Charlie becomes very angry when his father’s lawyer reads the will. The only items he will receive are the ancient automobile and his father’s prize-winning collection of rose bushes. The balance of the estate goes to an unnamed party. That person, reveals the attorney, is Charlie’s older brother. “I have an older brother?!” Charlie explodes. His name is Raymond, and he resides permanently in a home for autistic adults, explains the attorney. Charlie visits Raymond in the home and decides to set him free once he realizes this man, with his head now crammed full of minutiae, is the one who sang to him when he was frightened, the person he remembers as the Rain Man.

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Vintage Movies: “Saving Private Ryan”

MAGNET contributing writer Jud Cost is sharing some of the wealth of classic films he’s been lucky enough to see over the past 40 years. Trolling the backwaters of cinema, he has worked up a list of more than 500 titles—from the silent era through the ’00s—that you may have missed. A new selection, all currently available on DVD, appears every week.

Saving

Saving Private Ryan (1998, 169 minutes)

If the sheer terror of the climactic scene in Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper—a mulligatawny-thick desert sandstorm making it impossible to tell who’s shooting whom—had you digging your fingernails into your chair’s armrests, you might want to revisit Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan for some historical perspective. Different conflict (World War II), less sophisticated weaponry (nobody’s making rifle kill-shots from a mile away)—but it’s every bit as horrifying.

Not for the squeamish, the half-hour long opening sequence of Private Ryan, detailing the U.S. part of the invasion of Normandy by the allied forces in June of 1944, may be as close as you’ll get to the overpowering fear engendered by the original event. Hundreds of bodies with limbs or heads blown off float aimlessly like bags of straw in the lapping waters as more and more troops slog ashore desperately trying to dodge the fusillade of shells from German machine-gun nests entrenched on cement barricades built into the rocky area above the beach.

“They’ll shoot at any five men together! One man alone isn’t worth the ammo!” bellows an officer as the front gates of the LST landing craft spring open and the men in front are cut to pieces before they can even stand. Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks in his best screen performance ever) drags one of his injured boys about five steps up the beach before looking back and realizing it’s only half of the soldier. One man takes a direct hit to the steel helmet on this head. He removes it briefly to admire the dent and is drilled by a second round in the middle of his forehead. Miller hollers for the bangalores to be brought forward. The thin tubes that propel incendiary grenades at the enemy are just the ticket for finally flash-frying the machine gun outposts. Others are likewise soon blown to kingdom come.

In the aftermath of all five of the Sullivan brothers from Waterloo, Iowa, perishing after the sinking of the cruiser USS Juneau by the Japanese in 1942, the armed forces have made a sincere effort to see that this should never again happen to one family. Since three of the Ryan brothers have just died during the invasion at Omaha Beach on D-Day, General George C. Marshall is determined to find the fourth brother, a paratrooper who’s landed behind enemy lines in France and is now missing, and send him home immediately.

A hand-picked group of eight elite American Ranger survivors, led by Captain Miller, are directed to venture deep behind German lines, and somehow locate PFC James Ryan (Matt Damon) and bring him back home. After the pure butchery of the 24 hours spent landing on Omaha beach, finding this kid ought to be a snap, reckons the battle-tested outfit. It isn’t.

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Vintage Movies: “Privilege”

MAGNET contributing writer Jud Cost is sharing some of the wealth of classic films he’s been lucky enough to see over the past 40 years. Trolling the backwaters of cinema, he has worked up a list of more than 500 titles—from the silent era through the ’00s—that you may have missed. A new selection, all currently available on DVD, appears every week.

Privilege

Privilege (1967, 103 minutes)

Peter Watkins’ Privilege hit the jackpot casting Paul Jones as Steven Shorter, an idolized pop singer from the near future whose every move is carefully scripted by the British government and the Church of England in order to mold the country’s youth into an easily controlled entity. In the early ’60s, Jones actually turned down Keith Richards and Brian Jones when they asked him to be the front-man of their start-up rock group. They would eventually land Mick Jagger. Paul Jones joined Manfred Mann, instead, just in time for the British Invasion, although acting was always his first love.

Four years after Privilege was released, A Clockwork Orange (a film dusted with similar sociological engineering) featured another pin-up boy, Malcolm McDowell, dragging the teen-idol concept into a lawlessly sociopathic future.

After an early period when Steven’s stage show consists of the singer being manacled, beaten and caged by the police, his bleeding body worshipped by screaming young girls everywhere, the board of directors who manipulate his every move decide it’s time for a new direction: total conformity.

