Retro: The Unquiet American

WHEN PIGS FLY

Sara Driver
USA 1993
97min
V'09

Sara Driver’s principal films are surrealist works whose images tend to linger like half-remembered dreams. The ferocious <![CDATA[<i>]]>You Are Not I<![CDATA[</i>]]> (1982), adapted from a Paul Bowles story, unfolds inside the mind of a schizophrenic; the much gentler <![CDATA[<i>]]>Sleepwalk<![CDATA[</i>]]> (1986) is a dreamlike fairy tale set in lower Manhattan. The still gentler <![CDATA[<i>]]>When Pigs Fly<![CDATA[</i>]]>(1993) – set in an east-coast port town, though filmed in Germany – is a whimsical ghost story inspired by <![CDATA[<i>]]>Topper<![CDATA[</i>]]>. If the tone seems light, the images, filmed by the great Robby Muller, nevertheless persist. The hero, beautifully played by Alfred Molina, is a sweet-tempered jazz musician who subsists mainly on the money he earns from ­giving music lessons and is sustained by the com­panionship of a dog (whose jazz-inspired dreams, rendered by Driver in full, are as lyrical as the hero’s). Written by Driver and novelist-playwright Ray Dobbins, this is a sweet mood piece that, like some English comedies, is driven more by character than by plot. The music is mainly by Joe Strummer; but Faithfull does a lovely rendition of “Danny Boy”, and Driver works wonders with Thelonious Monk’s “Misterioso”.

This film is screened together with <filmlink id=\"3117\">When it Rains</filmlink>.

Credits
  • Alfred Molina - George
  • Marianne Faithfull
  • ­Seymour Cassel
  • Rachael Bella
  • Maggie O’Neill
Kees Kasander, Jim Jarmusch
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