After I began to think and write about Charlotte Wells’ listless Aftersun, which I saw in Cannes in ‘22 and will never see again, I discovered I was having difficulty remembering the name of Paul Mescal, who played the weepy dad.

It wasn’t just that I felt an instant animal dislike for this 20something Irish actor, but something about his last name just wouldn’t stay in my brain. It didn’t sound Irish, for one thing. Too mushy. So I decided upon a word association technique. I thought of him as a form of human mescaline (i.e., disorienting) and it worked. I simply decided that this watery-eyed sedative of an actor was the Carlos Castaneda mescalito guy, even though there was nothing the least bit trippy about him.

Problem solved.