I loved it immediately and throughout -- each segment stands somewhat parallel to the next as we observe Caterina move through her many social universes, and are filled with such detail that I was wondering how Sallitt was possibly going to sum it up. In fact, the ending comes along unexpectedly and on a note no one could really have anticipated. It made me wonder if DS was trying to make a somewhat post-modern gesture there, as the glaring discontinuity…
I don't think many people in the audience felt it appropriate to laugh, but Arnow's deadpan innuendos tickled my fancy. For some reason the West Coast beach location and the noise of the waves in the background brought to mind VERTIGO as I was writing this entry. Maybe because Arnow seems to be hailing a comeback for blatant, emotional artifice in film? There's something distinctive and original about the way she blends modern, ironically detached commentary with direct expression of emotion through her characters.
For me it always seemed that a wider variety of hidden or overt social rules made for more riveting art, and Rohmer replicates the feeling of, say, Tolstoy, with astonishing precision. My guess is that the period setting is a bit of a buffer, allowing Rohmer to remove himself from 70s France to a time period that provides allows him to explore issues that matter to him with an amount of aesthetic distance. The story itself, of course, is hardly…
Pedro Costa at the Q & A afterwards said that the content of the film is biographical in nature: the factual details of Vitalina's life in the film are derived from her real life. So in that sense, I understood the film as more a re-enactment of real events than crafted fiction per se, with some fanciful interludes inserted by the filmmaker as a sort of poetic commentary.
I was often impressed by Costa's mastery of frame and image. You can't…