Three Bewildered People in the Night

Gregg Araki's first feature, Three Bewildered People in the Night, which he wrote, produced, directed, shot, and edited, cost $5000, less than the lunch budget of a Hollywood executive.

The script, Araki said, would never get through USC, because “They teach specific structural rules on screenwriting, but I like long, angsty passages where characters are ecstatic about how miserable they are. They like production values. I shot with a Bolex, on 4X stock using available' light, without synch sound.” Araki shoots on location, without permits, or lighting, and the scene takes “as long as it takes to drive there, do it, and drive back.”

A soul-searching drama about a trio struggling with their sexuality, the movie dissects the dissolution of a heterosexual relationship and the beginning of a gay one. Alicia (Darcy Marta) is a video artist who likes to confess in front of a camera and then watches her confessions. She lives with Craig (John Lacques), a journalist who wishes to go back to acting but spends most of his time with Alicia's best friend, David (Mark Howell), a gay performance artist; a black patch on his eye suggests John Ford or Fritz Lang.

Shot in grainy black-and-white, the film is mostly set at night, with the trio wandering around coffeeshops, galleries, and empty streets. The film is dominated by countless phone calls and revelatory conversations, with references to Godard and Jarmusch.