Friday 30 August 2013

Sabotage (1936)

Yet another Hitchcock movie. This is really going to be a recurring feature as the good Alfred is featured on the list more than any other director. Someone among the editors of the List really loves this guy.

If in the coming revision of the list they would consider sanitizing the extravagant list of Hitchcock titles I believe this is one that will disappear. Well, at least if I had any say in it. It is not bad, it is just not as good as the average Hitchcock film and “Blackmail” and “The 39 Steps” go a long way to describe where Hitchcock came from, so that job is well covered.

I did not like “Sabotage” very much. Technically there are some interesting elements, but there are just too many things that bother me with this film.

Let us take the good things first.

“Sabotage” is about suspense. We have to be on our toes and nowhere is that more evident than when Stevie (Desmond Tester) carries the bomb around town, not knowing that time is running out. That is suspense with the montage cutting to make us feel the pressure of time running out. Stevie does not know he is carrying a bomb and that just makes it more agonizing for us. Also Mrs. Verloc  (Sylvia Sidney) , who goes without a first name, is unaware of the snake she is hosting. When she finally realizes Mr Verloc’s (Oskar Homolka) true nature it is with a masterful sense of danger that keeps us in suspense.

However I get the feeling that the entire film was made to create these two scenes.

Mr. Verloc is foreign (read German) and in league with a bunch of people who wants to do damage on Britain. Today we would call them terrorists. The idea is apparently that by spreading fear at home, Britain will move its attention homeward and away from some foreign affairs. A totally messed up logic as the police already suspect that the disruptions are caused by foreigners, thus the terrorist’s actions will only cause attention on their employer and not the other way round. In any case Mr. Verloc has to blow up an underground station to really spread terror and this is apparently a serious step up from his previous activities. It is pretty clear that he is a mean son of a bitch and a pretty ice cold one at that, but I am not sure I get his motivation. He seems to be doing this for money and not some crazy ideology, yet he is also bent on going through with it even with police on his tail. Where his ring associates scatter at the scent of police, Mr. Verloc does not abort, but insists. To me the only reason for this is to create suspense. His solution is to send a courier, his very young brother in law, to deliver the bomb. This is to me a serious plot hole.

Although I had been warned by the Book it was a shock to me that Hitchcock let Stevie blow up with the bomb. It was necessary to turn Mrs. Verloc on Mr. Verloc, but come on, we like Stevie and he is only a child! I cannot handle films where children gets hurt and blowing one up with a bomb falls right into that category. That is just appalling. In fact that would be enough in itself for me not to like the film.

In this story Hitchcock lets us in on all the secrets. We know what is going on, but the characters do not. Part of the suspense is therefore that the characters are unaware of the peril they are in. That is fine by me. Hitchcock uses that trick a lot in his early films. However personally I prefer to see it from the characters point of view and be as surprised and shocked as they are. Hitchcock did that in “The 39 Steps” and that worked beautifully.  Here on the other hand we are just waiting for Spencer (John Loder), the policeman, and Mrs. Verloc to uncover Mr. Verlocs secrets, which are no secrets to us. Therefore it is also almost anticlimactic when they do.  Also it is getting to be almost a cliché that the policeman and the lady in peril become a couple. Well, I understand him, Sylvia Sidney is pretty, but I have seen that before.  Of course Spencer helps her out of her fix with a little help of providence, but the damage is done and a lot of people are already dead.

A highlight of the film is that we get to see a lot of London in the thirties. I love that kind of shots and this one has plenty of them and at the end of the day that is probably the most positive thing I take with me from this film.

Sunday 25 August 2013

Ossessione (1943)

”Ossessione” is that last movie from 1943 on the List. In a way it is fitting as this film is heralding a new era in cinema, which first struck Italy, then Europe and finally Hollywood: Realism.

There is a lot to like about “Ossessione”, but the real standout for me is the style in which it was made. If we exclude the plot itself, which I find rather contrived (more later), the film do appear very realistic. It was mostly made on location and it shows. For much of the movie I was more interested in the scenery, in all the little details happening in the background. This is really Italy we see here and not some studio adaption and you get the impression that the film crew just went onto the street and started filming with the casual pedestrians suddenly becoming extras. But we also see it in the characters themselves, their lives, manners, looks. They are all made very… real. On a backdrop of the Hollywood films I have been watching lately this style seems to catapult the movie decades ahead into the form that became dominant in the sixties and more so in the seventies.

