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Lulu on the Bridge (1998)

Written and Directed by Paul Auster

Cast:

  • Harvey Keitel - Izzy Maurer
  • Richard Edson - Dave Reilly
  • Dana Lyn Baron - Nancy
  • Don Byron - Tyrone Lord
  • Kevin Corrigan - Man with Gun
  • Mira Sorvino - Celia Burns
  • Victor Argo - Pierre
  • Peggy Gormley - Dr. Fisher
  • Harold Perrineau Jr. - Bobby Perez
  • Gina Gershon - Hannah
  • Sophie Auster - Sonia Kleinman
  • Vanessa Redgrave - Catherine Moore
  • Mandy Patinkin - Philip Kleinman
  • Greg Johnson - Stanley Mar
  • David Byrne - 'Laughing Man' Escort
  • Holly Buczek - Dying Girl
  • Lou Reed - Not Lou Reed
  • Willem Dafoe - Dr. Van Horn

Harvey Keitel is, at this point, pretty well known for making strange choices about gritty independent films that he wants to be in. For that matter, so is Willem Dafoe. But this one's just plain impentrable. Remiscent of "The Big Empty" but with a glowing blue rock instead of a suitcase, and no space aliens (so far as we can tell) this is the sort of film that makes it clear that, if drugs weren't involved in the writing of it, they would probably help in the watching.

Keitel, the main character, is "Izzy", a jazz musician of some clout who gets shot during a botched robbery on the night club where he plays. The rest of the movie may well be a dream that occurs while he is dying, or not.

For that matter, the whole thing has a slightly "Last Temptation of Christ" feel to it, but without the extremely bad acting.

Possibly in the midst of recovery, Izzy runs into Celia Burns (Sorvino) and rescues a box with a glowing blue rock in it off of a man who has just been shot in an alley. When he and Sorvino open the box while in a dark room together, scenes highly reminiscent of "Cocoon" occur, but without Steve Guttenberg.

At length, after a surreal conversation with Willem Dafoe's character about the nature of things, and being chased by people with guns, Izzy possibly dies. We're not really sure. You spend the entire movie waiting for the punchline, for some kind of tie up, and generally being disappointed and cursing David Lynch and European cinema for making it possible for large numbers of extremely talented actors to waste their time in a movie like this.

I mean, I don't even remember what David Byrne or Mandy Patinkin were even doing in this film, which is a crime.

But if you do have 2 hours to waste while waiting for something else, or an excess of drugs, this might be right for you.

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