NYFF Wrap Up: Ron’s annual “Tale from the Titles”
In what’s become an annual tradition, the Film Society’s own Ron Savin pens a tribute to the many films that appeared on the festival roster. While there are about twenty years worth of “Tales,” Ron reports, this is the first edition to appear on a blog. And so without further ado, this year’s “Tale from the Titles”….
“This is a tale of THE NORTHERN LAND where once all the hours were SUMMER HOURS and all the inhabitants were HAPPY-GO-LUCKY. This is not A CHRISTMAS TALE by any means, for joy and laughter are hard to find in it. But this could be a tale of survival and a tale of hope. You will have to GUAGE for yourself.
The peaceful little village had once had a name–TULPAN—now it was a number—24 CITY. It had become the worst of all the sectors for it was the seat of the new regime and the regime took evil and LET IT RAIN down quickly onto all the people. Those who didn’t fall in line were punished.
RALPH Montes was one of those. He and his wife LOLA MONTES had been well respected leaders in the community. They watch as slowly but surely the SECURITY of the village was being worn away by the appointment cronies of the new regime. AFTERSCHOOL programs were suspended; workers had to slave NIGHT AND DAY for no pay; and THE LAST COMMAND—no more re-runs of the HBO DIRECTOR’S DIALOGUES.
RALPH could take no more. He went to the headquarters of the new regime and grabbed the first CHANGLING that he saw. To his SURPRISE, it was his old friend, TONY MANERO.
RALPH yelled, “Tony, how could you?”
Tony laughed and said, “Oh, I HEAR YOUR SCREAM. You couldn’t leave it alone could you? I gotta a great thing going and you could have been part of it. Now your UNPREDICTABLE BEHAVIOR will have to be stopped.”
With that said, Tony pulled out a switchblade and cut off a part of RALPH’s tongue. Lola had followed RALPH hoping to stop him from doing something rash. She wailed as she saw what was happening.
“Oh, CRY ME A RIVER, Lady. Your old man broke the law and is getting what he deserves,” Tony said as he led RALPH away.
“WAIT FOR ME. Love you,” Cried RALPH
“I will. LOVE YOU MORE,” bellowed Lola, not knowing what was to be the fate of her beloved husband.
Tony had decided that RALPH needed to be taught a very big lesson, so he took him to THE WINDMILL MOVIE Club and put him to work.
THE WINDMILL MOVIE Club was once a premiere theater—THE PLACE OF OSHIMA, JAI ZHANKE, WONG KAR-WAI, DESPLECHIN, ARONOFSKY, and the like. The new regime had made it a buffet of sensual pleasures. The large screens that once showed the classics, now showed PAL/SECAM erotic tapes from the underground all over the world putting FILM CRITISM IN CRISIS. And over a giant fireplace, where two teenagers were roasting on a spit, was the inscription, “IN GIRUM IMUS NOCTE ET CONSUMIMUR IGNI” (We spin around by night consumed by fire). It was GOMORRAH under a roof
Dressed only in a very revealing thong, RALPH was put to work at the front door as a “greeter”. With a portion of his tongue missing, RALPH had difficulty speaking and despite the humiliation, pressed on:
“Goo ebening, may I be ob SERBIS to you? Whut do you CHE? A menu? Coffee wif a lotta CHOUGA?”
THE CLASS of people that he just greeted was such that they started laughing at him and grabbed the menu and began reading the choices:
“FOUR NIGHTS WITH ANNA. Oh, I wish I had the time. I’ve never had Anna. THIS IS HER second week, so I bet it’s great. I had four hours with WENDY AND LUCY and that was great. Maybe I’ll do that again.
THE WRESTLER, naked and ready in the QUARRY. Maybe after a few drinks and my HUNGER increases. LOVE IS DEAD, maximum sensual pleasure with THE HEADLESS WOMAN—perfect for the person who doesn’t want their partner to talk back. PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN—a three hour romp with a girl, a guy, a chastity belt and trapeze .Man what great choices! I gotta choose soon or I’M GONNA EXPLODE”
As the group moved away from the door, the speakers blared the TOYKO SONATA, the new regime national anthem. Everything stopped as the new leader, Bashir Eti entered the room. There was a burst of applause as he move around the room seeking a partner for the evening. He spied his choice and extended his hand:
“WALTZ WITH BASHIR?” to which she responded, “I DON’T FEEL LIKE DANCING” and muttered under her breath “IT’S HARD BEING LOVED BY JERKS.”
With no emotion, the man took out his gun and put a BULLET IN THE HEAD of the young woman. RALPH, with no regard for his own safety, grabbed a knife from a table and screamed, “I’m gonna DEWENETI !” (SUBTITLE: I’m gonna do in Eti), and stabbed him to death. Soldiers shot Ralph, but his death was not in vain.
We always hear the sighs of hope like, “MAYBE TOMORROW”, “it will be better when the DUST settles”, or “THE DAY SHALL DAWN”. With Lola leading the new revolutionary forces, perhaps it won’t be long that we see the ASHES OF TIME REDUX.”
-RON LEE SAVIN