Don't Look Now | Crooked Media
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March 05, 2024
Ruined with Alison Leiby and Halle Kiefer
Don't Look Now

In This Episode

Halle and Alison race through the streets of Venice and consult a psychic to ruin Don’t Look Now.






[theme music]: If scary movies give you dread. Keep you up late night in bed, here’s a podcast that will help you ease your mind. We’ll explain the plot real nicely then we’ll talk about what’s frightening, so you never have to have a spooky time. It’s Ruined.


Halle Kiefer: Hello. Welcome to Ruined. I’m Halle. Oh, I’m sorry. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, my God. And I’m Alison. 


Halle Kiefer: And this is a podcast where we ruin a horror movie just for you. 


Alison Leiby: Just for all of you. 


Halle Kiefer: How are you doing? 


Alison Leiby: Not great. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m sorry. 


Alison Leiby: Everybody over here is fine, but, I had, like, kind of a, like, challenging night. I. I had a show, with the very funny George Civeris. If you listen to his podcast, I think you will love him. And he’ll be in LA doing shows in March, so go see him. But we’re at Union Hall, and I had, like, a beer during the show, and then I, like, saw some friends. I had, like, one beer after, like two beers over, like a three hour period. But I had two IPAs. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: And, like, I never drink an IPA, but like three times a year. It sounds really good. And I’m like, I just like want that. And it had been many, many, many, many, many months since I’d had one. I came home and had like the worst night of my life of like.


Halle Kiefer: Oh. 


Alison Leiby: I guess like it’s a struggle to digest that much gluten at once. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, I’m so sorry. 


Alison Leiby: And like, I was just, like, up with, like, I was at one point was like, I might be having a heart attack and I should probably go to the hospital. Like, it was, like, that much. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m so sorry. 


Alison Leiby: Just like the way that, like, heartburn and gas pain can mimic like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Like actual like cardiac issues. And I was just like up all night and like, poor Rizz was just like, what’s happening? And I was just, like, burping nonstop [laughs] which I might still be during this podcast because it, like, kind of like just I’ve just moved on and feel like back to normal. But it was like such a sad thing because I was like, oh, a few times in the last like two years, I’ve had like a large serving of pasta and been like, oh, I just don’t feel my best. And I was always like, oh, it’s because it’s had cheese and cream and it’s like, no, I actually think like a low level issue with high gluten. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Foods is is now part of my dietary life. And I’ve never been somebody who has any dietary restrictions or like anything. And I’ve always have like really been able to eat whatever and it’s like never really bothered me. And like, now I’m just like, oh God, getting old really sucks because like, that’s definitely something that happens. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I had a I had a really strong mint tea this morning. And I will say that helped more than anything else I did. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh good I’m so glad. 


Alison Leiby: So if you’re ever struggling with that kind of, indigestion situation, I highly recommend keeping mint tea around. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m so sorry. I will say that I not that it’s exactly the same, but having stopped drinking, I do feel like. Well, yeah, I guess that explains every time I ever felt unwell for the last since I turned, you know, 18 or whatever. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So worth a try. And I know there are a lot of people I don’t know. I feel like people, our culture is bad. So I feel like every time, like when sort of like gluten allergies were coming out, people were like, oh, everyone’s allergic to gluten. It’s like, well, there is something to be said. Like, obviously people have celiac. My sister, one of my sister in laws lives has celiac. And like they have to keep their house like totally gluten free. That makes sense people go to gluten free restaurants, but it stands to reason there are other people could have sensitivities of a certain strength that maybe isn’t an allergy or or an illness. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah but. 


Halle Kiefer: But it’s like anything, you know what I mean. 


Alison Leiby: In general. I think, like our digestive systems were not built to digest a ton of wheat. And like, that’s not because it’s like not a naturally occurring like it has to be kind of made into something—


Halle Kiefer: Processed. But then what can you make the argument the like meat has to be cooked or— 


Alison Leiby: Sugar or anything like that. Yeah. I don’t know [both speaking] but I think in general like, like everybody has like, oh, like we just aren’t built for it the way, like a cow or a horse or something is built to digest that kind of thing. And so and I think as you get older, you just become more sensitive to it. I don’t think I have any like, I also like had a sandwich and was fine. Like, it’s not I feel like I’m still fine on like a low level of gluten. But yeah, I don’t like I don’t think super hoppy beers are part of my life anymore. And that’s kind of a bummer because like twice a year I really enjoyed having one. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Do you want to pour, you should pour one down to the canal to say goodbye. 


Alison Leiby: Oh yeah, and that’ll be like the cleanest, best thing in the canal. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Gowanus canal. Known Superfund site that I live on top of. 


Halle Kiefer: And then just switch to switch to canal water. I feel like they’ll get you. Get you there. 


Alison Leiby: That’ll run right through you, I bet. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, I’m sorry to hear that, but I’m glad that you’re, feeling better now and—


Alison Leiby: Maybe a future podcast. So. Just flagging for everybody. [laughs] 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, well, at least they know. They know where we’re at. This is not—


Alison Leiby: As if they aren’t all burping. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Nonstop, my friend. 


Alison Leiby: Nonstop. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, let’s get into it. This is, of course, our first movie for March, and this is, I believe this is your suggestion Alison, we’re doing March Madness. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I just wrote March Madness in an email with a question mark, and now we’re doing it. And thank you for taking a, pun pitch and figuring out what it could mean. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: My absolute pleasure. And we are, of course, generally, generally focusing on movies that are about someone being driven mad, going mad, thinking they might be going mad. Other people thinking they’re going mad. And of course, then, we’ll find out by the end. Were they mad to begin with? That is always the question. 


Alison Leiby: Feels like there’s a lot of these out there.


Halle Kiefer: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Well, every I think it’s a that perhaps that the most primal fear but certainly one of them. We I, we already did. Let’s Scare Jessica to Death. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But I think that’s a per. I love that movie so much. And a great example of, like, the scary it takes a while for her to understand what’s going on because we are starting with a protagonist who has already been dealing with mental health issues. So then when things start happening and she’s like, can’t, don’t tell them you saw that lady, just be cool. 


Alison Leiby: Yep. 


Halle Kiefer: And there is something that we could all imagine being in that situation of like, well, should I bring up that thing I saw or was that the thing? Or maybe I didn’t see it, maybe I, I’m gonna ignore it. And then, of course, it turns out that’s also the worst possible option. 


Alison Leiby: Yes of course. 


Halle Kiefer: So the movie we are doing this week is, 1973’s Don’t Look Now. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: An absolute fucking banger. I hadn’t seen this  movie in a second. Absolutely phenomenal. 


Alison Leiby: I never heard of. And I’m excited. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, yeah. It’s got Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland. Fantastic. 


Alison Leiby: He’s so good. 


Halle Kiefer: And he’s they’re they’re both excellent. He’s great in this. And he’s the master of a oh like he’s in. 


Alison Leiby: Yes yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Every scene yelling. But in a way that like the nuance to the groans, the nuance to the shouts. It was directed by Nicolas Roeg. R, o, e, g. And who has done a lot of great films, of his films. The one that stands out to me is, of course, 1990s The Witches, which I fucking loved as a kid. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Was that a movie of your childhood, as well?


Alison Leiby: I am aware of it, it wasn’t part of my childhood, but like, I know that it was iconic to so many people growing up—


Halle Kiefer: And he also he also directed, The Man Who Fell to Earth, with David Bowie, Walkabout, which I also remember from being a kid, a bunch of great movies. And this is a phenomenal, film, horror film, psychological thriller. And it’s based on a, 1971 short story by Daphne Du Maurier. Du Maurier I’m sorry. I should know how to pronounce her name. She wrote Rebecca or the, she wrote she also wrote the story that The Birds was based on. So.


Alison Leiby: So she’s insane. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: A gal of a lot of talent? Yeah. We always like to have Alison watch the trailer to, get us started. Alison, what did you think of the trailer for 1973’s Don’t Look Now. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, Donald Sutherland really? Like, I feel like because he’s been such a good actor for such a long time. Most of my, like, relationship to his acting is him in older age, because it’s been movies and TV shows and things and orange juice commercials lending his voice to those. So like it was like to see him younger. He’s just such a good actor. So I was excited about that. I will say I don’t love someone with a milky eye. That’s a tough look.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, there’s. It’s a tough look. And again, a shorthand for somebody having. You’re not gonna be surprised to hear this psychic powers. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. I’m speaking of course of a woman, not of Donald Donald Sutherland. He doesn’t have them, in this movie, but the woman who does. Really? She hit the screen, and I was like, I’m not happy about this. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, it’s it’s it’s kind of a lazy shorthand at this point. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But this was in the 70s. We were we were caught up with the idea of like, well, it doesn’t have to be the milky eye. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Just, but of course she has the second sight, as indicated by her eye. And when she, she has a lot of information, she’s going to try to get out whether or not people will be able to, listen to it. We’ll find out. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Also, the Italian, title of this film is, is, in Venice, A Shocking Red December. Oh, that’s a fucking title for you. 


