May 15, 2012

Cocktail Hour with the King of Zamunda



Last night the Z and I went for movie Monday and saw Bernie, the new Richard Linklater flick set in Carthage, TX about a funeral director... Assistant Funeral Director...  who befriends and subsequently murders a wealthy old widow, Marjorie Nugent. True story. That is, it's based on a true story. Quite a bit happens in between, as you'd imagine, and there's some truth-is-stranger-than-fiction nuance delivered throughout by gen-you-wine East Texans. The Gossips. They drive the movie. No acting experience whatsoever but you can't script this brilliance. I know some East Texans. Good people, but those pine forests... too many shadows. I'll take the open plains of West Texas. Fewer places to hide. Bernie Tiede hid Mrs. Nugent (Missus New-Gyent) in a deep freeze for nine months. Freezer the Pines, Garage the Forest. 

There's a scene with Bernie and Mrs. New-Gyent sitting in her living room, having tea. She's still very much alive at this point. Bernie splits the sugar cube. Ting ting ting against the porcelain. Camera pans out and there they sit amidst a veritable menagerie. A very much dead menagerie. Tragedy meets comedy and just ever-so-slightly do the two overlap.     

The taxidermy was good for a laugh though I'm rarely surprised when it comes to the stuffed and mounted proclivities of those who treasure such things. Largemouth bass turned study lamp, full-form fox in mid-hunt as black bucks look on from above. I grew up with heads on my walls and I've got heads on my walls now. Tonight though... well I've never seen a full lion mount, let alone one so thoroughly docile, as that which lay in the library where I held my cocktail. A pose apropos for the setting I guess, but I'd have shit my pants if someone roared from behind. 

4 comments:

GSV JR said...

sounds pretty good. haven't seen a linklater flick since Waking Life. still love Slacker...

Yonder Faron said...

Haven't seen the flick, but it's based on a piece by the current best TX Monthly writer, Skip Hollandsworth. You can find that article and some of his other greatest works here, http://www.slate.com/articles/life/longform/2012/03/skip_hollandsworth_of_texas_monthly_his_best_true_crime_pieces_from_longform_org.html

nick stubbs said...

I have never even heard of this flick. Richard Linklater I a good director but I am still pretty confused on the plot of the film.

Check out urbanadventurer.com!

Amatourist said...

Stew - what, no Bad News Bears? Consider yourself lucky.

Fred! Greetings from the Land of the Free. Agreed about Skip. Great writer. Also really enjoy anything by John Spong. I'll pop on over to Yonder soon to see about your Macedonian exploits. Where should I send your next box of contraceptives?

Nick - go watch Slacker. Then Dazed & Confused. Two Linklater films that define the times in which they're set. Not to say that Bernie does that. Nor does it try, but that's not the point. Where are you? Vermont? Canada? No way it makes it that far north. We are, in this case, the beneficiaries of geographic relevancy.