Kehr Capsule of the Week: Trouble in Mind (1985)

Alan Rudolph redreams the dream of film noir in this dense, beautifully executed, highly stylized romantic fantasy (1985), about an ex-cop (Kris Kristofferson) who yearns to rescue a beautiful, childlike young woman (Lori Singer) from the influence of her lover (Keith Carradine), a hapless drifter gone bad in the big city. Rudolph’s deft mix of tones, from extravagant black farce to quietly observed psychological realism, gives the film a quirky, compelling emotional rhythm; his use of vivid color and associative editing (horizontal movements within the frame are rhymed or reversed from shot to shot) lends the proceedings a touch of the hallucinatory. The extraordinary cast (it really does have the depth of high Warner Brothers) includes Genevieve Bujold, Joe Morton, George Kirby, and Divine (who, in male garb, plays a mob chief possessed by an ineffable sadness).

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