Week: Amour Fou And Offbeat Love Stories In The Cinema
Some screenings in this series are also taking place at the Egyptian Theatre February 17 - 19.
Discuss this series with other film fans on:
In celebration of Valentines Day, we present seven
very different love stories with one thing in common offbeat, delirious depictions
of unrequited amour, troubled relationships and/or doomed affairs, all done in a
most entertaining and gratifying fashion. From the unfulfilled desire and emotional
immolation of Max Ophuls gem, LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN and Jean
Negulescos HUMORESQUE (with Joan Crawford and John Garfield
at their best), to mental illness, May-December romance and Oedipal obsession in Robert
Aldrichs AUTUMN LEAVES, to the adultery, class values and family dynamics
of Douglas Sirks WRITTEN ON THE WIND and THERES ALWAYS
TOMORROW, to the perverse, phantasmagorical fire of forbidden love in Sidney
Lumet/Tennessee Williams THE FUGITIVE KIND (with the combustible pairing of Marlon
Brando and Anna Magnani!) and David Lynchs WILD AT HEART these
romantic tragedies, surreal dreamlike reveries and soul-baring dramas are the
flipsides of the candy-coated marketing of romance on Valentines Day. And, much more
than the saccharine sentiments on greeting cards, these things are often what love is all
Thursday, February 8 7:30 PM
Cinema Valentine Amour Fou
THE FUGITIVE KIND 1959, UA (Sony
Repertory), 121 min. Director Sidney Lumet conjures a sensual fever dream from Tennessee
Williams southern gothic Orpheus Descending. Itinerant hustler Marlon
Brando is the ultimate snakeskin-clad loner who drifts into a redneck backwater town
and falls into a torrid affair with fellow outcast Anna Magnani, the middle-aged
immigrant wife of hate-crippled Victor Jory. Sparks fly from a pyrotechnic cast that also
includes Joanne Woodward and Maureen Stapleton.
Thursday, February 9 7:30 PM
Cinema Valentine Amour Fou
Douglas Sirk Double Feature:
WRITTEN ON THE WIND, 1956,
Universal, 99 min. Commonly acknowledged as one of pantheon director Douglas
Sirks most sublime masterworks, this tale of two friends rich, alcoholic Robert
Stack and poor, sensible Rock Hudson (who also works for him) runs the gamut of
emotions, examining the consequences of the pairs mutual love for radiant Lauren
Bacall. But Sirk doesnt stop there as he subtly explores, through back story and
character, the loneliness and spiritual degradation caused by unchecked materialism. He
also manages to skillfully sidestep soap opera cliches while still delivering glossy,
superior popular entertainment. Dorothy Malone won the Oscar for Best Supporting
Actress as Stacks promiscuous sister with a long-unrequited yen for Hudson.
Brand New 35mm Print!
ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS, 1955,
Universal, 89 min. Jane Wyman, a lonely widow with two spoilt, almost grown
children (William Reynolds, Gloria Talbot) as well as a circle of snobbish, upper middle
class friends, suddenly finds herself falling-in-love with her gardener, Rock Hudson.
Director Douglas Sirk examines the curious cultural barriers we set up for
ourselves regarding love, skewering age and class differences in the process as well as
championing fearless independence of the individual spirit - something that was not always
that common in the 1950s. One of the most subversive love stories of 20th century cinema
and a prime inspiration for Todd Haynes' recent, acclaimed FAR FROM HEAVEN.
Friday, February 10 7:30 PM
LOVE STORY, 1970, Paramount, 99 min.
One of the most gloriously sentimental and tear-jerking films ever made. Written by Erich
Segal (based on his novel), LOVE STORY follows the rich boy-poor girl romance of preppie
millionaire Ryan ONeal, and "social zero" Ali MacGraw,
as they first trade verbal fireworks, and then fall truly, madly in love against the
turbulent backdrop of Harvard in the early 70s. Beautifully acted by ONeal and
MacGraw, and sensitively directed by Arthur Hiller (THE IN-LAWS, THE HOSPITAL),
LOVE STORY is as much a landmark of pop culture as Elton Johns "Your Song"
or Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
Sunday, February 12 6:00 PM
AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER, 1957,
20th Century Fox, 119 min. Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr are two
decent, middle-aged people who meet and fall-in-love on a cruise from Europe to New York.
Both engaged to others, they decide to think it over before jumping into marriage and
agree to rendezvous again six months later at the Empire State Building. But things
dont go exactly as planned. Leo McCarey (THE AWFUL TRUTH) deftly directs one
of the true perennials of movie love stories, its enduring, genuine sweetness and warmth
tempered by a bittersweet melancholy borne out of the curveballs life can sometimes throw
you. With Richard Denning and Cathleen Nesbitt.