Harry Knuckles and the Pearl Necklace (2004)

Two spheres

Why are Canada and Australia so invested in exploring the periphery? My own theory is based on the existence of a few talented teachers in key places. For whatever reason, this is something you are unlikely to find elsewhere.

First, note that every production value that normally paves the way to connection is not present here. Some of the shortcuts are for cost reasons and obvious. But others are deliberate. Some have called this camp and others put this in the Ed Wood category. But my impression — so far as the actual filming — is that the people involved just wanted to have fun and could afford to. By itself that is hardly worth your attention.

But there is something else here. Two things actually and they seem unconnected. The most striking is the story. It is bizarre, complex, layered and unexpected. Extremely stylised, the narrative does not quote other movies as would normally be the case.

Instead, the hundreds of external references are to distinctly non-cinematic tropes. They are mixed in there helter-skelter, tied by the complex story that runs parallel streams. This is a literary experiment, illustrated by a couple of men and many women having a blast.

The other interesting thing is that everything is reduced to an image, and within that imperative, everything is reduced to a fight. Some fights are public, sexual, familial, exploratory and/or mistaken. Some are to me, completely incomprehensible, the film fighting with me.

Posted in 2010

Ted’s Evaluation — 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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