The plot I have some difficulty dealing with. I never read the book, nor saw the 1946 Hollywood production of “The Postman always rings twice” (though it is coming up on the list) so I cannot tell if this is a particularly good version of the story. I only have the Book’s word that this version is quite precise. That is fine by me. The problem is that I find nobody to like. We do get deep inside the lives of the characters, so the portraying element is excellent, but what we find there is that all the three main leads are quite complex characters as all humans are, and that they are all flawed to an extent where I find it hard to root for any of them.

For those unfamiliar with this story let me just say that on the outset this is a standard love triangle. Giovanna (Clara Calamai) is the young wife of the big and boisterous innkeeper Giuseppe (Juan de Landa). She is unhappy working in the kitchen for that big oaf so when young and handsome Gino (Massimo Girotti) shows up they fall in love and soon decide to take out the husband. So far so good, this all happens in the first hour of the film. The second half, the aftermath, is far more interesting, for what happens to the two lovers turned murderers? How much in love are they really and are there ulterior motives?

Returning to the characters our starting point is that Giovanna is trapped and Gino is her savior, but from what? As much as Giuseppe is an oaf and very loud he is not such a bad guy and he has some quite surprising soft spots, like his love of opera, fishing and the company of good friend and really, he does care for Giovanna. In many ways he reminds me of the baker in “La Femme du Boulanger”. Only in this case the wife never gets a chance to realize her mistake since she has already killed him off.

Gino is a real Italian loverboy. He is Matthew McConaughey and James Dean in Italian, appearing usually bare-chested or in a diminutive shirt. He stinks of testosterone, hot sex and probably sour sweat and is the antithema of Giuseppe. Gino and Giovanna end up in each other’s arms VERY fast with Giuseppe none the wiser. We follow Gino through his wild mood swings, his doubts and his resolution, but he never ever comes about as a sympathetic character and, hey, this man killed a guy!

Giovanna then, is she the damsel in distress that the men are fighting over? Well, she is very emotional, loves with a passion and complains with a passion (this is an Italian film after all), but up until the murder we can buy her relative innocence. Then however it starts to collapse. The first hint is that she refuses to leave the inn after her husband is dead. Instead she is determined to even expand the business despite Gino’s misgivings and protests. But the final vestige of innocence falls away when she can cash in the life insurance of Giuseppe and Gino realize that those money were her objective all along. Now she is the calculating manipulator who has used the men around her in self-interest and wants it all, wealth, property, status and sex.   

Gino and Giovanna bounce in and out of their relationship and it is all falling to pieces. Only when the outside enemy in the form of the police closes in on them do they make peace and decide to leave the inn and their past. Only then they seem to turn into characters we can root for but too late.

It is an interesting story and very interesting that the focus is on the people and personalities behind the crime, but it also makes for a difficult watch as I feel more like a scholarly spectator than engaged with these people. I simply do not get them. Their actions and their decisions are so far from my world that I cannot invest in them. That might all be for the best as it would otherwise be a very depressing affair watching this film. As it is it is merely fascinating.

A curious detail: This film was made in 1942-43 at the height of WWII, yet we see very little if any deprivation in the lives of people. There are cars, food, wine and delicious looking ice cream and narry a word about the war. Quite amazing really.

Monday 19 August 2013

Camille (1936)

When I saw ”Camille” last year for the first time I was very much put off by it. Frankly I was not looking forward to see it again and it has been staring at me from the DVD shelf for a while now.

In several cases going back for a second viewing completely changed my view of a movie, so I tried to convince myself to approach “Camille” with an open mind. Maybe subconsciously I had just vilified this film over time and seeing it again would put the picture right.

It was set right, all right, but not to the benefit of the film. If anything I think it is even worse than I remember. In fact the agony it was causing me required me to chop it up in 20 minutes chunks to get through it. I think I am finally done with “Camille”.

I am now left with the task of rationalizing what it is that is so horrible about this film and I find that it is not one essential item, but an entire horror cabinet of issues. In no particular order I will try listing them below.

Of course my impression may be colored by the fact that I am hardly the target group of this film and it was both made and take place in ages of different values and attitudes, but I have seen enough costume dramas to recognize that it is not just that.

