On Essay (Jun '02), "The Low-Down on High Moral Porn" [Unfaithful] by Maureen Holm
~ . ~
I'd seen publicity for Unfaithful on the Today Show. I
didn't realize that it involved rare books or that the [lover] gets offed. Is
the duct tape to seal the package, or was something kinky going on between
Froggy and Gere? Having seen publicity, and seeing from what you've
written that Unfaithful is a major stinker, my point is that it's so
jarring when trash happens on this scale.
A former friend used to recount a favorite story about being up in the towers above Riverside Church with a buddy, and hearing scrabbling in the walls. "Rats," says the one, the other, "A rat
could never get up here." The first replies, ominously, "Think of the rat
that does." He used that story to talk about politicians (I understand he's now a
Nixon authority), but obviously it also applies to film production
—A. Braid (Detroit, MI)
Wow! "The body language of guilt"? I didn't know anyone was using the term, "body language," anymore unless they were being deeply ironic.
~ . ~
There are moments of such thrust in your piece that it's like reading a film review by Ezra Pound. There are also moments when I lose the thread (para 2. 'Body-Language Lessons'), but that's okay. When you hit your stride it's very satisfying, like Sapphic stanzas.
You can't say enough bad things about A. Lyne. If there's any body language he is skilled at recording it's that of the creepy white guy. For me, the most telling image in all of his films is the one in 9 1/2 Weeks where the woman opens the closet and sees all of the suits lined up with the polished shoes underneath and all exactly alike. It's as if she has found out that he is from another planet—like Bowie taking off his face in The Man Who Fell to Earth.
What I can't understand is how he can get someone as talented as Peter Biziou to work for him. Look at Mississippi Burning and tell me Peter can't find better work than this. (I admit I have not seen [Unfaithful]).
One last note. I happened to run into a former colleague as she was heading off to work with Lyne on Lolita. I congratulated her and she said that she was looking forward to a nice long project (twenty weeks). As we parted, she added as an aside: "I read the book; it's not very well written." Such is the film industry.
—R. Wright (Phila., PA)
I did wonder how she was able to do all of the rough stuff without any bruise in sight—nor any telltale behavior—other than the usual lying.
—B. Lambert (NYC)