Alison Leiby: That’s a title.


Halle Kiefer: We also like to take a baseline scary. Alison how scary do you find the concept of trying to, stay with your spouse, who you love very much after one of your children dies? 


Alison Leiby: Oof, that’s got to be. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Just a tough. That’s an that’s an every day. Thing to deal with. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: That’s not, that’s not just like, oh, we have to deal with this one. It’s like, that’s a day in and day out struggle. So.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And I feel like there are sort of these ideas of like if a child dies or is unwell, it like it leads to divorce because of the stress of it. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And I like that this is like they’re it, it never felt like they’re going to break up. But then as a result like then it is confined to their personal dynamic. You know what I mean? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s one thing to be like this is too much. One of us has to leave or both of us. It’s like, no, we are staying together. And so what happens is going to happen to both of us, you know, inescapably. And finally, would you like to guess the twist in Don’t Look Now, based entirely on our conversation and of course, the trailer. 


[voice over]: Guess the twist. 


Alison Leiby: From what I can tell from the trailer, the child has died. But the psychic woman is either like communicating with her in death, or perhaps is saying that the child is still alive. So I’m going to guess that the child was kidnapped and has not died. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. All right. Perfect. Perfect guess. Let us begin ruining. Don’t Look Now. We open on a pond in a backyard in England in the driving rain. We see that it is, it’s pouring out, and then suddenly, the rain lets up and it’s just suddenly a beautiful pastoral scene. We see a white horse running in a field nearby, and a little blonde girl named Christine in a red rain slicker and rain boots going out into the newly wet world to play with her brother Johnny, who is frantically riding his bicycle around the backyard. We see Christine. I’m going to go and say she is round about six. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: Let’s say six, and we see her find a red and white straight ball. She throws it. Alison. It splashes into the water. And this scene is incredibly long. So as soon as you see the ball go in the water, you’re like, well, I’m pretty sure I know where this is headed. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But the kids are playing like they nobody knows what’s happening. So we’re watching, anticipating the horror. Meanwhile, she’s like, picks up an army doll that was in the rain and it still works. And she’s kind of leaning over the water and fishing around for the ball. And inside we see her parents, John and Laura, of course, Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie. John is an art historian and a restorationist, and he’s looking at slides of a church in Venice that he has been hired to work on in the near future. And he looks over his wife, who’s going through an encyclopedia. He says, what are you reading? She says, you know, I’m trying to find the answer to a question Christine asked me if the world is round. Why is a frozen pond flat? John’s like, that’s a great question. I actually don’t know. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: He goes back to the slides and he does a lot of like they go the slides are put on like a glass screen with a light behind it. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So we can look at them. They’re transparent. 


Alison Leiby: Great imagery in the trailer using this. And I can imagine in the movie. 


Halle Kiefer: Incredible direction, incredible art direction, incredible cinematography. Like again, it really just makes you appreciate a a movie where so much thought is put into everything. We see him looking at slides and he’s looking at a the inside of a church that he’s going to be working on. And in one of the pews we see a short figure in a hooded raincoat standing seemingly the only figure in this church in the pews. Meanwhile, outside, we, of course see Christine, continuing to play treacherously close to the pond, and we see Johnny run over a pane of glass in the grass, which, having grown up in the country, there was just random stuff that would just show up. 


Alison Leiby: Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: Like you’d be in a field. There’s a random old window pane. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So then as a result, Johnny is distracted because he’s trying to pull a piece of glass out of his bike tire. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So everyone’s being distracted by their own. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Individual pursuits. Laura finds the answer, which it turns out that frozen water is curved. It’s just that it curves so slightly you wouldn’t see it. But say Lake Ontario, it’s curved three degrees from end to end, so you can actually measure it. And he goes—


Alison Leiby: Oh wow. 


Halle Kiefer: That makes a lot of sense. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: John spills a glass of water onto his slides, and he’s starting to finally pick it up, and the one with the red figure starts to blur, and he looks at it, and we see the red of the hood bleed across the slide, and this look of knowledge passed across John’s face. He knows something is about to happen. Of course, at the same time we see poor Johnny running towards the house and moved by this premonition. John runs outside and of course runs to the lake, runs to the pond, and we see Christine’s ball floating in the water. Johnny screaming for his father and, he also Johnny has a piece of glass. Again, a great detail. He’s holding a piece of glass and he’s so nervous. It’s like cutting his hands because he’s not paying attention to his hands. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Meanwhile, Laura’s inside doesn’t know any of this is happening yet, so we’re watching her. She also sees a slide, and the red bleeds across the image, and we see John plunge into the pond and bring his daughter out of the water, and he drags her ashore in the mud and he does CPR. It is too late. She is dead. And so it is Donald, Donald Sutherland. Like, not even a scream. Like just like a a in animal, a guttural howl taking his daughter’s body up, back up to the house. But he falls in the mud and his son is just watching him, terrified. And finally we see Laura walk into the kitchen and see through the window and scream. 


Alison Leiby: Ugh. I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: Truly, yes. The worst. 


Alison Leiby: The worst thing that can happen to you. 


Halle Kiefer: The worst possible thing you can imagine and I think speaks to my greatest fear, which is inadvertently. I think hurting a child, but hurting anyone. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And my my greatest irrational fear. Of course. Leaving a baby in the car. I don’t have a baby. I don’t have a car. 


Alison Leiby: Nope. 


Halle Kiefer: And yet somehow I that the idea that you would walk outside and be like, oh, no I did this.


Alison Leiby: The baby is in the car. Yes, I know.


Halle Kiefer: Completely by accident. For some reason that is so much more chilling. I, I wouldn’t do it intentionally. 


Alison Leiby: Well, I think that’s the thing is like, you know, that like yourself in your right mind is never going to intentionally hurt somebody. But. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: You can. I accidentally hurt myself all the time. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. 


Alison Leiby: And so like, how easy would it be for it to be somebody else that is on the receiving end of my stupidity. 


Halle Kiefer: And I remember when I first started babysitting, which I like as a girl, I just be I was babysitting constantly, you know. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, not me, but yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, there’s just like I think something to do, and I went over it was like, my first gig, I suppose, and I think I was 13. There were two little girls, and I was so paranoid because I had a pond in the backyard, and I was afraid they were going to choke and they were going to drown. And my mom like, don’t worry. It’s it was like a mother’s helper thing. So the dad was home working. I just had to watch the kids. I literally go over there. These kids are in the pond the entire time. They’re like taking off their clothes. So you can’t even, like, grab them. If they were to fall in the water. And when it’s time for lunch, they’re eating like hot dogs and like everything that’s cut into, like, perfectly like the esophagus. Size. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes.


Halle Kiefer: It ended up being fine, but it’s just very funny where it’s like, oh no, this is mayhem. I thought we were just gonna, like, watch TV, like play games or something.


Alison Leiby: It’s like literally every single thing is a danger. 


Halle Kiefer: Terrifying. And unfortunately, in this case, they have lost their daughter, Christine. We now find herself months later in Venice, where John is out overseeing the restoration of the church. He and Laura have gone there for it to stay the duration of the project, and their son, Johnny is staying in the UK. He goes to boarding school, so he’s at boarding school. And I forget how close Italy and and England is because they’re constantly like, oh, we’ll just fly back and like it’s like a couple hours. I think it’d be like, oh right. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Like New York to Florida, kind of like.


Halle Kiefer: Right. Let me look up what the flight is. Yeah. Look, we’re looking at two hours, two hours, 14 minutes. So, you know. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah that’s easy breezy. 


