A Mysterious Train . . .
I believe that the year was 1984 when I took my only truly long train ride, boarding first in the Bay Area and going northeast to Chicago through the mid-December cold, then turning south and traveling to Texas to see a friend before heading north again for the Ozarks, where I spent the Christmas with my family, and that was merely half the trip, for I returned to the Bay Area by train as well, traveling the southern route this time, most of the moments silently expended lost in my own thoughts or watching other travelers lost in theirs when I wasn't reading books or writing letters, but also meeting two writers, a married couple who told me a ghost story that they claimed was true . . . but writers are liars.
Why do I remember this long-ago trip? Because I have just watched Madame Tutli-Putli, a seventeen-minute stop-motion-animated film from 2007 by Canadian filmmakers Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, having been led to it through a visit at my blog by someone coming from a blog titled Skryfblok, which I visited in turn and found the film embedded there, but it's also available on You Tube.
Madame Tutli-Putli, burdened down with all her possessions, boards a night train and finds herself seated among various other silent passengers, all headed God only knows where on a trip that grows increasingly sinister -- or is that solely Tutli-Putli's imagination -- until some light is shed at the film's mysterious end.
There's at least one scene that children shouldn't watch, unless they want to have nightmares, but the film likely wouldn't be scary for grown-ups . . . unless you're an already nervous, fearful adult like Madame Tutli-Putli.
The mysterious imagery is densely enough textured to provide an illusion of unreal reality, and the original soundtrack gives expression to the feelings that we also glimpse in Tutli-Putli's haunted, hunted, but expressively human eyes.
Recommended for your inner existentialist on a train headed reluctantly toward that ineluctable Sartrean encounter with nothingness . . .