Anniversary Post: Paper Moon

Paper Moon

On this day, 9 May, in 1973, Paper Moon was released.

It’s one of those films where it’s hard to tell whether it is a psychotronic or art film. And indeed, it is both. Well, art? I’m a lot more clear what a psychotronic film is than what an art film is. But it was made in black and white when it didn’t need to be. That’s a sure sign of an art film.

But it’s about a con man. Not just a con man but one who preys on grieving family members who just lost a loved-one. He does it by selling them Bibles. And it’s the Great Depression. And he uses a little girl to help him.

That’s pretty damned psychotronic! And it’s a very fun film!

I sure wouldn’t be highlighting The Last Picture Show if it had been released today. Regardless of how much I admire that film I don’t find it fun — except when Cloris Leachman yells at Timothy Bottoms.

I just watched 13 Frightened Girls! last night. And in that context, Paper Moon is notable for another reason: it features a precocious little girl who doesn’t make me want to scream.

That might be due to her not being very nice. She’s unpleasant exactly the way that precocious children usually are. There’s nothing like a good unpleasant truth!

Paper Moon poster via Wikipedia under Fair use.

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