Halle Kiefer: And, so they’re there for the duration. Their son is in England, and we see John go from the church to meet his wife for lunch, and he’s of course grousing about the project. He cares deeply about this church. He is clearly throwing all of his grief into restoring this church. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And he says, basically they like it, it’s like a fake bullshit facade. But and so they either fix that like fix like the decorative, parts of it, or let the whole thing sort of sink into the river, into the canals, but they don’t have money to actually restore it. So he’s kind of like putting lipstick on a pig a little bit. So it’s like we’re doing these things. But knowing that there’s a foundational issue. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: I am assuming that is also a metaphor for‚


Alison Leiby: Of course it is. 


Halle Kiefer: The film. Yeah. Laura is writing a letter to their son, talking about, you know, saying his daddy is hard at work restoring Saint Nicholas, a beautiful 16th century church. And here’s some money for new gym shoes. As she’s writing and reading this letter to him, John sees a woman staring at him, and she has a look of surprise recognition similar to what he had in the beginning. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: The windows open and like I said, it’s it’s, it’s a red December here in Venice. So he goes to shut the window and everything is gorgeous. Everything is like, exactly what you think Venice would be like huge, like double doors with windows like gigantically tall ceilings. 


Alison Leiby: I want to go before it’s gone. 


Halle Kiefer: With mosaics. I know.


Alison Leiby: I’ve never been to Venice.


Halle Kiefer: I went in college, and it was. It was gorgeous. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So he shuts the window, and that force, the air pressure forces a door to to the canals to pop open, and something flies into the eye of the woman who was staring at him. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s with another woman, and they sort of start. She started, like, ask for help getting something out of her eye and then sort of panicking at the table a little bit while John is watching all of this. And eventually they get up to, find the restroom and they bump into the back of Laura’s chair. And they so now they’re both Laura and John are aware of these women as they make their way, through the room. And, we see this big golden broach on the woman’s, suit jacket and sort of like a woman in the moon. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see the woman and her companion look for the bathroom, and instead of start to walk into the kitchen, and the Italian guys have to sort of usher them out because they don’t speak Italian, and neither do John and Laura speak okay, like a little bit of Italian, but not really. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And Laura sees the two women struggling and gets up and says, oh, I’ll help them get to the restroom and like, goes to them and takes them inside and starts to help the woman try to get something out of her eye. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And the woman, immediately goes, I’m sorry. We were staring. We’re from the country. We don’t really get out much, you know, like we’re we’re we’re just in the big city and we find out these two ladies, the one with the something in her eye, her name is Wendy, and Heather is her sister. She is blind. She is the woman you saw in the trailer. And so is not much help fishing this thing out of Wendy’s eye. So Laura is able to help Wendy, and they are incredibly grateful. 


Alison Leiby: You talking about all this eye stuff, sitting in front of this spherical paper lantern behind you is really giving me. That’s like a pinky red. I don’t know, it’s really setting the mood. 


Halle Kiefer: My big old eyeball. 


Alison Leiby: Your big eyeball. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, my God, I’m so glad. And as you could imagine, being in Venice, John is constantly looking at the water outside and then picturing. 


Alison Leiby: I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: The corpse of his daughter in the. Which would be the worst place to to take a job. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. You would definitely want to be somewhere, like, more landlocked and without, like, lakes and ponds. Kind of like a desert plain. 


Halle Kiefer: Arizona or something. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. But he, you know, I imagine kind of a problem. And then we see an image of them leaving their beautiful country home, all packed up, driving away in the driving rain to come on this, trip. Sorry. While they’re in the restroom, the ladies are kind of chatting, and Heather interjects, you’re sad. You’re so sad. But there’s no need to be Laura’s like what just. I just met you. What do you mean? And Heather tells Laura. 


[clip of Hilary Mason]: I’ve seen your little girl sitting between you and your husband. And she was laughing. Oh yeah. She’s with you. She’s with you, my dear, and she’s laughing. 


Halle Kiefer: And of course, Laura is stunned. Like, how could this woman possibly know that her daughter died? 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And and Heather goes, and she had a little. She’s a shiny. They can’t call it a Mac. I guess that’s like what they called, like a red raincoat. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And she goes, oh, she’s wearing a shiny little Mac. And of course Laura gasps and says, Christine. 


Alison Leiby: That’s such a yeah right. It’s like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, how could you possibly know such a thing. Back at the table. John has another copy of the slide we saw at the beginning. So with the red hooded figure in the church and he’s looking at it again. What, what? How could this figure be there? What does it mean? That figure was there when we’ve seen the figure of his daughter. This is something that both he and Laura seem to be noodling out. But nobody’s saying it. You know, in the ladies room, there was a, like, a bathroom attendant watching all this being like, what the fuck are you talking about? Laura basically almost passes out, and Wendy and Heather give her smelling salts to wake her back up. Being so shocked about the information about her daughter. And as Heather and Wendy go to leave, Laura says, did you really see her? Did you really see Christine? And Heather tells her she was there. She really was there. And then they leave and we see Wendy say to Heather way back, I felt like you were right. I felt like you should say something. So I feel like that’s what your sister psychic. I bet your constantly, like, should I say something to that lady?


Alison Leiby: Yes. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Should I tell her. 


Alison Leiby: And that’s got to be a tough role to fill. 


Halle Kiefer: And Wendy to her. I appreciate what he was like. You were right. And I felt you should say that. Good, good. You know, Laura, of course, is incredibly shaken, but also thrilled. Like, what? A thing to have someone to say. And to hear that your deceased child is happy. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And exist with you in this plane in some way, you know, spiritually. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. There’s some peace to that. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Also, Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland are both great in this. Like she’s great in the bathroom. Like what? What? You know, unfortunately when she goes back to her, the table. Laura collapses. I think it’s just took so much out of her. She hits the table, the whole thing turns over, and everyone has to rush over and help her. And they carry her to chair out to an ambulance gondola. So there’s a lot of gondolas in this film—


Alison Leiby: I love that there’s a lot of gondolas— [both speaking]


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Well this one is the ambulance and everyone watches, concerned from the dock. Dock as they go to the hospital. However, Laura is totally fine and she watches there’s like a playroom with a big window where the kids who are patients can play. So of course she’s loving it and she’s having a great time. And finally John comes in and she says, Christine is still with us. Those two ladies told me they could see Christine sitting between us at lunch and the blind sisters. She’s described Christine’s red plastic Mac. John, of course, like many a spouse in a horror movie, has to be like, okay, is that real? Did that really happen? Are you are you doing okay? And she says, I’m fine. I’m not going crazy again. I don’t need my pills. And he smiles. So obviously she hasn’t medicated. The implication is yeah—


Alison Leiby: She has not, it seems. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. Yeah. So I think he supposed to, he is our, our dubious sort of, the character believes you might be able to think your way out of, a situation where perhaps there are other elements at play. 


Alison Leiby: Absolutely. 


Halle Kiefer: I again, I wrote, we get so much gondola work, they take a gondola, a water taxi home, and as they—


Alison Leiby: I would love to commute on a boat. 


Halle Kiefer: It does look really fun. It seems like a fun change of pace as they go back to their hotel. Alison, they see a police scene that forces the boats to sort of back up out of the particular canal. There has been a murder most foul in Venice. And another part of this is that, that’s also very disorienting is that both John and Laura are constantly getting turned around and lost. So it has a very like to be very Hitchcockian, you know, like air of you could turn down any alley and suddenly you don’t know where you are. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: You’re kind of looking for one another, and you’re lost to one another in the mists of Venice, which—


Alison Leiby: Yeah, there I mean, certain Italian cities and other cities in Europe where it is those kind of like very narrow, curvy, unmarked streets. 


Halle Kiefer: And little stone bridges over the canal, which is gorgeous. 


Alison Leiby: I love it. 


Halle Kiefer: They they go back to historic church. And Laura said, I’d like to stop here and say a prayer for Christine. And, John’s again, not a praying man, though. I think, again, it’s like he’s not he doesn’t pray, he’s not religious, but also he’s restoring a church and works closely with the bishop, who’s like good friends with them. Will meet in a minute here and see if this church is perfectly nice. Like it’s very churchy. You got candles, you got your stained glass. There’s like a tour group being led around. And she asked John for change. He’s going to light a candle, a prayer candle for Laura, and he doesn’t have, like whatever $0.50. So she has to light six candles for however much money they had. And in the tour group, as they walk by, they’re explaining the artwork in the church, we see Wendy and Heather, the ladies of the restaurant. John is already like, I don’t want those ladies. I don’t want to see those ladies, and I don’t want my wife to see those ladies. We already had a day. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah that’s enough. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So he kind of ducks away. And when Laura’s done, they run out and he says, we have to go back to the church. I we’re an hour and a half late to see the bishop who’s waiting on the job site, but they knew that he had to take her to the hospital. When Laura sees the bishop, she takes his hand and kisses his ring, which John thought was so crazy. Where it’s like we’re not religious like that. But they talk to him, Bishop Alberto. Basically he’s saying, like, it’s funny that God loves his church, but he doesn’t actually give a fuck about making sure the churches don’t collapse on themselves, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And as for people, well, they have their priorities. And he asks Laura, you know, are you Christian? And Laura says, I don’t know which—


Alison Leiby: She says, man I am tonight.