As Steven gazes out from the rooftop balcony of a London office toward a sprawling block of high-rise council housing, one of his handlers whispers hypnotically into his ear. “There are millions of little people down there, Steven. We must be quite clear in our minds about one thing: that the old liberal idea that given enough education these people will grow into self-aware, creative human beings is nothing but an exploded myth. It can never happen. They are stunted little creatures with primitive emotions that are dangerous. They’ve got to be harnessed, guided. We’ve seen this happen over and over again for an evil purpose: Germany, Russia, China. You’re our champion, Steven. They identify with you. They love you. You can lead them into a better way of life, a fruitful conformity.”

Steven needs this periodic reaffirmation of the grand scheme. Being its linchpin is beginning to weigh heavily upon him. Dining one morning in the lush garden of the country home of Andrew Butler, Steven, instead of eating, nervously whittles away with a table knife at the hard crust on his bread. “Steven, may I say how delighted we all are to have you with us today,” says Andrew (William Job). “Everybody at this table will join me in wishing you every success for tomorrow night,” he adds, toasting Steven’s new-direction concert with a glass of Chablis. “I-I think I’d prefer hot chocolate, instead,” murmurs Steven nervously, an unheard of deviation from the norm. “You’d prefer what, Steven?” asks Andrew. “I’d like some hot chocolate. You’d like some too, wouldn’t you?” Steven asks the woman seated next to him. “Well … OK … yes,” she says, not daring to choose otherwise. Andrew quietly says to the butler, “Hot chocolate for everyone, please, William.”

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Movies Of Today: “The Water Diviner”

WaterDiviner

Whether he’s ducking friendly fire from the LAPD in a rundown motel in L.A. Confidential, fighting for his life with a short sword and a shield in Gladiator or creaming three Greek soldiers with a cricket bat in current post-World War I epic The Water Diviner, Russell Crowe hardly ever loses his cool. It’s his ace in the hole as one of the finest actors of our time, this ability to keep his head when everyone around him is going ballistic. Crowe’s understated work here is reminiscent of the most heroic moments of John Wayne (True GritRio Bravo).

A few years after the end of WW I, the wife of Joshua Connor, overcome with grief by the loss of her three sons at the battle of Gallipoli in 1915, drowns herself in a pond. Connor (Crowe) swears he will bring the bodies of his boys back home and bury them beside their mother. The Aussie farmer possesses an uncanny ability to find water in the wilderness, a knack that will soon come in handy.

After arriving in Turkey, Connor meets Ayshe (Olga Kurylenkov), the proprietor of his Istanbul hotel, whose husband has also died at Gallipoli at the hands of the ANZAC troops. And he encounters Major Hasan (Yilmaz Erdogan), whose Turkish forces were responsible for taking the lives of Connor’s boys. Now working to identify the remains of the Gallipoli campaign, Hasan becomes an unlikely ally in Connor’s mission.

Crowe’s excellent directorial debut is an effective portrayal of the grisly side of what was once known as “the war to end all wars.” And, much like Saving Private Ryan, a World War later, it is highlighted by one man’s attempt to complete a Herculean task that seems well nigh impossible.

—Jud Cost

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Vintage Movies: “Los Angeles Plays Itself”

MAGNET contributing writer Jud Cost is sharing some of the wealth of classic films he’s been lucky enough to see over the past 40 years. Trolling the backwaters of cinema, he has worked up a list of more than 500 titles—from the silent era through the ’00s—that you may have missed. A new selection, all currently available on DVD, appears every week.

LA

Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003, 169 minutes)

As the garish image of a ’40s strip club flickers across the screen,” Encke King, the deadpan narrator of this fascinating documentary, intones in a no-nonsense delivery, “Los Angeles is where reality and representation get muddled.” And it’s off to the races with one short shot after another that gets straight to the central nervous system of the City of Angels as well as any Beverly Hills neurosurgeon. Most of this is existing footage with some of it shot expressly for the project. The result is a wall-to-wall mindbender.

“A real movie shoot can create a better public spectacle than the fake movie studio tours,” says King as a city bus is hoisted by an industrial-sized crane and attached to the bottom of a large helicopter, a la the statue of Jesus flown through the Roman skies in La Dolce Vita. The images must speak for themselves as they come at you like logs rapidly floating downstream to a Canadian sawmill. Take them as they arrive as little explanation is given. “A place can become a historical landmark because it was once a movie location.” A sign explains that a Jackie Chan movie was once filmed there. The Ambassador Hotel has apparently been preserved as a film locale because it was the place where Robert Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan in 1968.

