Last week I watched Last Tango in Paris which is on my Fatso-old-movie-list and which I had not seen since about 1979 in London. It was originally banned in New Zealand, and a few other places like Italy, Portugal and South Korea.
I guess because of that ban and because I was in my 20s when I saw it, I remember it being about casual, ‘faceless’ sex. I was, therefore, interested to realise that it is actually about a man coming to terms with his wife’s suicide. In the process of this, of course, he treats a young woman appallingly and, some may say, gets what he deserves in the end. We also are encouraged to believe that his behaviour may have contributed to his wife ‘s death – or is Bertolucci encouraging us to believe that deep down he is, indeed, cut up about this? The point was that because of the bans and my age my recollection is that the movie is about sex. And it’s not.
And then I went to see Disgrace. which I have also read. I thought the movie was very true to the book. The twin themes of following our desires – and responsibility to others/country/place/culture are interesting. Why can’t we just follow our desires? Well because……..
But I also found the interplay of cultural difference fascinating and well drawn. I found a link about the film where the question “why can’t Lucy just leave?’ is asked. Well, because it’s hers, she was born in South Africa. She has to live there. She has to accommodate the ‘new’ South Africa just as Petrus has to accommodate his wife’s family and David has to deal with the town/country/black/white/desire/no desire issue. It’s a complex story about power, sex, difference and life.
And how we each see the world so differently. My current theme. And yes, it relates to the previous post.