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"If Lucy Fell" -- HANS!

If Lucy Fell (1996) would be a mostly forgettable movie, except for the way some of the performances are plainly early versions of characters the actors would take up later. Lucy Ackerman, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, is the template from which her portrayal of Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City was drawn. Bwick Elias, flower-child idiot artist, is the ur-goon of every idiot Ben Stiller has played thereafter (notably Zoolander).

But there's also this great scene, at 0:56. Lucy and Bwick are on a date, at Bwick's apartment:


{Bwick joins Lucy on a couch, facing a painting we've seen him working on previously.}

BWICK: It's symbolic. {He gestures at the painting, which stays unseen.} Life equals love which actually equals death. Life equals death.

{We cut to see the painting}

LUCY: It's symbolic?

BWICK: Yeah.

LUCY: Symbolic death?

BWICK: Symbols of life, and death, and love. Life equals death which is in the middle. The sub-set is love. Which is really what the symbol is. Love. Life equals love equals death. It's symbolic.

LUCY: Wait. {She gets up off the couch, and walks over to the painting} You have a woman with "LIFE" painted on her, uh... area, and she's stabbing to death a man with a knife that says "LOVE" on it. And then in big, bold letters it says, "LIFE=LOVE=DEATH."
I don't know that it's very symbolic, Bwick. It's kind of spelled out.

BWICK: So... It sucks. HANS!

LUCY: No. It doesn't suck. It's just that it's not really... You know, it's... It's a literal painting.

{As she says this, an assistant who looks like Fabio -- long blonde hair, overalls, no shirt -- splashes some sort of fluid onto the painting.}

LUCY: It's not symbolic. Which is... Fine.

BWICK: Hm-hm.

LUCY: It's literal.

BWICK: Right. It just... Literally sucks.

{We see that Hans is patiently standing next to the painting, now with a blowtorch in his hand.}


BWICK: No, you're right. You're right. It just symbolically sucks. HANS!

{Hans turns on the blowtorch, and sets the painting ablaze.}

BWICK: It certainly isn't very literal any more, is it?

{Lucy turns to the painting, as it continues to burn.}

LUCY: No, it's... It's symbolic.