Many L.A. locales are named after Hollywood celebrities, such as Bob Hope Dr. and a park called the Bette Davis Picnic Area. And a small bust exists near the Griffith Park Observatory, commemorating the site where James Dean once challenged a fellow high school student to a “chickie run” in Rebel Without A Cause.

Then there are the steep concrete steps covering at least four stories up a hill in Silver Lake, a Los Angeles suburb. They are now named “The Music Box Steps” after the 1932 short where Oliver Hardy is chased all the way to the street below by a runaway crate with a piano inside.

“Los Angeles may be one of the most photographed cities in the world, but it’s one of the least photogenic. It’s not Paris or New York.” A razor-sharp image appears from The French Connection of three four-story walk-ups across the street, framed by a rubble-strewn empty lot in the foreground and two gutted brick warehouses on either side. “In New York everything seems sharp and in-focus. In smoggy cities like Los Angeles everything dissolves into the distance. Even close-up stuff seems far away.” A smeared image from To Live And Die in L.A. looks like it could be washed away with soap and water. At first glance this may seem to be a hatchet job on old L.A. Instead it’s a passionate love story that makes you see the old girl in a new light.

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Movie Review: “Kingsman: The Secret Service”

As a public service, MAGNET occasionally feels obligated to issue a “crap alert” to warn citizens of a recent movie that might prove dangerous to their mental health. Consider this an ongoing form of vaccination to prevent a potentially hazardous film-going experience.

Kingsman

The measured pace of the first 15 minutes of Kingsman: The Secret Service might lead you to hope this might be an updated James Bond in the making. Its excellent cast includes Colin Firth as Harry Hart, the Kingsman agent who takes an interest in the son of a fellow spy who is killed in action. The shtick, a real groaner here, is that each agent assumes the code name of a knight of the round table with Hart as Galahad. Michael Caine grinds out a few minutes as Arthur, Kingsman’s CEO, and Mark Strong is Merlin, second in command. The early tip-off to the foul odor that will completely engulf this two-hour stinker (and those who sit through it) long before the credits roll is the appearance of the son of Hart’s fallen comrade. Gary “Eggsy” Unwin is played by Taron Egerton, a pretty boy who looks something like a pudgy Channing Tatum and spouts a clumsy British working-class accent that betrays the fact Egerton hasn’t a shred of acting talent. He couldn’t play a lamp post if they screwed lightbulbs into both ears. By comparison, Channing Tatum is Laurence Olivier. If they awarded platinum ingots for totally miscasting a usually excellent player, Samuel L. Jackson, as Richmond Valentine, the most pleasant “bad guy” in recent memory, would leave Donald Trump with nothing to wear but a wooden pickle barrel with two shoulder straps. Kingsman reaches its putrescent apex with 50 minutes left to tick off while peeking at your watch, when an entire church full of bigoted Kentucky rednecks is massacred, one by one, by Hart. Apparently, the Brits still haven’t caught on that the greatness of America lies not in the murder of those with repulsive points of view, but in its legal protection of such mean-spirited speech. Which goes to show why even lumpy gruel like Kingsman: The Secret Service can be found in American cinemas everywhere.

—Jud Cost

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Vintage Movies: “Fay Grim”

MAGNET contributing writer Jud Cost is sharing some of the wealth of classic films he’s been lucky enough to see over the past 40 years. Trolling the backwaters of cinema, he has worked up a list of more than 500 titles—from the silent era through the ’00s—that you may have missed. A new selection, all currently available on DVD, appears every week.

FayGrim

Fay Grim (2006, 118 minutes)

Time marches on for the Grim/Fool clan in Fay Grim, the second installment of this sharp Hal Hartley trilogy, shot nine years after the opening volley, Henry Fool. The tone of the work hasn’t changed. It’s not ultra-realism or even pseudo-realism—more like some other, slightly uncomfortable, pressed off center realism. The only work that even comes close is Spike Jonze’s Being John Malkovich.

Henry Fool is presumed by the law to be on the lam in Europe, seven years after being smuggled out of the country with a fake passport, cooked up by his brother-in-law, Simon Grim, now serving time for aiding a wanted criminal. What Henry, who’s been incarcerated for being caught in flagrante delicto with a 13-year-old girl, is wanted for, this time around, is never made quite clear. Henry’s wife Fay (Parker Posey), is raising their son Ned, now 14, and there are problems. “Ned brought this pornographic device to school today and was caught showing it to other children,” says the boy’s principal to Fay. Ned shows his mother how to operate the Edwardian-era peep show device, something that wouldn’t cause a ripple in today’s sludge-choked river of bad taste.

