Sylvia Sidney played the sour, bitchy old case-worker in the Beetlejuice after-life. She reminded me of either a veteran New York talent agent or maybe some jaded soul who sold real estate– and in this case, haunted houses. To the Maitlan’s, “you’re in it for life”, or living death– or undead probationary periods as time takes on an elastic, screwball effect that can be better explained in the second movie, cooking here.
To think– how the universe is stranger than we can ever know. Alternative realities, phantom mirror images, higher or lower plains of existence– played through the prism of kooky old haunted houses, like trick photography or t.v. aerials.
Play that in with Beetlejuice like a demented home repair-man, or maybe a guy in coveralls and a company ball cap who comes by to exterminate pests, rattling-up and an old run-down truck and honking the horn. And how Sylvia Sidney scolds you in warning– not to use his free-lance services like some sort of Better Business Bureau.
You have the feeling that many plains of existence all come down to meet here. From Lydia’s death-rock stylings to working class tomfoolery with Beetlejuice you have an eclectic mix to work with, here. St. Louis is a mix of things, too that traverses in a small area of cultural and class friction rubbing shoulders.
It could have practically happened in my back yard as we scare-up more inspiration for the sequel, if ever. Incidentally, I’m attending the St. Louis International Film Festival and getting all sorts of artistic hints and other creative inspiration.
I’ve got to see my movie play on home town screens. Make it count.