venerdì 3 settembre 2010

September (Underestimated n° 2)


All bloggers have their favourite month, I guess.
As far as I'm concerned, it is September. I love the end of summer, the warm light in the streets at sunset, the crispy colours of things around me.
Every time September is back, I think about the Woody Allen movie having the same title. It is one of those Allen's movies people usually don't talk about and I never understood why. I watched it for the first time 23 years ago, in a Milan cinema, and I still clearly remember how much I was taken by this picture.
Lane (Mia Farrow) and Stephanie (Dianne West)
A house in Vermont, six characters, different loving disasters.
The movie never shows the outside world. This is a "chamber piece", a theatrical movie.
The owner of the house is Lane, a woman who's recovering from a nervous breakdown. It is the end of the summer and few friends has joined her for the week-end. Lane is in love with Peter, a writer, but Peter is in love with Stephanie, Lane's best friend, while Howard, a neighbour, is in love with Lane.
Things are already a bit complicated, but to make them worse, Diane (very lively Lane's mother) arrived at the house together with her third husband. Friends will spend the days talking, eating, drinking, avoiding to show or showing their feelings to the others, until a big storm comes to trouble them. It is a kind of signal: all the things remained unsaid until that moment come to surface, exploding and exposing the hidden feelings and wounds of the group.
There will not be blood, but tons of sadness.
Diane (Elaine Stritch), Lane's mother
Interestingly enough, Woody Allen directed September twice. He practically made the movie a second time because he wasn't happy about the first version, and especially his cast. He had the guts to replace two actors like Christopher Walken and Sam Shepard for the role which was eventually played by Sam Waterson, and even to replace Maureen O'Sullivan with Elaine Stritch for the role of Diane. Not that O'Sullivan was extremely famous, but she was (at that time) Allen's mother-in-law. Bad move, I guess.
By the way, I was personally very happy with the cast, thanks to the presence of an actor and an actress I have always been a huge fan of: Denholm Elliott (probably better known for his role as Mr. Emerson in A room with a view, who sadly died few years afterwards, in 1992), who's playing Howard, and Dianne Wiest (an amazing actress, and here particularly adorable with her short haircut), who plays Stephanie.
Lane (Mia Farrow) and Peter (Sam Waterson)
What I really like about September, is that Woody Allen doesn't even try to make people laugh.
I think this is one of the few movies (together with Interiors and Another Woman) where Allen allowed himself to show his (deeply) dark side. I mean, it is not by chance that Ingmar Bergman is his favourite film-maker. I read very often that this could be considered Allen's Autumn Sonata (because of the relationship between Lane and her mum), but I think that September is more Allen's Winter Light. It is just that, instead of winter in Sweden, it is autumn in Vermont.
Many themes he cherishes are present here: the cruelty of love, the volubility of feelings, the betrayal, the difficulty of human relationships, the meaning of life and the reasons behind this universe's existence. Allen's vision is not a cheerful one, and
September doesn't leave the audience with much hope. In his other movies, Allen is usually able to hide his gloomy attitude through the lens of irony. I think about that scene of Radio Days where a little boy is taken to see a doctor by his mum because he is depressed. When the doctor asks him why, he answers: "Because the universe is expanding". And his mum replies: "But you live in Brooklyn and Brooklyn is not expanding!".
Maybe somebody should say to Woody that Manhattan is not expanding as well.
This is the only scene of September I was able to find on the net (with Spanish subtitles!) but it is a good example of the general atmosphere of the movie.

9 commenti:

  1. Una bella parentesi in questo pomeriggio nuvoloso e zuppo di studio!

    Guarderò il film il prima possibile.

    Grazie Zazie!

    LC

    RispondiElimina
  2. Ne approfitto per condividere una foto con cui sto partecipando al concorso ArchiSnap. Se hai due minuti (e se lo scatto ti piace) ti va di contribuire con un voto?
    In questo modo scoprirai anche l'autore che c'è dietro a Le Catré! :)
    L'invito ovviamente è aperto a tutti gli affezionati di questo Blog!

    http://www.archisnap.com/Snapshot.aspx?uid=5c522f49-a871-459f-b278-fc35a3ae902c

    Merci
    LC

    RispondiElimina
  3. Tesoro! Ma è meraviglioso! Elegante e altero.Raffinatissimo. Solo una piccolissima domanda, per il futuro (salto qualche passaggio): gnocca niente? Baci adoranti

    Rocco

    RispondiElimina
  4. @Le Catré: Ho appena votato la tua foto, che è molto molto bella, e spero che tutti i miei lettori facciano altrettanto. Ma dimmi la verità: il modello era Jean Nouvel??! Perché la somiglianza è inquietantissima...
    @Maelle: Don't worry babe, even Paris is not expanding!
    @Fratello di Rocco: finalmente il commento di uno che se ne intende, di cinema. Mi eri tanto mancato! Ricambio i baci ignoranti, e per la gnocca si vedrà...

    RispondiElimina
  5. @Fratello di Rocco: scusa, i baci erano adoranti, non ignoranti... a volte i lapsus...

    RispondiElimina
  6. Anche tu te ne sei accorta! Lo ammetto, era lui durante una dimostrazione di Tai Chi.
    Grazie!

    Le Catré

    RispondiElimina
  7. Era proprio quello che temevo...

    RispondiElimina

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