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January 2005, Week 2


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"W. McCarthy" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 8 Jan 2005 14:50:18 -0500
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        I confess this to be a very quirky request; any help will be
greatly appreciated. My efforts to locate the title of the film
through IMDb have thus far proven futile.
        I seek the title (and, eventually, a copy) of a small,
perhaps made-for-TV movie that was produced, I believe, in the 80's
-- no earlier than that. I do not think that any actor of particular
notoriety, prior, current or subsequent, was in the film. The plot
deals (this is a fuzzy recollection) with a young man who, having
recently received a doctorate in semiotics from a university in
California, is driving across the country (back to the East Coast?),
stops in a town in the mid-west, gets romantically involved with a
local girl, is on the brink of marrying said girl -- until he
experiences a kind of semiotic epiphany (that through which the
protagonist perceives the essential cultural aridity of the country's
core, I suppose), and drives away. And here, at last, is the part
that struck me (though not hard enough), that sticks (though
imprecisely) with me: the obviously "semiotic" closing shot
foregrounds a container of vanilla ice cream which has been tossed
from the sportscar (top down) of the departing semiotician. The day
is hot & sunny, the ice cream begins to melt and run down black
asphalt as the car drives off in the background.
        Has anyone else ever seen this film? Does anyone remember the title?

Bill McCarthy
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