A man, playing a private ritual with some unusual matchboxes finds himself exposed in public.
This may have been my first film, I don't remember as I made 4 short films in 1972 when I was in my late teens. There are just a few things that come to mind about this one: It was directly based on a dream. The big difference between the dream and the film is that the fish were alive in flopping on the table when pulled from the matchboxes. In the dream, the man was trying to play solitaire with the fish but they kept thrashing around, spoiling his arrangement. I actually was planning on shooting it this way but the woman playing the press photographer refused to be a part of the movie if the fish were flopping. So I killed the fish ahead of time in a plastic bag full of insecticide (not a pretty sight - I don't recommend this method for killing fish). In the dream, the photograph produces extreme mouth fungus on the fish. We used foamy rug cleaner spray to recreate this effect.
One curious thing is how the card table is introduced with 5 shots: 1 from the right side, then 3 from the left at different distances – with the 5th as a straight-on medium shot that zooms in. The sequence is repeated with the man standing at the table. There was a reason for doing this that I've forgotten today except that I was trying to fragment the sense of space.
Many of these early films had a watermelon cameo. I had created a fictional character named Walter Melone who grew "bonsai tree-like" watermelons by tying them with rope and as they got bigger, they would assume various strange shapes. The watermelon became my symbol for fecundity and I used watermelons in at least one shot of many films – the last being the watermelon piñata in "Wedlock."
Since I didn't make a credit list, I've forgotten the names of the actors. If anyone remembers them, contact me.