Halle Kiefer: Hell yeah. Oh, yeah. Laura is Cher. The bishop sort of waves off all of John’s actual information because John wants to get into it. John’s like, here’s we have to do with the mosaic or the tiles. They have to be perfect. Or else, what are we doing here? You know, and he’s saying, like, basically the water is corroding the adhesive. So, like, even if we fix it, they’ll keep falling off and the bishop’s like, yeah, what are you gonna do? Like, even he is like, yeah, obviously it’s falling off, it’s Venice. The whole thing’s going to be fucking underwater. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: But basically there is a I don’t even know why this is part of it. It’s just funny. I think it’s just create confusion about, like, where people are is that. Laura and John are staying at a hotel that closes for the winter season, so it gets really cold. It’s the end of the tourist season. Their hotel is closing, so they’re actually going to stay at the with the bishop at, like the monastery. So on Thursday they’re going to pack everything up and go and stay at the bit where the bishop’s lodgings. It’s all set up. Right. Back at their house, Laura takes a bath and John sort of works on his sketches. And then there’s this very tender scene. I love the sex scene when I saw the first time, and now I appreciate it even more. And I feel like people are very down on sex scenes right now. And I think that’s example of the, encroaching, conservative attitude towards—


Alison Leiby: Yes America’s—


Halle Kiefer: Sex. 


Alison Leiby: Slant right.


Halle Kiefer: Yes. I as it continues, not great to everyone. So I think it is good to watch sex scenes. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Especially, one that’s really well done. And so it’s you see them. Laura’s in the bathtub and they’re talking, and then he strips down to weigh himself, and they’re having this like they’re just naked talking to one another. And, the maid, I guess the hotel maid comes in and didn’t realize they were there. And so just walks in on John sitting nude in his drafting table, and he’s like, oh, sorry. And, that night bed in bed, they’re like, just lounging. And Laura says, you know, there’s toothpaste all over your mouth. And he says, how about you eat it off? And she kisses him. 


Alison Leiby: Like, I mean, I like the romance of it, but like. 


Halle Kiefer: A gross way to put it. I agree, but they kiss it and then it’s like this very tender, like sex scene in this, very like, like domestic sex, if that makes sense. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Where it’s like they’re reading the paper together and he, like, holds her hand. And then she sort of like, like rubbing her hand on his back. And it’s so sweet. I just feel bad because I know what’s going to happen to these people and it’s not gonna be good. 


Alison Leiby: I know. This is the last time. 


Halle Kiefer: And so she’s running his hands down his body, and then he pulls off her night gown. He goes down on her and then they have sex. And it’s it’s like beautiful sex scene where it’s like, very like, you know, like it’s passionate and animalistic. And then it’s intercut with these, images of them getting dressed after sex to go to dinner. So it’s sort of like them, like really going at it. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: Like sort of being, being present in the moment. And then also like him setting his watch by the clock and her, like putting mascara on. And I just thought it was like really a sweet, like depiction of, like, sex within a long term relationship. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Where all of this, you know, is part of it. And then also like being parents, too. And so I think where I, what I took from that is like having had this experience. Laura got this news from these ladies about her daughter’s spirit and now is, like, full of life again. 


Alison Leiby: Present and yeah yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Sex is, like, life affirming. As creative as this beautiful thing between you and someone you love. And I. And also, they’re looking both looking good as hell, you know? And so later, we still leave for dinner and we see the building that they, are staying in, which is about to close, has a restaurant, and they’re like, oh, would you come eat in the restaurant? You know, please, we need someone to come. But it’s the end of the season and they’re going out to a special place. And, Laura and John immediately get lost. So they’re looking for this restaurant. They’re going over the same bridge twice. But she they’re both like, presumably because they had sex and they found out that the afterlife is real. Laura’s like, you know, I never minded being lost in Venice. 


Alison Leiby: Let’s take a walk. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. It’s romantic. 


Alison Leiby: It’s beautiful. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Stunning. And they turn on a dark alley and they end. They come to the end of an alley, it drops off into a stone, dock, basically. So there’s, you can’t continue. It’s like a boating, a boat launch, I guess. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And she looks out and there’s a rat trying to jump on to the walkway. And so Laura runs back over to the bridge to get away from the rat, which is a beautiful white rat that you see struggling to get out of the water. So again, it’s like you didn’t need to have it, but it’s like this. Just a shot of like an animal struggling to live. And then we just don’t see it again. So just like those moments of like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Just so thoughtful. And John places his hand against the wall and has a moment of Deja vu, and he says, I’ve been here. And then he hears a scream and we can’t tell. Is it a man or woman? Is it an animal? Is it a cat? And she turns and looks. He sees a small figure in a red hooded jacket running away down one of the alleys. Alison, if that was you, what would you do? 


[voice over]: What would you do? 


Alison Leiby: I mean, I would tell my wife. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, like 100%. I’d be like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Like I’d be like, look, I don’t know if this is just like there is a child with a similar coat in this area. That and coincidentally, I saw it, and it’s bringing me a lot of feelings. Or it’s like everything that has happened to us and then especially the the psychic and your kind of discovery that our child is kind of, with us and, and happy is making me see things. It’s one of those two things. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: But I do need to alert you to the fact that there’s either a child that seems like our child running around this town, or I’m starting to see things based on information you’ve been giving me. 


Halle Kiefer: And I just think, like, if you’ve been married a long time, you got kids. What else are you talking about? 


Alison Leiby: Right, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like you’re like, oh, no, I forgot to tell you about our child or a ghost or something that I saw in the middle of the night. It’s going to come up. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, it just seems like. It’s like they seem like they have such a nice relationship. Like it would be. It’s weird that he’s, I assume, not going to say anything to her. 


Halle Kiefer: And I think that we’re to think, or having seen the film, you know, his it’s sort of like his premonition at the beginning. Like he doesn’t want to believe this, even though he’s being seen this. And unfortunately, that instinct is the wrong one, as we know, for all the movies we have done is if you’re getting something and it’s coming to you multiple times, I’m sorry you have to deal with it. You have to address it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 




Halle Kiefer: He calls over to Laura. They walk on. Eventually they find the restaurant. He does not tell her about the figure in red, which, of course, fatal mistake number one. The next day, Laura and some of the, Venetians, I’m assuming they’re called, are watching. John and the workmen lift a gigantic statue onto the edifice of the church, and it’s sort of like a disgusting, gargoyle like creature. John is balanced, like, has his legs at an 80 degree angle, like, try to put this thing on. He’s wearing, like, dress shoes. It’s like, this can’t be how this would be done. But I suppose—




While he’s doing this, he looks down and he sees the sisters, Heather and Wendy, walking down the canal, and he sees and he sees Laura look over and then just start walking over towards them. So it’s just like, all right, great. She’s gonna go talk to those gals again. And they get around the corner and she, of course, immediately like. Anyway, how’s it going? Do you see my daughter again? And Heather’s like, oh, it’s so great to see you. Did your daughter dies suddenly. 


Alison Leiby: Like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And even Wendy’s like. All right, come on. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, too much. 


Halle Kiefer: But Laura said, but Laura is like, I want to talk about my daughter I would love to talk about her. Let me get my coat. We could go chat. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. She clearly like, does want want to talk about it like otherwise she would let these two random women just carry on with their day. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So they go walk in a nearby park, and Laura tells them all about the day Christine died. And she says, I always remember that John rushed out of the house like he knew something. And Heather says, oh, that makes sense. He’s the one with a gift. Yeah, so that makes sense. The child would try to reach out for him. He has it whether or not he admits it to himself or not. Just so you know, he does have it. John is not going to accept this information, obviously. But Laura is like, okay, that makes sense. That was a bizarre situation. Now you’re saying it, you’re contextualizing it, right. And Laura says, if I asked you to. Could you contact somebody? And Heather kind of bristles of that said, my second sight is a gift from God. I don’t think I should be calling back his creatures that he’s already taken for some kind of entertainment mumbo jumbo. And Laura is upset by that. She’s like, it wouldn’t be for my entertainment to speak to my dead child. And Wendy says, Hey, how about you come over for tea with John? And we talk, and then we could sort of see what we could do. But Heather says, I make no promises about reaching out. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Naturally, when Laura tells him this later, John doesn’t like this idea at all. 


