THOUGHTS ABOUT THE LIPINSKI FROM CO-WRITER OLIVER REED.
Next To The Stone Cast Fountain
If you were standing on the front lawn of George Walnut’s massive estate in St. Louis, MO, next to the stone cast fountain around seven o’clock in the evening of August twelfth, you would hear cicadas. Lazy, late-summer cicadas, their raspy voices shredding the sultry air.
You would see Porsches and Corvettes pulling into the drive. You’d hear their doors slam and chirp. You’d hear Jim curse the moles ruining his lawn, followed by Brad’s hearty guffaw.
Every party, moles are ruining Jim’s lawn and every time Brad finds it hilarious.
However, you’d also hear another sound. A dissonant note like a drunk tuba player that miffed his entrance. It’s the industrial idling of a rusty old van.
The Butler eyes it suspiciously. The guests ignore it with the same ease one might shrug off a fly or poor people, perfectly ignorant of the bound and gagged Mongolian boy inside.
Then, the engine cuts off. Out steps Hank and Chang Lee, dressed to the nines. Only tonight, they will be Cornelius Hankerson and Xin Xhou.
We the Millennials
The thief’s first words to the police were, “I knew you’d come for me.”
“Oh yeah, how’s that?”
“Because of my reputation.”
“Yes, my reputation as a high-end art thief.”
His criminal record does indeed show on instance thirty-years prior. A $30,000 statue was swiped from a museum, and our high-end art thief was arrested when he attempted to return it for the reward money.
He’s an articulate man, but with a vocabulary a bit larger than his grammar knows what to do with. He gave a pre-trial interview without a lawyer, because he wanted others to hear his story. He seems proud of the theft, despite the fact that it went so horribly awry.
It took awhile, but we gradually understood why we were laughing.
‘You can be anything you want to be’ is the proud mantra of our generation. We believed it when Aladdin sang to us. We tasted it when we got our “Most Improved Player” trophies. We internalized it when smartest girl in high school promised it to us in her graduation speech.
Now we’re all filing into the workplace, trying to hold our smiles as the doors close in our faces and we start hearing this strange word that sounds exactly like ‘know’.
This might sound dismal, but once we’ve swept up the shards of our expectations we’re left with a wonderful humor. It’s a vintage humor, a brook of laughter found throughout history when people woke up and realized they had been taking themselves too seriously.
That’s exactly why we sympathize with the thief. In him, we saw ourselves, not as a thief but as a man that believes so sincerely in himself that nothing could ever tell him otherwise.
So, in a way, he is the exemplary millennial. As we grow more disillusioned in the unemployment line, he is our champion. He remains flush with the youthful fantasy we once took for granted. We feel free to flirt with reality, because we know he would never do such a thing.
Is it self-deprecation? Is it catharsis?
Who cares. Let’s not make the same mistake and take ourselves too seriously. Let’s laugh.
The Noir Engine
Have you ever seen any film noir?
It’s almost always a regular person who gets thrown into the middle of a crime and has to play detective… and it never goes well.
At the crux of those movies is the realization that there are things in life that we simply cannot control. The world does not bend to our will. It just spins.
As you can imagine, film noir isn’t your typical feel-good comedy. However, we found that what made us laugh about the Lipiński story wasn’t all that far removed from film noir.
We found rich humor in the thief’s incredible attention to detail accompanied by a simply breathtaking indifference to the agency of the outside world. This is at the very heart of our film.
In short, we took the film noir engine, turned it upside-down, and set it running.