Saturday, March 26, 2011
men cheating on women: the difference is not the 20th century
The last third of the film Match Point is one of the only good things Woody Allen has ever done.
I tend to fall in the Rosenbaum school on the Woody weigh ins: that he is good only at copying other ideas and at amassing groups of talented collaborators.
Here is the first point in the film when i felt any measure of pathos. A verifiable tennis match has commenced. It is one based more on sound than on image. To get rid of sound, one attacks the opponent and achieves silence. A pregnant noise, one that intimates an image that will also have to be hidden, but has not yet grown visible. Yes, Johansson's 'Lola' is hysterical, mocked and morally judged for her sexuality.
That said, she, and Allen's portrayal of her, is honest. She is louder and more forward because she has been injured, and "she" includes more than herself. Rhys-Myers' character may regret his transgression, but Johansson's owns hers and is now morally committed to living for two. Rhys -Myers and Allen's solution is to commit to erase what is in the process of loudly becoming unignorable. What is a man to with such a loud problem?
Smash that noisemaker until it breaks.
I've also just watched Manon 70, a film where Jean -Claude Brialy 's character comments, to Sami Frey's character, about a room of beautiful women, that "They've all been cheated on. They all have been...and they'll all continue to be. Unless they die. They've all been cheated on. So unless you live on another planet, everybody gets cheated on. That's the 20th century for you. But you, the difference between you and them, is that you haven't been cheated on." The issue of betrayal seems less notable for its temporal and planetary occurence and more striking as a crime that men are still free to commit against women. Gendered tennis ... Men: score. Women: love.
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