Alison Leiby: No, I wouldn’t think so. 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t want us. Yeah, it’s like, I don’t want to get involved with these two ladies who tell you they can conjure the dead, but Laura is saying, this is what we kind of already knew. It’s like I have felt empty for months, and I feel alive again, knowing that my child lives on in some way. And I would, if they are willing to contact her, I would like her too. And he’s like, look, listen to me. And then Laura says, I did listen to you. You told me to let the children do what they want. You let her go to that pond. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: They’re not fair. 


Alison Leiby: No, that’s not. 


Halle Kiefer: You can be mad at the pond. Also, you let her still go. Like you could say. Oh. 


Alison Leiby: You could say no. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Come on, put a fence up or whatever. 


Alison Leiby: You’re one of the two parents in this household. You have power. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. This is a little bit of a low blow over. You know, having. I think it’s reasonable to be like, maybe my spouse won’t want to go to a seance where we try to contact our child spirit. That’s a reasonable thing—


Alison Leiby: Yes of course. And if he says no, that’s fine. You should be allowed to go on your own as long as it doesn’t, like negatively impact him, but like to put all that on him a little unfair. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s a shared issue, you guys. And John says, well, thanks for the memories, Laura. And she says, look, maybe she’s trying to get in touch with us specifically to forgive. Laura tells him. Maybe she’s trying to get in touch with us to forgive John. That makes me even more upset. He’s like, you can go without me. Go to your crazy women because I’m not going. And obviously, he does feel guilty, as any adult would do. Your child died. But that’s not fair. This is not a situation where this is on him, you know, either. So Laura goes to the, sisters who are also staying at a different hotel. And basically when we say hotel, it’s like a lot of people are staying there for like weeks or months. So these are not like, the Hyatt, you know what I mean? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, it’s like long term stays. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. And so, like, the people who run the building, like they’re the manager, but they also live there themselves. Or like the woman who runs their hotel, like, lives there with her sister. You know, it’s like it looks like a big house, basically. Versus again. Yeah. Marriott. So she goes to visit them and Wendy pours her drink and they’re all sitting around this little table in their in their shared room. And, Wendy steps out for a moment. And while Heather sits at the table and she could tell Laura is looking at their, bureau, which is covered in photos of their family. And she says, what are you looking at? And Laura picks up a little wooden bust of a boy. Right. And she picks up right as, Wendy comes in and says, oh, that’s Angus. And she says, it jars you to lose one. But I had two more. You could too, I reckon, which seems like a wild thing to say to someone whose kids died. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, replace them. Have a few. 


Halle Kiefer: But luckily, Heather steps in, says nothing can take the place of the one that’s gone. And Laura starts to reach for her drink and Heather grabs her arm and says, it’s all right. It’s all right. Meanwhile, John is waiting at a cafe that’s essentially like at the end of the alley where Laura would be coming down, so didn’t want to go, but he also didn’t want to be a part of her— 


Alison Leiby: Stop her, or like, let her be kind of on her own in that way. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I liked this relationship until now. 


Halle Kiefer: I mean, like, it’s like clearly love each other clearly with this thing and like, it’s going to drive both of them insane. But this is like. Yeah, like this thing is going to come between them, obviously. And John decides, that he is going to it’s kind of like spy on his wife, like sneak up. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: To the door. So he’s not going to go in, but he’s got to be outside the door. He’s going to he wants to listen in, but he doesn’t want to give her the satisfaction of knowing that he’s there, basically. And when he goes, he’s listening at the door, the sister’s door, and he just, like, gets into the hotel like nobody even notices. And in this amazing moment, Heather stands up and starts rubbing her breasts over her shirt. And she’s moaning. 


Alison Leiby: Her own? 


Halle Kiefer: And you realize? Over her, yes, over her own breasts. Over her shirt of her own shirt. And then she. But she is in that moment. She is Laura having sex with John, like early yesterday or whatever. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And so she’s like moaning. But so then when John is listening at the door, what are the neighbors comes out. It looks like he’s listening to one of the women have sex, and they all the neighbors are yelling at him that he’s a pervert and shouting. And so John runs out in a panic, not wanting to know his wife let his wife know he’s there, but also, like all the Italians are like, get out of our house. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, what are we doing here? And Heather collapses and Laura begs Wendy like, what was that? What did she say? What was she saying? You know.


[clip of Julie Christie]: What did she say? What did she say? What did she say?


Halle Kiefer: And John goes back to the cafe and Laura comes out a little bit later after speaking to the sisters and he says, I got really scared for you. I’m sorry I was snooping. So he did tell her. He’s like, I came and I snooped. 


Alison Leiby: Okay, okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s like, how drunk are you? And he’s like, I’ve had a couple, obviously. They go home and Laura is very distraught because apparently we didn’t see this part. But after, you know, Heather, grabbed her boobs at behest of, like, the whatever exists beyond the veil. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: She told Laura that, and she said, you know, I have second sight, and I’m seeing that John’s life is in danger while you’re in Venice. And John’s like, oh, my God. Like, please, come on. We don’t know these ladies. And he goes to the bathroom to vomit because he’s incredibly drunk. And he goes, he comes out, he goes, I wouldn’t go in there for a couple minutes if I were you, which again is just like, I love the domestic part of this. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Because it just makes the relationship feel more alive. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. But Laura’s panicking and obviously it’s like, okay, her daughter dies and now this woman who has all this information saying, your husband is in danger in Venice, she’s like, we have to leave here. I think this is a warning. I think we were meant to run into them. I think it was Christine telling us to go. John. John flips out and he goes, my daughter is dead. She’s not stopping by with messages from these two old neurotic women, and they’re of course fighting. And Laura is really upset because her and she comes to this conclusion, which, again, you like to see someone in a horror movie go, okay, so if you think that, you must think that I’m really ill like you. If you’re are, that’s where you’re at that like you. And she says, well, maybe I am. Like, maybe I left England too soon. Maybe these women were influencing me, you know, and she’s saying like, that’s what you think, right? And he’s like, that’s makes sense to me. And Laura says, well, maybe I should get my pills again. And he jumps up to get them. And, you know, he said, they’re right here on the table. And Laura is walking us up to her pitch which is then you should get a couple weeks off and take me back to England and make sure I’m okay. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: Which I’m like, that’s very smart, Laura. Like they like, even if you disagree with what he’s saying, it’s like, you’re right. If I’m not well, that you should take me home to help me get well. Right. And John says, all right, okay. Like I could probably do that again the wrong attitude to have about this. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But you know they sort of talk about it and decide okay he’ll try to get some weeks off. They’ll go back, they’ll see their son and take her to her, psychiatrist back in England. But he’s still kind of mad. And we see Laura put her pill in her sleeve so we know that she’s not actually taking her medication. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: That night at four in the morning, they get a call from Anthony Babbage. He’s the headmaster of Johnny’s boarding school, and he’s British. And of course, there’s there’s been a bit of an accident, a bit of an accident. You say.


Alison Leiby: A bit?


Halle Kiefer: Any amount of accident is too much. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, I would agree. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see Mr. Babbage, his wife, grab the phone out of him because he’s kind of like hemming and hawing. She says hi this is Mandy Babbage. There has been an accident in firing class, which I’m like—


Alison Leiby: I’m sorry. 


Halle Kiefer: Is that guns or ceramics, I don’t know. 


Alison Leiby: Could be either. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see poor Johnny’s in the infirmary and he’s got a big goose egg on his head. So if it’s firing, maybe it was a gun and it—


Alison Leiby: Like a BB gun type thing. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So again, it’s Brit, it is British, it’s Britain, it’s Britain in the 1970s. God knows what those kids were up to.


Alison Leiby: Yeah it’s like. Who knows there are probably. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, but we’re seeing him. We know that he’s okay. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: But but but obviously that’s terrifying. 


