Random neuron firing, lame philosophy, literary pontificating, movies, sex, clothes & other femme stuff

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

The Go-Between

I usually regard my decline from "ordinary person" to "film person" (slimy, amorphous, of negligible third dimension) as a consequence of viewing at a 1974 high-school-auditorium Friday-movie-night the bewildering spectacle of Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell's collaboratively directed Performance, starring Mick Jagger, Anita Pallenberg, and James Fox. Glancing at the Harvard Film Archive schedule just now, though, I was reminded that the ground for my climacteric was actually substantially broken in 1972. (Who cares? you might well ask. Well, i do, anyway --ask, that is. The answer is, Shhhh, we're following the blue sinusoid-less-traveled through a Kodak landscape undulating for miles around a worthwhile movie recommendation.) In March, 1972, my friend Bommer & I accompanied my former fifth-grade teacher and fifteen or so of her latest crop on a three-week excursion to Greece (wondered when she'd finally get around to blogging this. . .). The Joseph Losey film The Go-Between, with Alan Bates, Edward Fox, and Julie Christie, mitigated the flight both going and coming. In Greece --at a hotel in Nauplion with a rickety fillagreed bird-cage lift-- Irene, Bommer, and I all started (unscheduled evenings, proximity, ouzo, strip poker, the seventies) having sex. Somehow or other The Go-Between --among its ingredients: intergenerational sexual obsession, secret assignations, the jading of innocence, jealousy, an aura of poisonous exoticism, subtle Jamesian social manipulations-- seemed a fertile correlative to our situation and endless source for hermetic quotations and allusions. That summer, our relationship in rolling boil, we saw it together again, pretty much cementing its iconic position. I guess it's the first smart film I ever took really seriously. The music, by Michel LeGrande, a progressive series of complex and ominous variations on a single theme, is still my favorite film soundtrack. It's a perfectly beautiful and depressing movie for today. Showing tonight at nine at the HFA.
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