How does this noire film, which contrasts a barely noticeable wallflower of a main character with a set of boisterous ‘BS-ing’ characters, use this contrast, and for what purpose? How is Ed’s position in this ‘big wide world of yakity-yak’ like ours? How does Ed’s passivity illustrate points made by existential philosophers, with regard to alienation and ‘authentic’ existence? How does the introduction of aliens and UFOs symbolize Ed’s passivity with regard to his own life? How does Ed’s defense attorney make use of an argument about the ‘plight of modern man’ to argue that Ed was incapable of the crime with which he was charged? How does Ed’s arc of development, as contrasted with those of other more active characters in classic noire films, illustrate the dark underlayment lurking in the existentialist notion of authenticity, when combined with its peculiar aesthetic view of morality or values? How does Ed’s desire to help Birdy start a musical career show his concern for not having led a meaningful life? Why is he shocked at Birdy’s tawdry response?

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