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Lulu on the Bridge

I love those late night movies they show over here. Lately they've been doing period dramas and arty metaphorically unsound things. You know, considering we only get four public channels, there's a lot we do get without cable. Tonight it was Lulu On The Bridge. It was about a downed jazz musician, a glowing rock and a starlet, in that order. The musician, Izzy Mauer, apparently gave up on music (or to him, music gave up on him) after being shot in the head. He survives, and finds a dead man's suitcase containing a glowing rock that connects you to the universe, and a phone number scribbled on a napkin. The number leads to Celia Burns, the abovementioned starlet, with whom Izzy begins a whirlwind romance, after showing her the peculiar rock.

The story revolves a lot around the rock, whose purpose is actually never revealed, apart from the fact it seems to make people feel good, and glows in the dark. The actual things to focus on in this story though are the characters whose lives whirl around each other here, notably of course, the two main leads. Celia gets a major role that sends her off to Ireland, and Izzy and her make plans so that he would go see her a few days after she leaves. Izzy gives Celia the rock as a parting gift. Before he makes it to Ireland, thugs looking for the rock abduct Izzy. The thugs are led by this rather interesting psychiatrist fellow (Dr. Van Horn) who then interviews Izzy over the course of weeks. This is arguably the best part of the movie, since the Q & A sessions between the two covers a lot of metaphorical ground. Fireflies, pinpricks of light, singing in the rain, very interesting imagery turns up here.

Although Izzy manages to escape his cell, the Doctor is able to glean that Celia has the rock. Meanwhile, a heartbroken Celia throws the rock into a river after Izzy doesn't appear in Dublin. By the time the Doctor gets to her, it's already too late, and Celia throws herself over a bridge to escape the thugs. Izzy finds out that Celia disappeared near the end of the shoot unexpectedly, and nobody knows where she is. Now, heartbroken him returns to his music, but the thugs shoot him while he plays in a club. Cue to end of movie, with Celia walking down a street, apparently safe, and the ambulance with Izzy in it driving past. He dies at the same time the ambulance bypasses her, very nice ending here with Celia crossing herself.

Is it a good movie? In the first place, I'm not sure I could call this a movie. It's more of a dissected vignette, boxes within boxes of smaller stories embedded, not like jewels, but still shots. There's a lot of lovely imagery in this one, imagery with deeper meanings, philosophical questioning and the like. There are loopholes in the plot, which may endanger the critical mind, the largest loop being the purpose of the rock itself. The purpose of the rock would have given us the purpose of the thugs (or why Dr. Van Horn kept mentioning the rock could save the world). It's worth a watch, certainly, if only for the imagery and lightly philosophical entertainment, but however engaging the concepts behind this one, it's no heavyweight story.

Speaking of philosophically tainted vignettes out there, anyone watched/remember New York Stories? I would watch it again if I could find myself a DVD of it here (first watched it when I was 12, and my favorite part was Martin Scorcese's 'Life Lessons').