Sock It to Me!
As part of its annual summer kids series, this week the Drexel offers an unusual Midwest premiere: the first all-sock puppet film noir. Co-directed by Atlanta film professors Eddy Von Mueller and Evan Lieberman from a script by former student Lynn Lamousin, Lady from Sockholm picks up in 1943 with bleach-swilling private eye Terrence M. Cotton as he’s hired by Heelda Brum, a slinky piece of hosiery, to find her missing husband Darnell.
Intrigue involving gangster Big Toeny, his moll Kicky Lafetiche, and a plot to make an impenetrable fabric to protect Knitler’s army ensues, as does a moral about accepting others regardless of their fiber content.
The filmmakers make terrific use of the genre’s heightened visual style, covering most shots in heavy shadow and dramatic lighting, and pay direct homage to classics from The Maltese Falcon to Chinatown. But the movie’s most striking feature is a truly mind-boggling array of goofy puns stemming from feet, socks and fabrics. You’ll be left wondering how long they brainstormed to come up with them all, and what the writer might have been on at the time. (Still, there’s more to come; according to press notes, she’s now working on a sock puppet Western.)