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film

Ed Wood

People! All going somewhere. All with their own thoughts, their own ideas, all with their own . . . personalities. One is wrong, because he does right. And one is right . . . because he does wrong. Pull the string! Dance to that . . . which one is created for!

Bela Lugosi, in Ed Wood’s Glen or Glenda?, 1953

AT THE BEGINNING of his strangely autobiographical first film, Glen or Glenda?, Ed Wood introduces an inexplicable framing device that, absurd as it is, may be the film’s most telling moment: he offers an aging Bela Lugosi as God, sitting above humanity, watching with disgust, and babbling non sequiturs better suited to a deathbed Nietzsche than a benevolent Creator. Lugosi is an unreliable puppet master, yanking strings at random, dragging contradictory realities—found footage of charging buffalo, iron foundries, L.A. traffic—into the film world over which he presides. While the

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