The Mystery Girl

        from Michelangelo Antonini's The Passenger (1975)

      Maria Schneider as "The Girl" in The Passenger

First she's on a London park bench
reading, then she stretches her arms out,
head raised pondering the deep blue sky.

Next we find her reading on a bench
in a Barcelona cathedral,
her head bowed reflecting inward.

She meets Locke, now a gunrunner
on the church rooftop. He asks her
"Do you believe in coincidences?"

She's young and pretty, an architecture
student fluent in Spanish and French,
helping him to elude his assassins.

When he tells her of the blind man's joy
after his sight was restored, seeing colors,
faces, and landscapes, then his sorrow

that the world was much poorer than
his dreams with ugliness everywhere,
she cries and sits on a chair desolate.

When driving on a country road, he tells
her to look back and she sees rows of trees
receding. She lifts her arms as if flying—

a child of nature or is she Fatima,
a Madonna, perhaps the Passenger
who has come to bless his new life?

Is she the Daisy in his pocket diary?
Is she Mrs. Robertson or his lover?
Is she a double agent with the thugs?

While he's killed in his caged room at Gloria,
she's free roaming in the courtyard as sunset
descends at last on his life and hers.

               — Peter Y. Chou
                    Mountain View, 11-15-2007

Written for David Thomson's Stanford Film Critic Workshop
after screening of Michelangelo Antonini's The Passenger

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© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (11-15-2007)