The Muppets are an invitation to look at our weird, messed up world, and laugh instead of cry. Their acceptance of chaos means an acceptance of everyone, from seven-foot-tall carrots to psychopathic coffee spokesman to neurotic frogs.
Whether by accident or instinct, Carnival of Souls captures a sense of alienation. And the film itself, fiercely independent, with a singular vision, experienced a similar outcome as its protagonist.
While Beginners and In a Lonely Place are radically different films, both portray their characters’ attempts to close the distance between themselves and others, drifting through chiasmatic stories from fear to delusion to fear again.