Quirky delights in Punch-Drunk Love... discuss them here

Started by Marty McSuperfly, February 08, 2003, 03:57:04 AM

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Marty McSuperfly

Just got back from seeing PDL for the second time (it was released here in the UK yesterday (Friday Feb 7) and I was amazed how many new things I noticed. Little quirky touches that PTA put in that but are not explained. They are just There.

Thought it would be interesting to find out what you folks have spotted in your repeat viewings.

Here's a few things to be going on with. (BTW I'm not saying I'm Mr Clever Movie Guy for spotting these, cos some are obvious now I've seen them, but I just didn't pick up on them the first time I saw it - maybe because it was at the London Film Festival and PTA was sitting six feet away from me!))

1) When Barry is walking through the supermarket and is looking for the perfect coupon offer (the shot leading up to his seeing the puddings for the first time) blurred and WAY in the distance behind him is a woman with a red dress on. She is walking parallel to him the duration of the shot. When he stops after spotting the pudding she continues walking and leaves the shot, disappearing behind an aisle. However a second later she takes a step back into frame (ie as though she is following him) and stands staring. Barry then nervously glances arounds and sees her. At that point she walks off again, disappearing from shot. Hints at Lena? Or am I reading too much into this? It's definitely deliberate, because the woman is definitely reacting to Barry's presence. Is PTA hinting that this could be Lena??

2) When Barry is bundled into the back of the truck and is driven away, a strange bright light sweeps along the road, almost like a UFO. I know PTA has spoken about how he sees sci-fi elements in the story. Is this one of them? BTW I'm not suggesting this is really a UFO, just love the fact PTA has included the UFO imagery.

3) The phone sex scene in Barry's appartment. Apart from being expertly filmed in one take, I LOVE the 'nudge' the camera does halfway through. Barry's head is down, the camera moves in close, blurring the image, then BAM the camera jerks right-to-left almost as though someone had bumped into the cameraman. Wow! Was it a mistake that PTA made the most of (the sound effects on the screen react to the camera move, so I suspect not).

4) Final thing is just a detail he didn't need to put in but did. When Barry and Lena are chatting in the restaurant (pre bathroom frenzy) in a background themanager can be seen forceably leading a customer out the door. At the time I wondered what it was about, but then all was revealed in the shot of Barry and Lena leaving. Standing outside is the guy, smoking a cigarette. He'd been thrown out for smoking! Again, not a big thing but great to know there are all these little touches in the background of the scenes.

Anyone else spot anything?


This isn't tough to spot (all you have to do is watch the movie) but I love that Barry has a Clapper in his apartment.  That just made me laugh.  I love it and I'm not completely sure why.


Quote from: Marty McSuperfly. Wow! Was it a mistake that PTA made the most of....

haha, thanks for the laugh this morn'....

phil marlowe

Quote from: neatahwantahaha, thanks for the laugh this morn'....

You are SO annoingly arrogant


Quote from: Phil MarloweYou are SO annoingly arrogant

And you're from Denmark, so we're even.

Fuckin' useless Euro trash....

phil marlowe

Quote from: neatahwantaAnd you're from Denmark, so we're even.

Fuckin' useless Euro trash....



And too respond properly,  Paul ain't no amateur hack like most of you.  GOY-S. :roll:


...and by the by smoky, you call me each time I scratch the proverbial chalkboard or suck it...your choice... :?

Duck Sauce

Great observations, on the old board there was tons of observations about the person in the red dress and outer space connections. Im sure somebody here can summarize it. Wow, I didnt even notice the guy smoking getting kicked out, good observation. Paul sure loves smoking....



i know i have some caps of the girl in the red dress/man in the red suit around somewhere, but on the old boards we had a big, stinking PDL faq list.  it was pretty useful, but you re-raise some interesting questions.


Along the same linesbut for Boogie Nights (also done on the old boards but I dont remember these)

The two car honks that are in time with Best of My Love at the start.

And Reed tripping up Rahads steps.

(Marty, I saw PDL at Regus festival with PTA too)
\"I wanted to make a film for kids, something that would present them with a kind of elementary morality. Because nowadays nobody bothers to tell those kids, \'Hey, this is right and this is wrong\'.\"
  -  George Lucas


Quote from: sphinxon the old boards we had a big, stinking PDL faq list.  it was pretty useful

I redirected to it so much, I strained my finger.
"Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art." - Andy Warhol

Skeleton FilmWorks


Quote from: MacGuffinI redirected to it so much, I strained my finger.

there's a really old picture i drew of that, it looked something like this

mspaint is the shit


HAHA!  I forgot about that picture.

I don't remember the smoking guy at the restraunt, that's cool.

Also, the pudding talks to Barry.  That's my favorite bit.

Teen Wolf

I like how when Barry is in the phone booth in Hawaii, the light goes on when Lena answers.