When someone broke into my apartment and stole my laptop a few years ago, a part of me was relieved. I no longer felt burdened by a file in my “Stories” folder: it was a screenplay I had written based on the lyrics to “Lily, Rosemary, And The Jack Of Hearts,” Bob Dylan’s longest song on his 1975 masterpiece Blood on the Tracks. Scratch that, a terrible screenplay. Just because the song was sung in a narrative fashion — “Backstage the girls were playin’ five-card stud by the stairs / Lily had two queens, she was hopin’ for a third to match her pair” — didn’t mean it needed to be adapted into a feature-length movie, but we all do crazy things in college, and this was mine.
I couldn’t get rid of the darn thing; it had a hold on me, like Frodo and the One Ring, and just like the One Ring, in the wrong hands (mine), it would do more harm than good. Thank you, Mr. or Mrs. Burglar, for taking it away from me.
The folks at Collider Digital also decided to turn a rock classic into a short film, except what they did with Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” takes actual talent. It’s a tongue-in-cheek, extremely literal reenactment of the song’s lyrics — a son tells his mother he “killed a man,” then he gets trapped in a shootout with the police. It’s like an overly dramatic episode of Sons If Anarchy, or the audition scene from Julie Taymor’s shelved Queen musical.
No matter what you think of “Literal Bohemian Rhapsody,” it’s better than “Literal Lily, Rosemary, And The Jack of Hearts.” Believe me.