Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Tell-Tale Heart

Next to The Fall of the House of Usher, The Tell-Tale Heart is, arguably, the most famous Poe story of all time. As I have ascertained, The Masque of the Red Death has always been my favorite story by Poe. The mediaeval setting, the debauchery/elitist comeuppance of the Prince and his company, the grim horror of the corpse-like figure who enters...And then there is the inclusion of the tale in The Phantom of the Opera.

But The Tell-Tale Heart and I have had a rough relationship, partially because the story has a perverse humour about it. In The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether (which is a very funny political satire) it's okay, but in The Tell-Tale Heart (a horror story), it isn't.

But now that I think of it, this story has a truly disturbing premise - a man continuing to say he is not mad WHILE he calmly relates a hideous murder.

It is in my new film - The Tell-Tale Heart - that I try to convince myself of the full horror of the story.

I will play the Lunatic. My brother has a friend who might be willing to play the Old Man. All that leaves is my brother and one other for the Officers of the Police. And there.

I daresay the only hard part will be the sequence in which I am in the asylum, terrified, straitjacketed, and relating how I'm nervous but definitely not crazy. Put finger quotes around definitely. You know, it's a sign of sarcasm - forget it.

The short film shall be easy to shoot. No extravagant sets or effects. But Brendan and I will be animating a few surreal sequences for the audience to realize just how disturbed the Lunatic is. I am taking all sorts of inspiration for these - the 1953 James Mason terrifying animated film, Gerald Scarfe's truly creepy cartoons for The Wall, and so on.

I shall do this.

I will notify you when I am done.

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