First of all I do not like the story and the characters in it. We are to sympathize with a courtesan (which is just an almost invisible step up from prostitute) whose life objective it is to catch a wealthy client and make him marry her. To me that sounds like a conning scheme.

In this particularly case the courtesan (Greta Garbo as Marguerite Gautier) is an excessive spender of sickly health and fickle loyalties so you may say that she has the work cut out for her. Not an attractive card in the first place and add to that the reputation of courtesans and we are basically talking “Pretty Woman”, 1847. Nevertheless she gets two generous offers, one that can supply her wealth and one that can supply her love and she manages to mess it all up and loose both. I do not mind that it is a tragedy, but I am inclined to think it is a tragedy that she lived long enough to cause the havoc she did. I doubt that was the intention.

Her suitors are not particularly likable, but at least I can sympathize with their frustrations. Take Baron de Varville (Henry Daniell). I know he is an unloving character, but he is surprisingly generous towards her, both economically and in taking her back after repeatedly cheating on him. No wonder he is deeply suspicious of her. The wonder is that he has not given her up entirely.  Armand Duvall (Robert Taylor), as the second suitor is called, is a starry eyed fool who is hanging his entire career and life on the fickle whims of a courtesan. He may come about as a romantic hero, but really, what is he doing in the realm of gold-digging courtesans? And with a courtesan of such an excessive budget that he would never be able to afford her. His father (Lionel Barrymore) was right. Gautier is ruin and destruction for him, but he is obsessing like a moth around a flame, just waiting for the inevitable burn.

The courtesan environment is genuinely annoying. It is presented as being as gaudy and posh as a Versaille court of the 18th century, yet it is played out as a bunch of hillbillies in carnival costumes. Really, this looks more like Texas than Paris mid-nineteenth century. I was struggling to find sympathetic characters and failed.

Then we have Greta Garbo. Oh, she is wonderful. I have seen lots of good stuff with her, but this is not one of those. Why why why have they made a strong, empowered woman like Garbo play a fickly and vain courtesan? It rings so hollow that at times it is like watching a hippo in a bowling game. To hear all that bull crap coming out of a person as strong, willful and intelligent as Garbo is just painful. I have a box set with 6 of her films and all of them; “Queen Christina”, “Anna Karenina”, “Ninotchka”, “Mata Hari” and “Anna Christie” features a strong woman except for “Camille”. Just look at her for crying out loud. Even in all her gauche and silk she looks like someone who could make the proudest person whither and wimper and not NOT like a little silly girl who spends too much money and cannot find out which of her suitors to pick. I know women’s situation in mid-nineteen century was not particularly liberated but a Garbo character would take action and be resourceful and not lay down to fade away out of heartbreak. For that they should simply have found a different actress.

“Camille” is a film of obvious manipulation. It creates the story with the sole purpose to make the romantically inclined wail in heartbreak. A chic-flick characteristic as I ever knew one. I am a sensitive type, I feel the pain of the characters, but when it is as engineered as this it leaves me entirely cold. I may simply be of the wrong gender, but I really cannot be moved by this. Instead I just feel disgust with the manipulation and annoyance with characters that go out of their way to cause romantic drama. I guess this is melodrama in its worst meaning.

There was a scene near the end I actually liked. Olympe (Lenore Ulric ), one of the courtesans, enters a party in another one of the enormous and deeply impractical outfits they keep wearing on every occasion in this film. However this time Gaston (Rex O'Malley), calls out the ridiculousness of the dress with its bird and nest and asks if anyone wants an omelet.

I would prefer the omelet to spending time with these idiots.

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

I Tvivlens Skygge
For my 40 year birthday I am treating myself to a classic Hitchcock thriller. This was expected to be a highlight and I was not disappointed.

“Shadow of a Doubt” is in my book the first Hitchcock film that is truly Hitchcock as he ended up being known. In a way this is the embodiment of all that is Hitchcock. There were good ones before, “Rebecca” to mention one, but finally in “Shadow of a Doubt” it all comes together.

I should warn of spoilers here, I am not holding back and really, it ruins all the fun if you have not seen it.

