The Neon Bible

In a novel by John Kennedy Toole set in the American Bible Belt in the 1940s, Davies found kinship with his own sensibilities and stories. “If you weren't like anyone else in town, you had to leave,” the young narrator, David (who is first seen on a train, leaving), recounts. “That's why everyone was so alike.” Gena Rowlands is Mae Morgan, a broke nightclub singer plopped into this godforsaken place where her niece, David‘s mother, lives. If David (Jacob Tierney) is a witness to injustice-his abusive father takes him to a lynching as an evening's entertainment-Mae is David's witness, and his salvation. When the war comes, and it's just the women (in Davies's world, a lad's dream), singing and dancing ensue. Davies's always-precise art lends this film an eerie sense of being a painting, slowly moving, as memory weaves a narrative, and voices strive to keep up with it.

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