Sunday, September 05, 2010

Road Marker

This week JP and I unearthed, at David's recommendation, the long-forgotten time-capsule/collage/bumpy-road love story that is 'Two For The Road.' This 1967 outing paired Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn as passionate but combative lovers, largely due to his egotism and limitations, against a cornucopia of mostly French countryside scenery. The film's narrative is told out of sequence, shifting back and forth through time using common threads connecting scenes. This allows us to slowly piece together the emotional puzzle of this relationship.

I'm not sure why this film isn't a well-known classic. It takes a mature, un-romantic view of relationships, with serious issues and even extra-marital affairs. This project wouldn't have seen the light of day even five years earlier, and is a road marker of changing times and mores. It shows the final erosion collapse of the US Motion Picture Production Code that, from 1930 until the late 1960s, banned sexuality on screen, basically sacrificing honesty for wholesomeness.

Indeed, this is arguably Audrey Hepburn's first film as a sexual being, since most of her career was in the 'code era,' and because she was typecast as a naive waif. Even her iconic turn as party girl Holly Golightly in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' is oddly sexless for a character that was a prostitute in the original source material. (To be fair, the same could be said of Giuletta Masina in 'Nights of Cabiria' and of Shirley MacLaine in its US version, 'Sweet Charity'.)

The film is fun despite its combativeness, and this trailer plays up this angle...

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