We have a family living in blissful ignorance of the menace that has arrived. The family is so standard that it could be just about anybody living in any small town. They are not rich, nor poor, have three children, a house wife and a husband working in a bank. The teenage daughter is bored and brooding and her younger siblings are… exactly like younger siblings.

Into this family enters the younger brother of the wife. Charlie (Joseph Cotton), or Uncle Charlie as I will call him henceforth is carrying a secret. We know, from the introduction, that he is on the run, but that is about it. He has got this menacing stare, but is able to put on a very affable face.

The family greets him as the long lost son and especially the teenage daughter Charlie (Teresa Wright), henceforth known as Miss Charlie, are excited to have him around. But slowly, slowly we and especially Miss Charlie find out that there is something terribly wrong with Uncle Charlie….

The main focus of the film is on the play between the two Charlie’s. They are presented almost as twins, as a kind of soul mates. When Miss Charlie first finds out that there is something mysterious about Uncle Charlie she is excited and feels this is her secret as well. What she gradually finds out is not entirely pleasant, but then the bond is already created and she struggles between loyalty and suspicion. Eventually she is the only one who actually knows what he really is and the contrast to ignorance of the rest of the family and especially her mother’s adoration for Uncle Charlie is almost grotesque, as if Miss Charlie lives in a parallel world to the rest of the family.

The menace is exquisite and the isolation of Miss Charlie is very tangible and so is the danger she is now subject to. For us as viewers the suspense is top class as we feel this. She knows or thinks she knows that Uncle Charlie is bad ass, but she can turn nowhere. Not to the family who A. would not understand and B. would be devastated if they found out. She also cannot turn to the police because she already withheld information to protect Uncle Charlie. Uncle Charlie knows she is alone and he knows she knows something of who he is and he is capable of killing in cold blood.

Hitchcock has used some of the themes before. The isolated woman who is hunted and cannot turn anywhere was used in “Blackmail” and to some extent in “Sabotage”. In both cases the girl has a detective boyfriend who in the end is able to help her, but not so in “Shadow of a Doubt”. When Miss Charlie finally turns to the policeman he is gone and nowhere to be found and she must face danger alone. In a sense that makes Miss Charlie a stronger character than her predecessors out of necessity. A hint of that we see when she is laying on the ground after being poisoned by car exhaust, Uncle Charlie bent to her to ask her if she is saying something and Miss Charlie glowers at him saying firmly “Go away!”. She is ready for the fight.

We also get the relief theme from “Rebecca”. They caught the “real” guy back East, so Uncle Charlie may not be the baddie after all. Only where the girl in “Rebecca” experience real relief that Max de Winter is not a murderer after all, Charlie knows that the relief is fake. For her that just makes her even more alone.

While the sneaking, creeping suspense is very well engineered with every remark seeming to carry hidden and sinister meaning there are also a number of elements that does not work as well. The suspense is played for full effect and that means that some of the actions or the lines become a bit contrived. The only reason person x said that at this time was so person y would become extra nervous. Really it should not bother me, that is the way suspense is created, but here Hitchcock goes out of his way to create normalcy so you expect people to say and do normal things.

Another element that grated on me was the out-of-nowhere love story between Miss Charlie and Mr. Graham, the detective. I know movies are not made for long courtships, but this one takes the price. Also the timing is kind of off. A policeman ruffles a girl, accusing her uncle of being a villain and, voila, they fall in love. Hmmm…

Fortunately these reservations mean little to the overall effect of the film. We get to see a girl transformed from bored teenager, through scared victim to adult woman over the course of a film and we have a villain radiating menace that would make Bela Lugosi and Peter Lorre envious. And that from a guy who was so likeable in “Citizen Kane” and “The Magnificent Ambersons”.

I think I will soon see “Shadow of a Doubt” again. It is very much worth it.

Thursday 8 August 2013

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)

En Gentleman Kommer til Byen
In 1936 Frank Capra made the first version of “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town”. He did very well and earned himself an Academy Award for the effort as best director. Since then this fairy tale has been reproduced in countless forms and variants even in one case under the same name, but in my opinion this original is still the best version of the story.

The story is simple, but both fantastic and romantic. A regular guy finds himself inheriting a fortune and is hurled into the madness of high society. What to do with all this money when all it seems to generate is trouble and anxiety? Fundamentally a story of the values of regular honest and upright people against the depravity of modern life.

