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In 1942, Ronald Colman played a character so shell shocked by the trenches of World War I that he walked out of the hospital where he was recovering, having no idea who he was.
He was taken in by a singer in a vaudeville house (Greer Garson), fell in love and the two married. Then years later, he suddenly, out of nowhere, remembered who he really was, but totally forget that his wife existed. He discovers he’s the scion of a wealthy family and eventually runs for political office, not knowing that his secretary is actually his wife.
This movie is Random Harvest and is perhaps the most romantic and delirious use of amnesia in film. But amnesia has always been a useful tool of storytelling, whether romantic (here and in Law of Desire) or in thrillers (Mr. Budwing and Mirage) or comedy (The Hangover and 50 First Dates).
Coming Home, written by Jingzhi Zou and directed by Yimou Zhang, falls into the more melodramatic end of the spectrum like Random Harvest. It’s unabashedly sentimental and relishes in a sort of 1930’s studio romanticism tone and style, though the grittiness makes it more Warner Brothers than MGM. Continue reading →
First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
From the 1960’s through the ‘80’s, the filmmaker Radley Metzger made a series of what was termed at the time soft core films. This was a period in cinematic history when just about anything went, and many of these films, movies like Metzger’s The Lickerish Quartet and The Opening of Misty Beethoven, found a cross over audience in the mainstream cinema.
They weren’t as graphic as adult, or porn, films, but there was plenty of pretend sex and nudity and usually was a celebration of the new morality and an encouragement to the audience to reject old mores.
One of these, Score, was about a couple that liked to swing. On a regular basis, they would bring home couples for a night of whatever comes up. But this time round, they invite a particular married couple not with the purpose of having an orgy, but with the goal of the wife seducing the younger woman and the husband seducing the younger man.
And they succeed.
And it ends with the younger couple running off in joy as they have discovered themselves free to more fully explore their new found sexuality. Continue reading →