Saturday, July 26, 2014

Against a Crooked Sky

This was a 1970s family film, produced by a company called Doty-Dayton in Utah. It was a western about a boy who searches for his sister who has been abducted by a strange tribe of Indians with gold headbands.

In the opening scene of Against a Crooked Sky, we see a teenage farm boy frolicking with his favorite farm animal, a suckling calf. He stops to spy on his teenage sister who is swimming naked in a pond. Then he dresses the calf in her clothes.

What does this add up to? What were they suggesting?

If it had been a Luis Buñuel movie, what would it have been suggesting?

The difference is that the perversity in Buñuel's movie was an affectation. The surrealists studied psychological symbolism and injected it into their movies. Here, it was completely sincere. The Mormon producers were oblivious to the meaning of what was spewing from their subconscious minds.

Obviously, the farmboy was so turned on by his nude sister that he wanted to dress the calf up like her while having sex with it.

Later, when the brother and sister try to flee the Indians, he slows them down because he didn't want to leave his sex calf behind. The girl might have gotten away otherwise.

When he begins his search, he encounters Richard Boone at his most repulsive. Boone keeps talking about the time he murdered his son by slitting his throat, reflecting the Oedipal conflict between the two. Boone even mentions how good-looking his son was. When Boone says, "He took after his ma", it has more than one possible meaning.

I'm probably making it sound more interesting than it was. It was just terrible. It's public domain if anyone wants to do a remake.

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