Of course in such a story we identify with the regular guy and through his eyes the trappings of the rich and wealthy are revealed as hollow and hypocrite, which of course is mighty satisfying to a depression age audience. A theme already explored in “My Man Godfrey”.

What better actor to be the regular guy than Gary Cooper? He and Jimmy Stewart must have had a running competition on being the most average, but upright, fellow in Hollywood. In this film Cooper scores extra points in that competition. Longfellow Deeds is super likable with an almost childlike innocence and excitement combined with enough spine and honesty to lend him solid integrity.  He may be naïve and friendly, but he is not a sap, which is an error his surroundings repeat again and again.

In Longfellow Deeds world answers are simple and matters are usually black or white. You just have to apply common sense then most problems can be reduced to a simple yes or no. The comedy and drama is generated when such a creature is taken out of its normal small town habitat and placed in New York with an unexpected fortune. How does he fare in a world ruled by greed, envy and the all-mighty dollar? At first that world laughs at him, but soon he exposes it for what it really is.

Everybody wants Deeds money. His lawyers are already busy embezzling his fortune and eye the rest of the money. The relatives who did not inherit have gotten a sore ass from it and sycophants from basically every corner of society wants access to his coffers. On top of that the tabloids are on to him. Gossip on Deeds sells newspapers and soon Deeds have to dodge paparazzi’s as well.

One of these is better than most. Louise "Babe" Bennett (Jean Arthur) insinuates herself into Deeds life by pretending to be Mary Dawson, a damsel in distress. She is so successful that Deeds falls for her completely to the extend that he ends up proposing to her. Until that point Bennett gets full access to the life of a man hopelessly unsuited for the cutthroat way of high society and she find out that beneath that laughable appearance is genuinely good guy. Needless to Bennett turns 180 degrees from writing demeaning gossip about Deeds (coining the label “Cinderella Man”) to regretting them bitterly as she falls in love with him as well.

Eventually Deeds finds out about Dawson/Bennett and piled on top of all the other harassment he has suffered since coming to town the revelation that the girl he loves is the very journalist who has been poisoning his life breaks him. He decides to give it all away to destitute farmers in a one-man land reform act worthy of the New Deal spirit.

While this is obviously a low point for Deeds and Bennett it is actually a highlight of the movie. With satirical bite Capra shows us the desperation this decision causes on the sycophants and vultures who thought they had a right to some of those money. Watching the lawyers panic is priceless. Here they thought they had found a money tree ripe for picking and the man is just giving it away!!! How rude! The very people who had been busy begging or demanding money of him are now offended that he actually do give it away, but not to them. No, instead of giving it to the sycophants he gives his fortune to thousands of people who actually need the money. How outrageous! The man must be insane.

And that is exactly what they try to claim in court. Normally I am not a fan of courtroom dramas. In fact I avoid them whenever possible. But this one is hilarious. Not just because of all the ridiculous claims and the common sense defense, but because of the hypocrisy so blatantly exposed in those parasites who now feel cheated of Deeds money.

Overall I found this installment very enjoyable. It is amusing, funny and witty all through. The characters are likable (and dislikable when needed) and we get just enough of a moral case here to make the movie a bit more than just a comedy.

The only item I can think of I did not care much for was Deeds urge to punch people in the face. Apparently that is a common enough feeling when people are getting just a bid too annoying, but to me it represents capitulation. When you cannot resolve a situation otherwise you can always resort to violence. Sorry dude, that does not look good.

Frankly I do not remember much of the Sandler version of the film, it is too long ago since I saw it, but maybe the fact that I do not remember much of it is telling. A few years after Capra made “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” he tried for a remake in the shape “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”. The crucial difference was that the universal story of solid common sense values against the depravity of wealth and fame was exchanged for a political point of honesty against moral corruption. Unfortunately this rather flag waving version was for me not so easy to swallow and I must say I much prefer Mr. Deeds.

As it is “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” still works today, the points are universally valid and Gary Cooper is a great guy.

Sunday 4 August 2013

The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

De døde ved Daggry
The main theme of ”The Ox-Bow Incident” is vigilantism. A new word for me in English, I had to look up a translation for “selvtægt”. This is however not a new concept at all. In fact countless of films have had as a theme the individual or small group who takes it upon themselves to right something wrong. There is a certain satisfaction to it and the individual(s) who takes action in this manner is often considered resourceful, strong and determined. Positive traits that we like to equip our heroes with.

