Scarlett Johansson Has Made a Magnificent Short Film: These Vagabond Shoes

I spend a lot of my very limited brain capacity wondering why Hollywood directors don’t run around with small cameras making their own little movies for YouTube.  Scarlett Johansson has made an excellent short film called These Vagabond Shoes which puts on display her obvious interest in and love for true cinema.  The person who has uploaded it to YouTube has somehow squeezed the image from widescreen to standard, but the film shines nevertheless.  I’m not sure why there’s a Russian overdub either, but just ignore it.  I think Ms. Johansson should upload the film herself properly and if she does, I’ll change the video link.  She has made a film that I’m certain is exactly what she wanted to make. It’s her personal expression of a fleeting and elusive subject.  The film’s about being alone and damn well liking it.  Kevin Bacon plays the film’s main character who gets dressed at just past 4:00 pm to leave his apartment and take a trip to a nearly empty Coney Island.  The film contains only small incidental sounds and very minimal dialog.  Its beauty lies in the attention to tiny details of behavior.  The multiple clocks in Mr. Bacon’s tiny apartment, all precisely set.  His careful re-tying of his shoe.  His placement of a hat upon his head and his hesitation when locking his door behind him.  These are the details of the lone person who sets out upon a small but important voyage through the terrifying public space.  Mr. Bacon’s character puts on the armor of his attire with a resolute dread that I can remember from my own time alone.  Ms. Johansson knows exactly what she’s doing.  Her character’s trip to Coney Island where he will purchase a hot dog and sit on a bench by the sea is a seeking out of the pleasure of being alone with one’s very own self and the not knowing what will come of that.  The uncertainty and the wide open strangeness of possibility when one is all alone in a very busy and enormous world is too much for most people to face.

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