Sep 222011
 

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Ruth Meehan’s And the Red Man Went Green brings the chaos and potential of one day down to a single moment crossing a street. Though it’s not ostensibly about a kiss, the narrative has much in common with Chekhov’s short story “The Kiss,” in which a young soldier is accidentally kissed by a woman, sending a shudder of changes through his plain life.

The director Richard LaGravanese also found inspiration in Chekhov’s short story for the key moment when his protagonist in the film Living Out Loud (starring Holly Hunter–the movie was originally called The Kiss) is surprised out of the grief she is suffering at the loss of her twenty-year relationship.

Each of these stories touches on sudden moments when strangers are accidentally and sometimes unconsciously there for one another.

Meehan is an Irish writer / director and she has shot several short films. And the Red Man . . . is her second short and it did well at festivals, winning the Special Jury prize a the Tehran film Festival and the Prix Canal+ at Brest.

If you enjoy Meehan’s very short film, you can see another by her (based on a true story about an adventurous cat) here:
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—RWGray

  11 Responses to “Numéro Cinq at the Movies: Ruth Meehan’s “And the Red Man Went Green,” Introduced by R. W. Gray”

  1. Thanks friend for the great post. I just bookmarked your site and look forward to coming back from time to time to see more.

    Cheers

  2. Thanks, Rob. I especially liked the Chekhov inspiration thread. And the Red Man Went Green is terrific, but the adventurous cat inspired me. The secret life of nature oddly and beautifully parodied as the secret life of humans. What does my dog/cat/son/mother/girlfriend do when I am NOT around? The question is liberating. It’s full of story.

  3. I loved how the moment in RMWG sort of expands without a single reference to anything…no flashbacks, no montage of a life lived…it just exists there in the old woman’s face and in the young man’s face. Really impressive use of ‘negative space’, of letting the moment stand for itself. Thanks for bringing this to NC.

  4. Yes Rob, thanks for bringing these to NC. I’m especially taken by that moment in the second short where the cat gets on the train–the spontaneous, snapshot-blink angled POV is amazing. For a millisecond, you know what it might be like to be that cat. And the idea is offered so gently.

  5. Thanks for these! Meehan’s films are so lovely and economical. Uplifting too! I’m looking forward to more Thursday movies!

  6. So glad to see the Thursday night at the movies is back! Thanks!

  7. When she looks up at the sky, letting her head float back ever so slightly…so much is in that moment. A pure resonate connection to the personal and universal, what was, might have been, will still be, perhaps. This short is a lovely parallel to what writers think about when capturing emotion in literature, subtly. I found it inspiring. I look forward to next Thursday night’s film.

  8. Well, I’m a real sucker for crying at movies and the moment in RMWG made my throat get tight. Really, an incredible short film. Thanks for posting, Rob. I can’t wait for tomorrow night.

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