Ed Wood Lives
It's only September, but I'm more than willing to call I Woke Up Early The Day I Died the weirdest American independent film of the year?and in some ways the most original. Based on an unproduced screenplay by Edward D. Wood Jr., it plays like a painstaking reconstruction of a feature film lost for decades and decayed to the point of inscrutability. But it's not an old film. It was made last year in Los Angeles with a topnotch cast of bicoastal hipster actors, and it looks great?at once bright and grungy, with a spiky, punkish vibe reminiscent of Alex Cox's Repo Man. The director, Aris Iliopulos, hasn't just made a movie; he's made an artifact. Amazingly, if you're in an accepting frame of mind, it works.