Heavy Traffic


Episode Title:
Heavy Traffic.
Episode Description:
The film starts out in live action, introducing the protagonist Michael Corleone, a 22-year-old virgin (inaccurately referred to as 24 in the movie's trailer) playing pinball in New York City. The scene then transitions into animation. New York has a diseased, rotten, tough, and violent atmosphere. Michael's Italian father, Angelo "Angie" Corleone, is a struggling mafioso who frequently cheats on Michael's Jewish mother, Ida. The couple constantly bicker and try to kill each other. Michael ambles through a catalog of freaks, greasers, and dopers. Unemployed, he dabbles with cartoons, artistically feeding off the grubbiness of his environment. He regularly hangs out at a local bar where he gets free drinks from the female black bartender, Carole, in exchange for sketches of the somewhat annoying Shorty, Carole's violent, legless bouncer devotee. One of the regular customers at the bar named Snowflake, a nymphomaniac transvestite, gets beaten up by a tough drunk who has only just realized that Snowflake is a man in drag and not a beautiful woman. Shorty throws the drunk out and the bar's white manager abusively confronts Carole over this. Fed up with her manager, Carole quits. Shorty offers to let Carole stay at his place, but not wanting to get involved with him, Carole tells Shorty that she's staying with Michael, and that they've been "secretly tight for a long time." Michael is turned on by her no-nonsense attitude and strong sense of self-reliance. This relationship also arouses his father's racist fury, as well as the jealousy of Shorty. But Rosa comes over to rape Michael while Angie slaps Ida in the face with a gun. Michael and Carole decide to move out of Michael's parents' house and try to earn enough money to move to California, in order to avoid Shorty. Michael gets a chance to pitch a comic strip idea to an old executive lying on his death bed, who seems enthusiastic enough to listen to the idea.

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