George Cukor carefully avoids the obvious effects in telling this story of a husband (Charles Boyer) attempting to drive his wife (Ingrid Bergman) insane; instead, this 1944 film is one of the few psychological thrillers that is genuinely psychological, depending on subtle clues—a gesture, an intonation—to thought and character. Boyer and Bergman are superb, and Angela Lansbury makes her debut
Mind control is an interesting concept. This terminology most often conjures up notions of intrigue, sci-fi, destructive cults, MK Ultra, and maybe thoughts of Jason Bourne. In describing Patty Hearst at her trial, her defense team highlighted Hearst’s terror and the abuses of her captivity, suggesting that she may have been drugged into a “disordered and frightened” state. The idea
Now and then, we must re-visit our history to know what we’ve gained in our progression of movie-watching. When we began our film exploration in January 2010, it was simply that, an exploration. However, even then, we looked at films that revealed important ways in which the movie and the spectator interact to construct their stories and to reveal their
Those of us who watched the Golden Globe Awards this week, or heard about the event after the fact, know that in accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award, Meryl Streep gave an impassioned speech. Without naming names, most likely everyone in the world knew the context and the individual about whom she spoke. But there was one performance this year that
the inside world really holds you, really contains you, can cause you pain that you don’t show outside and that is why no one ever talks about it. He has two selves and she only has one. —John Cassavetes quoted in Carney, 2001 His [Cassavetes’] opinion was that society made women quite crazy—and not just the men. It was their
In analyzing this movie, at first glance one might consider the similarities between the stories in Behind the Candelabra (our May feature about Liberace and his relationship with Scott Thorsen) and The Piano Teacher, our November film about a teacher-pupil romance.