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arizona dream (1993)

When Axel meets Elaine and Grace at the Cadillac dealership, he has no idea how immersed he will become in their lives.

Emir Kusturica

David Atkins
Emir Kusturica

Vilko Filac

Johnny Depp
Jerry Lewis
Faye Dunaway
Lili Taylor
Vincent Gallo


Arizona Dream Poster

Bizarre. That's the first word that comes to mind when I think about Arizona Dream. To try and explain this film in a couple of sentences just isn't going to happen. This is one of those films that, while you're watching, you wonder how it ever got made. The cast is stellar - Lili Taylor and Faye Dunaway as stepmother and daughter are fantastic. Jerry Lewis, Johnny Depp and Vincent Gallo are perfect for their roles.

When I watch this film, I never get used to its surreal moments from the Eskimos to the turtles on the table to the North by Northwest tributes to the piņata to the ending. I love it all.


Grace playing the accordian.THINGS I LOVE

The Eskimos.
The pink Caddy on the mirrored merry-go-round.
The turtles.
The accordion.
The flying machines.
Paul sporadically doing movie dialogue and his general obsession with film. I think this is one of my very favorite things about this film - Vincent Gallo is terrific as Paul Leger (make sure you pronounce it correctly).
Music - terrific accompaniment to the film.


Opening monologue about the fish - fabulous. Paul and the spaghetti
The cars on pedestals. Pink Caddies on poles in the middle of the desert.
The first dinner - turtle crawling on the table, cowardly lion, spaghetti, the pronunciation of Papua New Guinea, games of footsy, the tablecloth - this all gives you a great sense of how the movie will progress.
Paul's garbage theory of male protein. You have to see the movie - I'm not going to tell you what it is.
Mr. Sweetie talking to Mrs. Stalker about cars with Paul and Axel fightiGrace during Russian Rouletteng in the background.
Axel as a chicken in the bedroom.
Russian roulette - ceiling fan shadows, rain, shadows caused by the window shutters - classic film noir touches.
Amateur night. Paul doing the plane/corn field scene from North by Northwest. This is one of the most inspired scenes that I can remember.
Elaine's birthday and Paul's real-life enactment of the North by Northwest scene. The party - going out to the piņata - panning across with the three (Paul, Grace, Paul doing the Godfather sceneAxel) in symmetrical positions on both sides of the tree. Fabulous and surreal.
Bessame mucho - Paul and Elaine singing with the mariachi band.
Paul doing the scene between Al Pacino and John Cazale from Godfather II.
Axel's final monologue in the car dealership.
The final scene with Axel and Leo talking about the fish.

QUOTES Axel Blackmar, Department of Fish and Game

But what is the point of breathing if somebody already tells you the difference between an apple and a bicycle. If I bite a bicycle and ride an apple, then I'll know the difference. - Axel
My name is Axel Blackmar and I work for the Department of Fish and Game. - Axel
Two beers and two shots. - Paul
But my father always said that work was like a hat you put on your head and even if you didn't have pants you didn't have to walk down the street ashamed of your ass as long as you had a hat. - Axel
Do you ever think about suicide? - Grace
-Excuse me? - Axel
-Not really.Elaine and Axel on their flying machine
I think about it all the time. I want to come back as a turtle.
I've never built a flying machine before, but how hard could it be? - Axel
Sometimes you have to crash and hit your head on a tree to know what to do. - Axel
Elaine, we'll go to the Bering Sea. We'll be in love and we'll never die. - Axel
Elaine, you can't shoot me. I have a performance on Friday. - Paul
Never in my life did I think I'd be an Eskimo in the middle of a desert knowing I had to kill something - to put something out of it's misery. - Axel
If you're not going to shoot me, sit down on the bed, Axel. - Grace
Shhhh. My mother's sleeping. - Grace
I want you to have the world. - Grace
How would I die when I'm 35? How would I die? I'll Discussion about how they would all like to die.tell ya how I'd die. I'd take off all my clothes and I'd get into a bathtub filled with ice cold vodka and I'd have a TV in the room with me and I'd be watching North by Northwest and just when the scene comes with the airplane, I'd pull the TV in the bathtub and shock myself. I hate that film. - Paul
I'm not going to die. I'm gonna live forever until one day I wake up and I'll be a turtle. - Grace