Alison Leiby: And so like especially for this family to be like now something’s happened to this child. You’re going to think the worst has happened. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. So, Laura leaps up and says, I’m going to get a flight. I’m going to be on the next flight. John says, my wife will be there later today. And he then also, this is a time where you could ask the operator, so he asks the operator to get to the airport so we could start looking for flights, but it’s not even open yet. I was like, what a time. Truly.


Alison Leiby: I just say the airport’s closed. Call the phone to have the phone connect you to the airport like it’s just such a different world. 


Halle Kiefer: And because that doesn’t work, he goes down to talk to the hotel manager who’s able to find like he calls everywhere and finds a charter flight that is going to England that has room. So they’re able to get Laura on it, but they have to leave in ten minutes, so they pack up. Laura, John rushes her to the water taxi. And of course, Laura’s like, maybe this is an opportunity for you to go with me. Like, just tell the Bishop our son was in an accident, like, and come home for a couple days. They’ll get it. But he’s like, no, everything is fine, you know? And meanwhile, the hotel manager is telling him, you know, Mr. Baxter, we’re closing. So, you know, your stuff’s got to be out of here. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s. I don’t worry. I’ll be out of here today. The Bishop’s people is going to come pick it up. So, Laura says again, could you talk to the Bishop? He says, just go now and then I will ask for a couple of weeks off. But I just I just want to finish the bit that we’re working on now. And he puts his wife on the water taxi. And with this beautiful shots of Venice and Julie Christie looking incredible as she heads off to the, take her flight to England. The Bishop then comes to the restoration and we finally see the inside, which is now full of scaffolding. And they’re working on all of these essentially, what seems to be 16th century mosaic murals. Right. So he has to get up like 40 or 50ft up and put in these new tiles. And the bishop has brought him some of the sample, mosaic tiles that he’s like. These people have worked with my family for 200 years, like, these are the best in Italy. And so John’s excited, but he’s obviously very distressed. So the Bishop picks up on that. And John said, you know, my son was in an accident. He’s fine. My wife went. And the Bishop says you should have gone with her. It’s like, okay, well, I should have called you then, I guess. But then he brings out the mosaic tiles and John smiles like he’s really genuinely excited again, like he’s so committed to the story— 


Alison Leiby: I feel the same about tiles. 


Halle Kiefer: They’re beautiful. And, he says, can I compare them? And Bishop says, knock yourself out. So he used to climb up a wooden ladder again, 40ft up. It’s clearly the 70s. And he gets off. He has a platform that could be lowered and raised on ropes. 


Alison Leiby: It does not take a psychic to be like his life is in danger. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Oh, any day that thing falls in, you’re dead. And so basically the way it works is it’s a wooden platform. You stand on, it gets winched up and down, and then it has like a, essentially a desk on it and then again, a glass, like a pane of glass that’s on an angle above John’s head. So he could take it and look between the glass and the light behind it. Right. So he’s looking at them. He’s holding the mosaic tiles up to the, mosaic. It looks great, if you ask me. I said this, they nailed it. Wherever this come from, Alison, as we watch, a random board falls from the top of the scaffold. 


Alison Leiby: Of course it does. 


Halle Kiefer: Smashes through the glass pane, hits John, he falls, and then the entire platform destabilized, of course, and he falls off of it and is again groaning, scrambling. And of course, all these workers are like panicking, like running around the Bishops’ underneath him. But it’s like if you were to fall, it would kill both of you. Like he’s up too high and he’s frantically trying to grab for the ropes. And so it’s like a very long sequence of Donald Sutherland, like screaming and shouting and moaning and all these Italian guys trying to figure out what to do. [clip from Don’t Look Now] And one guy gets up and he’s holding onto a metal pole, but it’s not doing shit because he can’t let go of the rope to grab it. And the pole falls and it almost hits the Bishop. And finally, one of the workers able to get the end of the rope and pull him to safety, and they embrace  and everyone’s clapping that nobody died. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, good. 


Halle Kiefer: And the bishop looks grim, and he steps over the mosaic tiles and I will say, you know, listen, if you’re a film student, let us know what you think. I wasn’t sure what to think about the bishop’s reaction to this, because a bishop seems really, like on board with the whole thing again said you should have gone with your wife. And then this happens. And I didn’t know if the bishop was taking it as an omen, but we see him sort of step over the mosaic tiles, like. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, is this fruitless too like. Well, like there’s some sort of unrest within the bishop that never gets resolved. So we see John, understandably needs to take a walk. So the bishop goes with him, and he says, tell us that he finally tells a bishop. You know, like my wife was hanging out with these two psychic ladies, and, she was warned that I was in danger. It was like a prophecy. And then that thing just happened. And the bishop goes, yeah. You know, I’ll be honest. I wish I didn’t have to believe in prophecy because I hate the idea. But that’s kind of the Catholic business. You know, a lot of prophecy going on. Alison. They walk to the canal where a big crowd is gathered, and the bishop says, oh my God, I hope it’s not another murder. Of course it is. 


Alison Leiby: Of course it is. 


Halle Kiefer: There’s been, there’s been another murder most foul in Venice. As we watch the police pull the woman’s, waterlogged corpse out of the water. And of course, John sees it and then sees his daughter in the pond. And I was like, boy, this guy cannot catch a break. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: This is nonstop shit from, sunup to sundown for this motherfucker. Back at the hotel, John has everything packed up, and the bishop’s people are supposed to come and take it. Everything it’s all going to be taken down. The hotel manager knows all about it. And he finds, like, different little domestic pieces of Laura, which I like. Like he has, like, a horrible, crinkled up photo that’s in, in the garbage. A pair of pantyhose, like a, tube of toothpaste. And when he gets into the water taxi to go down to, the Bishop’s. He sees a hearse go by. I want a hearse gondola when I die. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, absolutely put me on a hearse gondola. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. I guess we’d have to go down the LA River, so it’d have to be like one of the few days where it’s full, but you guys could pull it off—


Alison Leiby: It seems like these atmospheric rivers you might be in good shape.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. He sees a textbook. It’s all black. It’s covered in flowers. And on the front of the boat is Laura, Heather and Wendy. And Laura and Wendy are all in black, and Heather is in a c-nty green snakeskin trench coat, a vinyl trench coat. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And a purple scarf. And I’m like, excellent. Excellent work.


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: He tries to shout for his wife. She doesn’t talk. None of them turn around. So he turns around and goes back to the hotel because he’s like, if she’s back in town, for whatever reason, she would have gone back to the hotel. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: The man, he interrupts, the manager who was like having sex with some lady in his room, and he’s like, what are you doing here? We’re closed. We already had this conversation, bitch. And he says, well, do my wife come back? And he’s like, she left this morning, remember? She went to England. We talked about this. I had to call it off. She says no, like I saw her just come back here and he’s like, no, we’re literally closed off. Like, literally. They had to like undo the lock to let him in. And when he leaves, they do it back up. It’s like, that’s it. It’s a wrap. She’s not here. And he. I don’t know if she tells him, like, tell her I’m in the police station or whatever, but, like, he he tells him something. She’s not there. So now John is extremely distressed because he’s like, is my wife there? What should I be doing? Because he’s thinking that was her and that now she’s back and not calling him. So she’s sort of like, are these two women? Have they taken her somewhere? Is she sort of under their thrall? And, you know, he sees a baby doll floating in the water and he pulls it out. 


Alison Leiby: Chilling. 


Halle Kiefer: And then what is there left to do? And he goes to the police to basically report his wife missing because he was like, I don’t know what else to do. [both speaking] So he does attempt to call to the school. The phone lines are down to the school, okay. So he cannot verify whether or not she’s made it to the school. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So in a panic, he goes to the police, reports his wife missing, and he has them draw Wendy and Heather, like, draw their caricature. Police like drawing. 


Alison Leiby: Sketch. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And, he sits with the detective and detective. This. This guy thinks John is an idiot from the second he gets there. And he tells this guy everything. About Christine dying the seance. Laura’s, suddenly sudden happiness after the seance. Her going, her coming back. And the inspector says, did you have a fight? He says, well, it’s like, well, a little bit, but I mean, but she went to see the women anyway, and it’s totally fine. And she had to England and I saw her back here. And the inspector then looks outside and sees Wendy and Heather out the window, and you can see and be like, oh, did this guy kill his wife? And now he just like, saw some women outside. He’s like blaming them. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. I mean, that is outside of a horror movie. That is the most logical thing that would have happened to her. 