But vigilantism is fundamentally deeply problematic. Who authorized this or these people to take action? By what right are they condemning someone else? A movie will often make it entirely plain to us that the victim deserves the punishment and really had it coming. We saw what they did and if the law will not take action somebody else must to satisfy our sense of justice. But what if we did not see the crime? What if it is not entirely plain to see what has happened as is usually the case for the characters in the movies? As an audience we often have an advantage there to the characters. Without that certain knowledge vigilantism becomes fraught with all sorts of problems, particularly moral ones.

“The Ox-Bow Incident” cleverly places us, the audience, in that situation. Like the characters we do not know the truth of what has happened and see the townsfolk of this Nevada town make hasty and ill-conceived decisions about the life and death of three men they suspect of murder and rustling. We know no more than these people. Or rather, these people know as little as us about what really happened, yet they work themselves up in a frenzy to see these people hang.

Although this is a slow movie and not one that really drags the viewer into some high paced, action packed horse opera, this is a very interesting movie. What environment is more associated with vigilantism and people taking action than the old American west? This is the landscape of the lone ranger, the bounty hunter and screw-the-sheriff-we-will-deal-with-this-ourselves mentality. But here the table is turned. Instead of showing the resourceful western heroes saving the day we have the self-same people taking action against innocents and we get to see how misbegotten that mentality is. Off all people the western horsemen…

80% of the film is basically a discussion on whether these people should ride out and take on the criminals who allegedly murdered Mr. Kinkaid and stole his cattle or whether they should wait for the sheriff to let the law handle the situation in a proper manor. The discussion starts in the town where an angry mop is forming around Jeff Farnley (Marc Lawrence) and Major Tetley (Frank Conroy). The deputy Butch Mapes (Dick Rich) is all for it although this is outside his jurisdiction. On the other side Arthur Davies (Harry Davenport) and the town judge Tyler (Matt Briggs) are trying to calm people down, but to no avail. The discussion continues in the forest at night where the posse is entirely deaf to the pleading of the three men they have come upon. Especially Donald Martin (Dana Andrews) as the head of the group of three is heartbreaking in his pleading. He is not whimpering, but incredulous that this posse could even think that they were criminals and just to exacerbate the injustice being done we learn that he is leaving behind infant children and a wife destitute now that he is being hanged.

The lead character of the film is Henry Fonda’s Gil Carter. He and his friend Art Croft (Harry Morgan) are merely spectators to the events. In a sense they represent us, the audience. They join the posse to avoid being suspected themselves as they just rode into town this morning, but they are lackluster about this undertaking and when it comes to a vote they stand against hanging the men. Two of only seven who oppose the lynching. It is through their eyes we feel the bitterness of the events. They tried to stop the lynching but too little and too late and now the only thing left to do is to take care of the family left behind.

There are a number of sub plots and peculiar characters. We learn that Crofts girlfriend left town and married some smartass dude from San Francisco. The only function of this really is to explain his bitterness in general and enable him to take care of Martin’s wife.

Then we have the self-styled Major Tetley who seems hell bent on being the determined and authoritative commander to the exclusion of truth, compassion and his own son, the sensitive Gerald Tetley (William Eythe). As it turns out Gerald may be whimpy, but he has more integrity and spine than his own father and in the face of massive peer pressure he stands up to the defense of the accused and refuse to partake in the execution. A clear contest of values that Gerald wins, though a hollow victory it is.

We see Jane Darwell as (Jenny Grier) a massive woman with a big gun who is ready to hang ‘em criminals. This bloodthirsty woman is a far cry from Ma Joad in “Grapes of Wrath” and you can only admire Jane Darwell for her acting range. Grier may be a funny character to begin with, but in the end there is nothing fun about anybody.

I would not say this is a hugely entertaining film, it is far too slow for that, but there is intensity in it and a relevance that easily makes up for the lack of pace. Also it is I suppose as close as we will ever get to a film noir western.

Martin never shot nobody. In fact Kinkaid was never killed. But by then the mob had already hanged three men who happened to have bought cattle from Kinkaid that morning. That is not fate. That is the evil of vigilantism.