Issues to Consider While Watching Lulu on the Bridge [1998]


Principal characters and the actors who play them are listed below.

As you watch the film, be attentive to how the mise-en-scene [set design, props, etc.] provides clues to Izzy's state of mind and to what is actually happening in the story. Consider the following elements of the mise-en-scene:

  1. The items on the wall in the men's room as Izzy urinates during the opening of the film.
  2. Artwork and posters on the walls. What other films or stories are referenced through posters and signs?
  3. Newspaper headlines and streetsigns and signs in store windows: Do these items somehow direct our attention to Izzy's situation or state of mind?
  4. Do locations sometimes direct our attention to thematic concerns and to Izzy's state of mind? Consider the views of the Statue of Liberty, for example.

Additional issues to consider:

  1. What are the lyrics of the song playing as Izzy urinates in the film's opening scene?
  2. What does the shooter say in the film's opening before he shoots Izzy?
  3. What lines spoken by characters provide clues as to the meaning of the blue stone or as to Izzy's state of mind? Consider expecially Izzy's conversations with Celia Burns [Mira Sorvino].
  4. Celia is given the part of Lulu in a play directed by Catherine Moore [Vanessa Redgrave]. What does Moore say Lulu represents?
  5. Who exactly is Dr. Van Horn [played by Willem Dafoe]? What is his function in the film? What does he represent?