September 30, 1994 [Ed Wood]
Did Tim Burton and Johnny Depp read those words before grabbing piles of black & white film to run some light through it? Depp widens his eyes and plugs forward, one terrible shot after another dutifully poured like thin oatmeal into the camera, where it somehow becomes something Ed Wood called a movie. Depp gives Wood a boundless enthusiasm for, even a kind of tender consideration of, the act of movie-making--but without any ability at all, not one little bit. Hardy insists that Plan 9 expresses the "deep-seated fear of being taken over from within" without any artifice--read: ability to structure and shoot and edit and so on a movie--and thus "bizarrely shows how insubstantial such fears are in isolation." Wood does not engage us with his "barely watchable film"--and Hardy knows that it is "fitting" that it should be unwatchable--and Burton's movie refrains from laughing too much at Wood's dream rustling down there, deep deep down there in a camera obscura Wood's conscious mind has never seen. Thanks to Hardy and Burton and Depp, I have come to see my own thoughtlessness in the movies, my own gaping stare, owning nothing, smiling like an idiot at the dim lighting and indistinct movement, or solemn as I stand with the man in the angora sweater by Bela Lugosi's coffin, waiting for the old dopefiend to rise and sneer at Karloff.