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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Samuel Bleak: Film Review

Dustin Dugas Schuetter (Go Louisiana!) produced, directed and played the lead in this film, which I must make known, was pretty damn good. Yes, it's awkward at times and a little cheesy in areas (people love the cheese), but sometimes I give film and literature extra points when I can't guess the ending. I'm usually pretty good at this, but this one caught me totally off guard. I like that.

A mute vagabond, (I just love this word because it doesn't sound quite as dirty as drifter or gypsy, which both imply the need for a bath and a toe-nail trim) found living in the woods upsets the social balance of a small town that hasn't seen him in twenty years. Samuel Bleak's vagabond-ness can be overlooked because he is sort of hot in a gothic, backwoods, mentally unbalanced sort of way--even with the shoe polish sideburns.

As an eight-year-old, Bleak ran into the woods after the violent death of his mother (Pa, Pa, there's a fire in the barn?) who was one of those kooky writers that give us all a bad name. Bleak, though not interested in speaking, evidently types on his mother's old typewriter, which clearly wasn't damaged in the explosive fire that took her life. Hmmm...curious. And even more curious-er is that the ribbon still works after twenty years. I know. I know. People aren't supposed to think about these things in movies but I do. Considering how often I have to replace my ink cartridge in the printer, perhaps I should pull out the old Underwood. Maybe if I lick the ribbon, it will still work.

When Bleak is placed in a mental institution, he is visited by his father who comes across as a drunk redneck asshole. I hated him but changed my mind by the end of the film. (This almost never happens.) Dark, unexplainable things happen between Bleak and his psychiatrist, who is seemingly more unbalanced than he is, and though she lacks the sideburns, I did catch the ghost of a mid-life mustache lingering above her pearly whites.

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