Halle Kiefer: And he asked John, you know, if your wife’s in Venice, she’ll be in touch, right? I mean, what are you afraid of? Like, if she’s here, he’s like, my my wife is not a well woman. And there’s a killer on the loose. And the inspector says. I hadn’t thought of that. It’s like, good job, Inspector. Hadn’t thought about the serial killer. That’s seems to be operating in Venice—


Alison Leiby: Police, terrible in the 70s. Terrible now. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, this guy’s stinks. The cops are stink. Which I think is. I, you know, I’m sure, true to life there as it is here. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And this doctor basically is like. Okay, great. Well, thanks for coming. We’re going to take a look for these ladies, and we’ll if we find them, we’re going to ask them if we find out anything, we’ll be in touch. And he’s going to be over at the, the, church. And if he’s not in the church. He’s gonna be at the bishop’s quarters. And the inspector, of course, immediately calls the church to, like, sort of check on, like, how’s this guy doing? Because he’s like again, this guy. Did this guy kill his wife? But also, is he the killer that’s been killing people, right? And which is like how I think police operates. Like I met some guy. I’m going to blame him for a bunch of murders rather than, like, actually look at anything. And we see that, the inspector has put a tail on John. So there’s a guy following him, presumably wondering, is he going to return to the scene of the crime? And as this guy follows from a distance, we see John cross a bridge and he looks into the water and he sees Christine’s body. Obviously, it’s a memory. And when he looks up Alison, he sees a figure in a red coat ducking back into an alleyway. Alison, I have to ask you this point. Who will survive? 


[voice over]: Who will survive. 


Alison Leiby: The wife is alive. And I think that Donald Sutherland is going to die. And the the, psychic of the two women is correct, that his life is in danger.


Halle Kiefer: Are the ladies going to make it? 


Alison Leiby: I think, yes. I think he’s the only one who doesn’t. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay great.




Halle Kiefer: John wanders until he finds the, psychic sisters building, and the guy tailing him sort of ducks into that same cafe where John had waited for Laura the other night. And the John rings. John rings to the hotel manager, who doesn’t speak English. She gets her sister. She didn’t speak English, and he’s trying to describe the sisters, and they’re like, oh, the sisters. Yeah. And so they go in, they just open up the door. He’s like, what? Alison, the sisters are gone. 


Alison Leiby: Of course they are. 


Halle Kiefer: The room is all packed up. Yeah, it’s all packed up. It’s all cleaned up. And, the tail joins him and walks home and says, hi, I am Sabbione. I’m from the Murder Squad. And again, I’m like, is that how they do it? 


Alison Leiby: I guess. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: I mean, meanwhile, we see Wendy and Heather are in a new, very nice hotel, right. So they’re in a different hotel. They’ve moved, moved on. And and John goes to see the bishop, who’s the only other guy who’s in this who can help him. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like he’s already gone to the cops. 


Alison Leiby: They’re useless. 


Halle Kiefer: He tried to go to the women. They’re gone. Yeah, and the bishop’s secretary is a nun. And there’s like, this really interesting scene that I think if if I was, Italian or in the 70s or, had any other information that the secretary has like, oh, the the bishop will be out soon and we see the bishop and it’s a bishop and another guy sitting silently across from a beautiful widow. And then the guy starts to write things down. So I didn’t know if it’s like she they’re going to pay her for something that happened or this is just this is a comment on how in Venice things happened like this all the time. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Like think maybe things have happened, but it’s like the bishop we’re not. We get no information about what that woman is doing there or what, but it’s sort of like some secretive other thing that’s happening, implying that perhaps that is simply the state of things, and that this is simply one of many stories and, and crimes and dramatic turns that are, is happening in this city is sort of how I—


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. That makes sense. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And so he says, well, well John’s waiting. He says, can I call England? And she says, fine, you have to fill out a form. So he has to fill out a long distance call form. And meanwhile Sabbione, the murder squad guy is just standing there waiting for him. Finally, he’s able to get to the school and he talks to the Babbage’s and they say Johnny is totally fine. He’s up and about like the doctor said, he’s absolutely he’s going to be fine. I’ll be like, oh, today. Oh, and here’s your wife. She’ll tell you about it. Alison. Laura takes the phone. She’s totally fine. She says, oh, I’m such a relief. He’s great. It’s not. It wasn’t a big thing. I didn’t have to come here, but I’m really glad they did. So I’ll fly back this evening. There’s a 9:00 flight, so I’ll be here and I’ll get in probably around 11:00, and I’ll come get you. And we can have, like, a late dinner, and John’s like, I saw you on a boat, I saw you. I thought you were dead. Like John is. 


Alison Leiby: Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: Like I saw you. Right? And she’s like, look, I’m really sorry. I was really freaked out by everything. I think it sounds like maybe you’re freaking out. Everything’s fine. Just stay at the Bishop’s. I will be in around ten and I will come right there.


Alison Leiby: Again. If he had also told her that he saw their daughter like an image of. That’s like, wow, okay, we’re really piecing together, like, there’s a lot going on with you. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And again, like so many of these movies, his denial is what leads this to become a tragedy. If he had told his wife, but then it’s also giving into her idea of the supernatural. 


Alison Leiby: Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: Or you know, his daughter’s spirit. Which again, would be better than where things are headed for him, unfortunately. And he says, oh, thank God. Okay, okay, great. Then I will, I will be the bishop’s. I will see you tonight. Meanwhile, the police have hauled in Heather. So they found the sisters and they they’ve brought it Heather, to the police station. She is in a cell and Wendy has gone to the British Council to, like, try to get legal help for her sister because they’re like, what the fuck is going on? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And, Sabbione I get I’m assuming Sabbione told John he goes down there to the police station to find Heather. Heather’s panicking. She’s like, I’m blind, I’m in a police station. I don’t know what the fuck’s going on. And John says, I’m so sorry. This is absolutely my fault. Like, we were taken out of our hotel and arrested, and we were grilled about your wife’s disappearance. What happened to her? She’s like, actually, she’s fine. She’s in England, that’s on me. My bad. Can I walk you back to your new hotel? You know, and she says, that’s fine, it’s well, the least you could do. And then my sister said, she’ll come back there, so we’ll, we’ll see her there. Meanwhile, also see Laura land at the airport. And from here until the end of the movie, it’s just Laura missing John by seconds, like everywhere he’s at, I know, and the driver’s chatting with her and picking her up and, like, taking her to the water taxi. And John’s walking with Heather. And as they walk, she says that she always. Her sister hates Venice. She describes it as a city in aspic, like a city that used to be. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Very vital. And now it’s frozen in time and it’s just built on ghosts—


Alison Leiby: Suspended in jelly. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. But for her, it’s really helpful because the way that it’s set up with the canals and the narrow streets, she can kind of navigate, using echolocation. She’s like, so I can hear when I hit the canal, I can hear everything. I was like, that would actually be really great. You’re getting a lot more feedback. Meanwhile, the water taxi driver is driving Laura and she says we are going the wrong way. We’re going to the bishops. The driver says, well I was told to take you to Mr. Baxter, is the last name. But he’s at the police station. We’re almost there well I’ll take you to the police station. Get out of my cab. You know. So she goes. She’s going to the police station. Meanwhile, John is almost to Heather and Wendy’s new hotel. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: At the hotel, Heather hands John her key. They’re in room 307. Wendy’s back and is, like, relieved, like, oh, thank God, you know. And Heather says, well, John got me out of prison and was really nice to me walking back. He’s like, well, good, because apparently you’re the reason that she was there to begin with. And they’ve already laid out their family photos and a little wooden bust in the same way. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. So they’re in the same exact way. 


Alison Leiby: As the other hotel. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. Which I’m assuming is part of their deal. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Wendy goes out of the room, much like she did with Laura, to go get water. Meanwhile, at the police station, the inspector says, oh, no, sorry. He was John is taking, Heather back to her house. Let me write down the address. So she writes all the. He writes all the address of the back of the police sketch. And so now, Laura has to go find him at this random hotel. Meanwhile, I’m like, just stay at the police station. He’ll figure it out. There’s only three places you could possibly be. Just stay there, you know? However, as John starts to leave, Heather and Wendy, Heather starts seizing and and as he sort of steps out, he’s like, oh, sorry. And he steps out. And as soon as he starts walking out of the hotel, Heather begs her sister, go stop him. Go. Go fetch him, fetch him back screaming at her to not let him go out because something bad is about to happen to him. Wendy runs outside. It’s a little too late. John is gone, but she does catch Laura. Just as Laura’s running up to the hotel, Wendy grabs her and hauls her inside and they’re sort of talking, like trying to catch her up. What’s going on? And only for Heather to freak out, start screaming, get out of Venice, leave Venice. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, great advice at this point. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Yeah. You need to get a little more details, but like, she’s doing her best. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, she’s trying to communicate. 


