Saturday, June 16, 2012

Afterglow (introduced by Alan Rudolph)

US © 1997 Afterglow, Inc. PC: Elysian Dreams / Moonstone Entertainment / Sandcastle 5 Productions. P: Robert Altman. D+SC: Alan Rudolph. DP: Toyomichi Kurita. AD: François Séguin, Collin Niemi, Pierre Perrault. Cost: François Barbeau. M: Mark Isham, performed by the Afterglow Ensemble. "Somewhere" perf. Tom Waits. S: Tony Martinez, etc. ED: Suzy Elmiger. Clip: The Pit and the Pendulum. C: Nick Nolte, Julie Christie, Lara Flynn Boyle, Jonny Lee Miller, Jay Underwood, Domini Blythe, Yves Corbeil. Loc: Montréal. 35 mm print source: Sony Pictures Classics. Viewed at the School, Sodankylä (Midnight Sun Film Festival), Saturday, 16 June 2012.

Alan Rudolph's remarks afterwards: Nick Nolte has this gruff wall, but he is really sensitive. Nick likes to rehearse, to have a background for his character. Julie came into the room the day before and was as good. Changes? I never do that. Julie said: "I never see the camera". The young actors didn't get the attention they deserved. Jonny Lee Miller had appeared in Trainspotting. Lara Flynn Boyle: I had worked with her before. I hadn't seen Afterglow in 15 years. It's always the actors. That's how they'll always look. Julie Christie was nominated for an Oscar. All directors like women.

Timo Malmi in the catalog: "For the admirers of the mature charm of Julie Christie and Nick Nolte, Afterglow, Alan Rudolph’s best film of 1990s once again produced by Robert Altman, offers pure pleasure. In her comeback role, the stylish Christie turned out a performance worthy of an Oscar nomination. In this melancholy romantic comedy Rudolph gently and airily examines serious material: getting a child, childlessness, and forgiveness."

"The story of this four-way relationship drama situated in Montreal moves in the luxurious homes, workplaces and restaurants of the upper middle class. Christie plays Phyllis, a former B movies star who has lost her child, Nolte her husband Lucky Mann, plumber to lonely women. Their marriage is overcast by grief that Phyllis escapes on her couch watching her old horror films, and Lucky on the town in the arms of other women he admires to an equal extent.

"In a “more boring” opposite couple, a stay-at-home wife Marianne (Lara Flynn Boyle) wants to have a child but his businessman husband Johnny (Johnny Lee Miller) is either unwilling or unable to produce one. The members of the two couples meet, Lucky and the baby-hungry Marianne and Johnny and the wistful Phyllis, as if to mirror each other."

"Once again, we find ourselves in the familiar Rudolphland, within the circles of the confusion of relationships and the longing for love. The impressive choreographies work beautifully, the ironic humour twinkles beneath the surface, and again the use of music is memorable; Tom Waits, the king of gravel-voices rasps out Somewhere by Bernstein & Sondheim." (Timo Malmi)

AA: A jazzy study of relationships between grown-ups in Montréal, always unpredictable, laid back, not afraid to face disappointment and lack of fulfillment. Great actors in roles not built on escapism or feelgood fantasy. A fine print.

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