May 30, 2017
Xanadu (1980) (part 2 of 7)
The movie transitions to the next scene with what the special effects department called the “slit wipe”. Basically, the scene slides into view in a series of thin panels, accompanied by a funky noise that sounds like an electronic shutter. For my purposes, I’ll be calling it a “shutter wipe” instead, because frankly, it sounds less dirty.
So, we shutter wipe to Sonny driving up to the gate of “AirFlo Studios” in a Ford Woodie stationwagon. His car is a total throwback to the ’40s—it’s even got wood paneling on the doors and sideboards. For a starving artist, he must be making good money if he can afford a restored classic like this (which is not to imply that the car isn’t butt-ugly, because it is). The guard at the gate jokes that he didn’t expect to see Sonny again. Sonny replies he’s “not thrilled to be back”. A woman at the gate tells him, “You said you’d be crazy to come back here!” Sonny quips, “I’d rather be crazy than hungry.” Let the record show that he’s not happy to be here. Just so we’re all on the same page here.