Little Murders (Alan Arkin, 1971)

Where does community exist? In the group of thugs, purposelessly raining fists on anyone foolish enough to believe they carry the intelligence to outwit them? In the congregation of wedding guests being bombarded by a bragging father’s stories? In the clump of apartment dwellers fleeing and watching the fire consuming their homes? In a seething riot? Or in the random and planned encounters between strangers and lovers? Aren’t the obscene phone call and the bowling date, the sniper’s bullet and the post-coital conversation both community-building? Indeed, one can see the perverse tenderness that can pass in the glances between two men covered in blood, as each stumbles past the other, each on their way to cope with the aftermath of the acts of violence done to (or on) each other’s body.

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