GUY DE COINTET’S FINAL PLAY was never performed during his life, but in a tribute to the artist shortly after his death in Los Angeles in 1983, at age forty-nine, one of his longtime actresses, Jane Zingale, and the mime Tery Arnold decided to stage and film the work. The Bridegroom was the very last writing that the enigmatic Frenchman ever put to page. The setting is quite ordinary—a family’s living room, complete with a couch, a door that opens onto the street, and a curtained window. At the beginning, we meet Pamela, who is seated, wearing a white mask and black shirt and black leggings beneath a skirt. She is sad. Her aunt Harriet arrives; she tries to give her niece hope. Something, however, is immediately amiss: Aunt Harriet speaks in monologues, whereas Pamela answers in mime (and, just once, with a scream). And when Aunt Harriet points through the window to a young man, Peter,
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