Halle Kiefer: And so Laura panics, runs out to try to find John because again, this she knows they’ve said this before. They have to go find them. So. And meanwhile, John’s walking Alison. As John walks through the Venetian night, he sees a little figure in red running alongside the canal, and so he starts chasing the figure from across the canal. Basically, he tries to steal a boat just to chase them down, but the owner runs out and screams at him, don’t steal my gondola! So John abandons it. The figure runs down and turns and runs down an alley, and John follows it. In a decision that perhaps ranks in the top ten fatal mistakes in order to trap the figure in with him? 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: He closes and locks the gate behind him, and much like, Rorschach said in the Watchmen book. You’re not locked in. I’m not locked in here with you. You’re locked in here with me. So as soon as I saw that, I’m like, well, that’s the end of that, isn’t it? 


Alison Leiby: Bye bye. 


Halle Kiefer: So he’s following the figure, and it’s all these, like, you know, broken stone, dark alleys. They’re inside a building. Whether they’re inside or outside becomes unknowable. It’s foggy. It’s dark. He passes in and out of light. Laura, meanwhile, emerges near the canal, to the canal near the boat and sees the owner there, and she hears him, hears running, and sort of can figure out that he’s has run through this gate, which is now locked. Meanwhile, John is hears crying, the figure’s crying. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: He sees a red hood through an archway and he says, I’m coming. And in that moment, it is his daughter. He’s running after his daughter. You know, as any child of a parent who’s lost a child, it’s like you, I’m sure you’re always for always running after her. And he runs up the spiral, spiral staircase and he gets to an abandoned room, a stone room. There’s no windows. And he sees the figure standing facing the corner. Very Blair Witch, wearing a red pointed coat and short like a little girl. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And he approaches them and he says, I’m a friend. I won’t hurt you. And just as the figure starts to turn, he gets a flash of the red figure in the slide from the beginning, and he says, wait, wait. And when the figure turns around, it’s not his daughter. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s just, what I would describe as a little old weird gal. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, sure. 


Halle Kiefer: And she takes a straight razor out of her pocket and slashes his throat. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: And John collapses.


Alison Leiby: A tough way to go. 


Halle Kiefer: Meanwhile, Laura’s at the gate screaming. Darling my darlings. And he collapses. And when he falls, his foot goes through the window and blood starts dumping down the side of the building as he’s bleeding out. And we end on his funeral gondola, motoring down and on. It is, of course, Wendy, Heather and Laura in the same outfits they wore in his vision. Only this time it’s real and they park and Laura sort of smiles fondly. And I think we’re suppose to think like, as tragic as this was. Like, she knows that there’s a life afterwards and that he is now with their daughter. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s horrible. But also like she has a sense of comfort in that. And they stop and they land on the dock and they are greeted by the bishop, and with her is their son, Johnny. This poor kid had to deal with all this. And they walk inside with Heather and Wendy, and behind them from the other hearse and from the other funeral gondola, they bring John’s coffin into the church he was repairing in Venice. The end. 


Alison Leiby: Wow. 


Halle Kiefer: I know. 


Alison Leiby: What a good one. 


Halle Kiefer: Such a good one. It’s so well done. 


Alison Leiby: My God. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s so great. It’s great. It’s great for a rewatch top. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah,  I bet.


Halle Kiefer: So also, what are some fatal mistakes you think people have made in. Oh, my God, Don’t Look Now. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. [laughs]


[voice over]: Fatal mistakes. 


Alison Leiby: Not telling people that you’re seeing things. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Like, I think then like his wife would have probably been like, why don’t you push pause on work? Let’s get out of here. I’m getting a lot of information that, like, your life is in danger. Also, you seem unwell. I’ve been unwell. Our son is unwell in England. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: After a firing accident. Let’s, like, go home for a minute and like, regroup. But. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. And. And I think we’re to think like he. You know, I think the church to me is the main metaphor. It’s like he does. He cannot allow himself to believe in the afterlife or the supernatural, because to even approach that would be to really deal with the death of his daughter. Right. And so instead of that, he’s going to spend his time, like you said, like the church is collapsing forever. So we’re going to spend time putting together a mosaic on a building that’s falling apart and everything is falling apart. And all he had these images. Yes, the foundation has, is gone. And instead of dealing with that which would have been potentially going back to England after he got the omen. He stays and insists upon he wants to commit to the reality that he’s experiencing, rather the reality that keeps trying to break through and tell him don’t follow this person. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s not your daughter. Deal with your daughter’s death so you don’t chase this figure. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Is sort of what I take from it. Other fatal mistakes. I don’t know, I think Laura was doing the best she could. 


Alison Leiby: I agree. 


Halle Kiefer: She was trying to be upfront with him about everything. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, she. And I think her attitude in kind of pursuing this woman who has contact with her dead daughter like it? She. It felt like, weirdly healthy. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. Yeah. It should h—


Alison Leiby: Hesitations of like. Yeah, reconnecting or like, like, I think she just wanted some peace of mind. And I think that that’s. Not an unhealthy place to be following such a tragedy. 


Halle Kiefer: And it’s an interesting choice too. We don’t see the sisters tell her that John is in danger. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: We see her report it, and I think that’s supposed to be like John. John has John because of their experience before the movie starts. John doesn’t trust her or like knows that she was mentally unwell. So if we had seen the sisters, say it, it would give sort of like more weight to it versus the weight it’s supposed to have is in their relationship, you know, so it’s like they’re bringing their relationship into their consideration of these different factors. If they if someone else had told him this, maybe he would have considered it. But it’s like you’re bringing it into your relationship with your spouse, which is colored by everything that has happened up to this point, which I thought was an interesting way to play, that rather than see a full seance where you see her say it like a possessed or something, which I feel like people would do now, and it’s like, you didn’t need that—


Alison Leiby: No, we just need the information. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And how this really was about their relationship and their marriage and their family and those things, you know, how that that unit becomes, how people understand that unit when it gets destroyed? 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But what a gosh darn. 


Alison Leiby: Wow. 


Halle Kiefer: Great. Movie. And then finally, where would you put. Don’t Look Now on the spooky scale, Alison? 


[voice over]: A spooky scale. 


Alison Leiby: I think that this is a five. I think it’s a lot of like. Suspenseful moments of like not knowing. You know what’s real, what’s not. What is he seeing is like, I think, the uncertainty of like where he is both in like the metaphysical world and also in actual Venice. As you know, especially at the end, is scary. But then a lot of it is also. In my mind. Manageable. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. I think this is why, I think. I do think it’s a horror movie. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But I think if you could also, understand it as a— 


Alison Leiby: Psychological thriller. [both speaking] Yeah. So, I give, I give it a five. What about you? 


Halle Kiefer: I’m gonna give it a six. I this really got me. Got me the first time. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: First time I saw him almost fall. There’s thing about that that scared the fuck out of me. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That I found so jarring, so I’m gonna give it a six. I really. What an incredible, incredible movie. Wow. And, we hope you enjoy the beginning of March Madness. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, and we’ll be driving you mad, all month with more maddening films. And, if you aren’t a member of our Patreon, just a reminder that that’s there with, you know, there will be two March Madness movies, by the end of the month and two of every theme that we do. So there’s extra episodes and some live show videos and ad free. So if you’re not yet familiar with Patreon, by all means go check it out. And consider joining. 


Halle Kiefer: And until then. 


Alison Leiby: Please keep it spooky. Don’t forget to follow us at Ruined podcasts and Crooked Media on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok for show updates. And if you’re just as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a review. Ruined is a Radio Point and Crooked Media production, we’re your writers and hosts Halle Kiefer and Alison Leiby. This show is executive produced by Alex Bach, Sabrina Fonfeder and Houston Snyder, and recorded and edited by Kat Iossa. From Crooked Media our executive producer is Kendra James with production and promotional support from Ari Schwartz, Kyle Seglin, Julia Beach, Caroline Dunphy, and Ewa Okulate.