The influence of gaslight or electric light on the growth of paraheliotropic trees

bonebrushing the edges of the res interna (upper transcend)

Category: things seen

Movie Review – Wendy & Lucy

Kelly Reichardt’s follow-up to Old Joy, like that film co-written with novelist Jonathan Raymond and based on a short story he penned called “Train Choir.” What’s this movie about?

How hard it is in America. Being adrift and alone. The fragility of our social safety net. I read in an interview its impetus came from Katrina, and both the bungled aftermath and the desperate poverty of those who were failed during that seven-day trial — those who when told to leave realized they had no place to go and no way to get there.

We don’t know why Wendy is heading to Ketchikan, AK — I mean we do, to work, and her Indiana license plates on her 1988 Honda Accord imply a story of the rust belt, maybe — Ketchikan, AK, remember was the terminus of the bridge to nowhere — and so in an American that’s rusting away, a single girl, feminity abandoned, perhaps artfully so to protect her from the predators of the road (one of whom we meet in a chilling scene that must happen more than we realize, every day, in the real world), sets out, her solace her dog.

It is a sketch. Artful. Graceful. Sad and lonely. People try, but who knows what they do all day long — and Wendys realizes that even a dog is too much responsibility —

We sit there with Wendy, as she sleeps in a car, washes up in a gas station bathroom, gets caught shoplifting and arrested, loses her dog. Life is hard, the movie says. We know this, but we don’t know this — and while we are far from Wendy, the differences between her life and ours are minimal — maybe especially for me — but for a lot of us — drifting — one check away —

Six dollars, maybe seven, trade hands at one point in the movie. It is a telling moment.

The crust-punk neohobos of the Rusty 21st Century (America’s Autumn, they will call it) gathered round the fire, doing drugs, semi-dangerous.

The security guard outside Walgreens. The kid who turns Wendy in, with a little crucifix around her neck. Freight trains rolling by. The mighty trees of the Pacific Northwest. The little houses. The small town bus. America.



Dirty young hipster sleeping on the Philadelphia subway, one eye half-open, headphones falling down around his head, greasy hair sticking out from under his hat. Not a dime in his pocket. Once he was a student — now he works two part-time jobs — printing flyers is one of them, the one he sort of likes. He’s lonely — hooked up with a girl three weeks ago but she never called him back — probably because he’s poor.

His Dad died of cancer three years ago. His mother is struggling in a town upstate.  He isn’t religious — doessn’t go for that sort of thing — distrusts that sort of thing.

He does drugs with people he calls his friends — he’s up late — that’s why he’s sleeping on the subway.

Joe Lawyer. No stories there.

The Widowed Mother in a town upstate, receptionist at a print store — has watched the economy blow through and wipe out the companies that used to use them — staff is dwindling — young people don’t stay, head down to Philadelphia, but its hard to get jobs down there as well. She feels herself getting sick, getting creaky, there’s medical bills to pay off, the mortgage, her younger daughter’s college tuition — getting harder and harder — there’s a man who comes into the store every now and again — she doesn’t think she’s beautiful, she’s old and fat, and she doesns’t know this man from Adam and part of her is sort of happy to be done with it — but she’s very lonely without her children, who never want to talk to her — and her situation is precarious — she sort of wishes she’ll be asked out —