We watched this to honour Vampira, who passed away today. I'm glad we did, too, because I haven't seen the film in a long time, and though I remember key scenes, I had really forgotten just how wonderful the whole thing really is. It's just a beautifully told story, and it hits home when it needs to about passion in art, believing in oneself, and never forgetting what dreams are and what they mean. Ed Wood might not have been the greatest filmmaker of all time, but he was certainly among the most passionate -- or, at least, that's how he is portrayed here. I wondered during the film if he does't exploit Bela Lugosi to get his foot in the door at the studios, and Steve informed me that his use of Bela is more of a celebration, and whether or not there was an element of exploitation there, it worked out to serve Bela, to give him celebratory final years. I see that, and it only adds to the joy of the film for me.
Everything here works, from the BW photography, to the cast, to the tight structure.
Bela, Tor, Criswell, Eddie, and now Vampira. It would have made sense to watch Plan 9 from Outer Space as a tribute to her passing, but I didn't think I could do that again. I disagree that it's the worst movie ever made - I've seen The Pelican Brief, remember - but that doesn't make it any easier to watch.
Ed Wood, by all accounts, is heavily fictionalized, but that, I argue, doesn't detract from the story. Less about Ed Wood himself, it focuses mainly on the friendship between Eddie and Bela Lugosi in the last years of Lugosi's life, ending soon after with the premiere of Plan 9. Instead of being a simple bio-pic, it tells the story of Eddie and Bela against the background of Eddie's struggles to be taken seriously as a filmmaker.
It's an inspiring film, and I'm shocked and awed that it didn't make the AFI's Top 100 Inspirational Movies list. But then, Eddie shot for the moon and kept hitting the roof, so maybe it's not as inspirational as, say, It's a Wonderful Life, but it's got to beat Rudy, right?