Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The al

I was going to write about The Cook et al last night, but I thought I would wait until a few reviews were in, so I could see what other people had thought about it.

I had seen the film before at the cinema when it was originally released, and I have to say that at the time it was even more shocking than it appears today - in fact, several people in the audience got up and left. In those days, there was a lot less sex and violence around on the TV, and so I think that people were in general a lot more sensitive to those sort of things being portrayed on screen. These days, we're a hard, de-sensitized bunch...

Still, today this remains an extremely uncomfortable film to watch. The brutality and crassness exhibited by Albert ( Michael Gambon) towards not only his wife, but all those around him, leaves him with no redeeming features at all. The issues that are addressed make for painful viewing - issues such as rape, child abuse, domestic violence, are suggested with gut-wrenching realism.

I'm not going to spend too long talking about colour etc, as although this was obviously an influential aspect of the film, for me the character portrayal was paramount....
The colours used throughout reflected the atmospheres being portrayed at the time, with the light influencing the overall effects...for example, the red that was used in the dining area portrayed opulance and lushness, but at one point the lighting reflecting on Albert's face caused him to have a demonic appearance, mirroring his anger. The use of bowls overflowing with fruit and game, candles in highly ornate candlesticks, lush draperies etc gave an impression of looking at a vast medieval still-life painting.

Having read some of the other reviews so far, there seem to be differing attitudes to the sex scenes in the film, and the way they were portrayed. For me, I found these scenes to be beautiful, the only small moments of peace and happiness in Georgina's otherwise miserable life. I found this reflected in the decor of the bathroom... under normal circumstances, a couple having sex in the cubicle of a ladies toilet would appear seedy - here however, the pure white decoration and the lack of ornamentation in the bathroom gives the whole scene an 'innocent' feeling.

The contrast between the love-making of Georgina and Michael, and the groping violence of Albert against his wife could not have been more different...
I did not see it as necessarily a betrayal of the husband by the wife, but more as an affirmation of the woman as an individual. Albert treated Georgina like a possession to be shown off and mistreated when it suited him, whereas with Michael she found real tenderness, and a chance(albeit a short one) to rediscover herself.

Now, this is going to sound like I am a cruel, heartless woman, but I feel that although Albert gets his comeuppance at the end, I would have liked to see him suffering a whole lot more...his end came much too quickly, after all the suffering he had caused...

1 comment:

  1. Okay – just a few important reminders for week 10…

    1) !IMPORTANT! Hand-in for Perception essay is Monday 23rd November (Tomorrow!) between 10am and 12pm at the Design Office (Jackie’s office on Lower 4th – just up from the CG Arts Baseroom). Ensure you complete the plagiarism form; if you’ve misplaced it, ask Jackie for a new copy and attach to your essay.
    2) Your crit on Friday starts at 9am in Lecture Theatre 1; we will be reversing the register order – so we’ll be starting with Simon Watts, then Richard etc. There will be a named folder on the Lecture Theatre 1 computer: as soon as you arrive please copy your 3 finished scenes into the folder in readiness for your presentation.
    3) All Maya exercises should be completed for Friday morning so Alan can assess them while you are in your crit.
    4) Upload to your blogs your 3 final concept paintings plus a minimum of 5 preparatory studies for each painting that demonstrate clearly your comprehension of the source material and the representation of space. Your supporting research into source material and for written assignment. All drawings from life-drawing classes. Your modeling & UV layout tasks, lighting & rendering tasks, and first digital set as specified in your technical classes.
    5) Please can you ensure that you have a printed copy of your essay to submit in addition to the digital file on your submission disc.
    6) Also – please ensure you copy 3 scenes and essay file into named folder on computer in baseroom by the end of the submission day.
    7) Good luck! Have a great final week – work hard, be amazing, be successful! I genuinely look forward to seeing your work ☺