Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Wood/Dziawer Odyssey, Part Three by Greg Dziawer

Some alternate cover art for Hollis James' novel, Ed Wood: Taxi Driver.

Editor's Note: This is the third installment in Greg's series about his personal connection to the work of Edward D. Wood, Jr. You can read the previous installments here and here. J.B.

Chosen Paths, Part I

It occurred to me over the course of this last weekend that Ed Wood is all around me, whether I'm actively pursuing him or not. While it's true, ontologically, that Ed was all around me (and all of us) all along, it's clear that somewhere I suffered a cubistic shift in thinking. 

In this week's Ed Wood Wednesdays, we'll begin to look at the result of this shift, as I adjust to seeing a world of Wood with fresh eyes. 

On Saturday afternoon, Kitten, E.B., and I went out. I got my hair cut. We ate at Friday's. We went grocery shopping. Through the afternoon, I worked on hanging a large mirror above the couch in the living room. I had just finally subscribed to Amazon Prime a few nights prior, so I flicked on the TV while I was working. Somehow I arrived on Gangs of New York, it still remaining one of a few of Martin Scorsese's films that I had not yet seen. I turned that on in the background while I was working on the mirror.

Daniel Day Lewis in Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York.

For context, Taxi Driver is one of my favorite films, and I consider Scorsese one of the great artists of our time. Taxi Driver has evoked Ed, specifically Glen or Glenda?, for others. The originator of Ed Wood Wednesdays, Joe Blevins, visually tied together the shared themes on a private Wood forum. Urban alienation. The albatross of "normal." Hollis James's novel Ed Wood: Taxi Driver or Plan 9 from Mau Mau Land likewise conflates the two films.

(left to right) Glen or Glenda?; a Taxi Driver poster; the cover of Hollis James' novel.

Gangs of New York grabbed my attention, despite myriad flaws, evoking A Clockwork Orange and The Warriors. Daniel Day Lewis is riveting, even quoting Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver when he self-identifies as, "God's Lonely Man."

As evening dawned, Kitten's friend Casey came over. She rescues dogs, the source of our beloved Nelby. Kitten's work husband Mark and his wife Jen adopted Lily that night, a new sister for Lucy. I was, by that time, watching Maila and Me, an affecting documentary about the person behind Vampira that I'd seen numerous times before.

Mark and Jen holding Lucy and Lily.

Fifteen minutes before the end, Kitten came home. We hung the mirror on the hardware I had executed. It was crooked.

I pulled up another movie as it got late. A documentary from 2004 listing the 50 Worst Films Ever Made. Ed made this list three times. I recollected Harry Medved's paperback on the topic. 

I went to bed.