Of course, there are also more serious charges leveled against the boy. Ned was recently caught getting a blowjob from two 16-year-old female classmates. Fay, whose hair style this time around is more flattering than the matted haystack she sported in the previous film, is being harassed by CIA agent Fullbright (Jeff Goldblum). Who knows why the Feds are after Henry, unless it’s become a federal offense to be a mediocre poet caught impersonating his brother-in-law, Simon, hailed the world round as a Nobel laureate, albeit in jail.

During visiting hours with her brother, Fay pleads with him, “Simon, you’ve gotta get outta jail! I can’t handle all this on my own. Ned needs a father figure, or something.” Simon (James Urbaniak) replies, “What do you want me to do, escape?” She tries to explain, her words bumping into one another. “You might be eligible for early parole on account of your good behavior.” “I won’t be eligible for that until a couple more years,” he says, breathing deeply.

“I can’t wait that long,” Fay groans. “They’ll send Ned to reform school. And he’ll be in prison before he’s old enough to get a driver’s license.” Simon shakes his head in resignation. “Look, if you need anything at all, just ask Angus.” Ned (Liam Aiken), who’s been sitting quietly all this time, pipes up: “She’s got a date with him. He’s taking her to the theater and supper afterwards. He calls her all the time.” Fay faces the boy and hisses, “Evaporate!” Veins deepen on Simon’s forehead as he asks, “You’re dating my publisher?” She snaps back, “You got a problem with that?!”

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Vintage Movies: “Henry Fool”

MAGNET contributing writer Jud Cost is sharing some of the wealth of classic films he’s been lucky enough to see over the past 40 years. Trolling the backwaters of cinema, he has worked up a list of more than 500 titles—from the silent era through the ’90s—that you may have missed. A new selection, all currently available on DVD, appears every week.

HenryFool

Henry Fool (1997, 138 minutes)

Fair Warning Department: The final film in Hal Hartley’s groundbreaking black-comedy trilogy that began with 1997’s Henry Fool and continued with Fay Grim in 2007 is about to reach critical mass with the April release of Ned Rifle. Those who want to catch up, or take a quick refresher course, have a couple of weeks to get it together. That’s about as much time as I had to plough through the first 50-plus episodes of Breaking Bad before the final eight chapters were telecast about two years ago.

After the morning truck full of recyclable garbage is unloaded, Simon Grim (James Urbaniak), dressed in a grimy, dark grey jumpsuit, punches the time clock and drinks a beer, all alone, for lunch. The stern-faced young man in the Buddy Holly glasses who looks as though he’s never laughed in his life, is shocked to see a young couple having sex right in front of him in one of the below-street level windows that surround the place where he works. The girl screams when she sees Simon, and the guy runs after him prepaired to beat his brains into pulp.

Safe at home back in Queens, Simon senses something big may be headed his way and puts his ear close to the pavement. Marching up the street as bold as Custer just before Little Big Horn, Henry Fool (Thomas Jay Ryan), in a three-piece suit, stops before the sign that reads “Basement Apartment For Rent” and struts right inside to have a good look around. He cranks up the gas furnace and turns to Simon, who’s followed him in. “Where do you have to go to get a six-pack of beer around here?” he asks, tossing the kid a crumpled bill.

Simon grabs a six pack of Bud from the cooler of the local convenience market as the two love-birds he’d interrupted earlier smirk at one another. She drops her panties then bends over and says, “Kiss my ass!” to Simon, while her partner heads off any possible escape. He grabs Simon’s head and yanks it toward his girlfriend’s bottom. The mute Asian lady behind the counter pushes the police alarm button, which triggers Simon to vomit all the clotted, spoiled milk he’d accidentally drunk for breakfast all over the girl’s rear end.

Back in the dingy basement apartment, Henry Fool carefully loads his books into a bookcase as Simon turns over the name tag on his suitcase. “Centuries ago, it had an ‘e’ on the end,” Fool remarks of his odd surname. “Where do you come from?” asks Simon. “Nowhere in particular,” replies Fool. “I go where I will, and I do what I can. That’s why I’m in trouble. I’m what you might call an exile. An honest man is always in trouble, Simon. Remember that.”

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