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Another Woman [UK Import]
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Woody Allen's 17th film. Gena Rowland plays Marion, an academic who rents a flat in which to write a book on philosophy and becomes intrigued by conversations she overhears from a psychologist's office next door. One patient, Hope (Mia Farrow), has a particular effect on Marion forcing her to re-think many of her assumptions about her own life: her unhappy marriage; her feelings for another man (Gene Hackman); and her relationships with her best friend (Sandy Dennis) and brother (Harris Yulin).
Marion (Gena Rowlands), eine erfolgreiche, selbstbewußte New Yorker Philosophieprofessorin, wird durch die Begegnung mit einer Fremden (Mia Farrow) aus der Bahn geworfen. Sie stellt ihr bisheriges Leben, ihre Beziehungen in Frage. In einem kongenialen Stil, in dem Vergangenheit und Gegenwart, Dialog und Erzählung, Wirklichkeit und Traum miteinander verbunden sind und wie er selten in amerikanischen Filmen zu finden ist, inszeniert Woody Allen ein existentielles Drama von eindringlicher Kraft.
Der puristische, strenge Stil und v.a. die Anlehnung an Ingmar Bergman wird viele Betrachter verwundern, die Woody Allen „ nur" als Komödianten kennen. Doch gelingt es dem Großmeister der Komödien auf beeindruckende Art und Weise, Bergmans Stil zu adaptieren und ein weiteres Mal zu beweisen, daß er auch Dramen meisterhaft inszenieren kann.
Was als u.U. etwas irritierend empfunden werden kann, ist die sehr offensichtliche Orientierung des Regisseurs an seinem Vorbild, die manche Kritiker als plagiatorisch bemängelten. Andererseits: warum sollte man einem Altmeister wie Ingmar Bergman nicht nacheifern, wenn es auf so hervorragende Weise gelingt wie Woody Allen bei „Another Woman"?
Negativ an der technischen Ausführung zu bemerken ist, daß es zwar eine deutsche Tonspur gibt, aber nicht die Möglichkeit, dem Film im Original mit deutschen Untertiteln zu sehen.
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All of the actors are magnificent.. a top-notch cast. Gena Rowlands as the central character is *beyond* great. I cannot think of ANY movie where Gena Rowlands hasn't been amazing. Here, she so beautifully inhabits the skin of the intellectual, introspective and (in the perception of the people around her) cold & aloof woman.. a great scholar and writer, apparently world famous. Yet, within this character is a sensitive heart; in her respected position, she's learned to contain her emotions almost too well and at age fifty, is regretting what she has and hasn't done and considering how she might have behaved differently. Where would she be now if she'd done the unexpected?
This is an introspective journey between past memory and present experience and the struggle we face coming to terms with unpleasant truths about ourselves and the people we thought we knew so well, then getting on with our lives. Through Rowlands' character, Woody Allen examines the big existential "what if" that human beings grapple with throughout their lives: the inevitable choices we wander into and those that confront us at those times we believe we've mapped out our perfect future (which is an illusion ~ there is no perfect future. Humans are both predictable and random in their actions and we can only hope to control and take responsibility for what we do as individuals. How others behave is and always will be up to them.)
This movie will inform anyone who watches it of truths that seem to be indelible and repetitive in human character: a person who cheats in marriage or long-term relationship to be with another will inevitably cheat on that other. I suppose you can think of it as Karma or accept that a leopard really doesn't change its spots. When someone else is discarded and hurt by their spouse or partner so that spouse or partner can be with you, do you believe you inhabit a position of security? KNOW that you'll be on the receiving end of that same callous behavior sooner or later. I'm often amazed at the foolishness of people who imagine they can cause or force another relationship to end and actually ever emerge the winner when someone else's heart is broken. Consider the "prize" that is acquired isn't much of a prize at all. The laundry list of justifications for ditching an existing relationship to enjoy one that is fresh, new and exciting..even the most charming and eloquent people become pathetic in their attempts to humiliate the person they've wronged.
Another important point: Love that seems "safe" isn't necessarily safe at all. Love that arrives in ways that are sudden and risky and very passionate appears dangerous, yet has the greater likelihood of lasting and causing us to change the course we've plotted out so systematically and smash the masks we've created for ourselves. There are regrets for what might have been if only we'd had the courage to take the risk of following our hearts rather than doing what is sensible and expected of us. Then we come to terms with the fact that we shut out those from our lives who were less successful (sometimes we are influenced to do this by people we believe truly love us) and while there is time and opportunity to make amends, we can open up and share with others we once considered foolish or misdirected. If we're fortunate and honest, the people we've wounded through negligence will give us a chance.
What is so carefully planned and seems to fit us allows us to lock ourselves into a cocoon of routines which become very tedious and often irritating. We find ourselves inventing reasons to get space away from our significant other. Often we're not conscious of exactly what it is that creates this need to find and maintain a space where we can be alone, where we can think and work.. there is something very wrong and our waking minds will not allow us to see what might otherwise be obvious. We deny our suspicions, but know.. we remember certain statements, recognize certain patterns and still convince ourselves "No. It's just our imagination." ..and then feel we've been taken for a sucker until we accept that our intuition was correct and it was we who persisted in suckering ourselves.
We all come to these inevitable forks in the road where we ultimately learn that by taking the most sensible and comfortable path, we've missed so many possibilities for learning and being more fully alive. It is when we leave what is safe that we grow and evolve, no matter how intelligent and well-regarded we might be by people we allow to "know" us that we truly evolve into being much more than a great thinker..we find far more powerful meaning in existence..we find our heart. Sometimes we must break our own rules, even believe we might lose our mind for awhile, in order to find what is truly in our heart. We also learn this important truth: "family" is often built of people who are not related to us through DNA, but through shared understanding or what appears to be coincidence. And those members of our biological family we came to think of as failures are possibly more aware and successful than we have ever been: money and prestige are often an unrealistic measure of success.
When you look at someone in the world who appears to be absurdly successful and have everything they might ever want, someone who seems to do everything gracefully.. don't imagine this superficial data amounts to the truth. It's often silly and sometimes unkind to envy the life of someone you don't really know.
I love this film. It is personal and introspective. The scenes, the places: I feel as if I'm in Central Park, although it's been decades since I've returned to New York. I'd not have done anything differently, had this been my own film. Gene Hackman has the rare opportunity to play something other than The Bad Guy, which is refreshing. The soundtrack is impeccable (I greatly appreciate the inclusion of Erik Satie, especially). If you are one who complains that "it moves slowly" or "seems staged", put the film away somewhere safe and watch it again in ten years. There are times when our lives seem to move swiftly and dramatically, but in retrospect we can see situations building for some time before each drama unfolds. Woody Allen possesses great understanding of the human spirit ~ and I'll not attempt to analyze how or where he acquired this wisdom. For the same reason he is able to cause us to laugh, he can cause us to identify with the uncertain, broken, tender and lost moments in life..and the times of epiphany, when can no longer hide from ourselves ~ and even strangers consumed with their own fears and uncertainty see right through our facade to our vulnerability. We imagine we can maintain a calm demeanor no matter what and learn that a stranger we thought so frail and alone feels pity for us because we seem so lost.
This is the way we are, the way life is..and this truly is Woody Allen's masterpiece. I would not compare "Another Woman" to the films of Ingmar Bergman. I believe this film can only be compared to itself.
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