21 March 2008 | madrigal6
This is possibly Huston's purest film, by no means the most complex, but one in which he is least self-conscious and most able to let the creative process run free. It's the equivalent of Ingmar Bergman's "Virgin Spring", just as "Chinatown" might compare to "Cries and Whispers".
Huston's daughter, Angelica, contrary to some reviews above, fits extremely well, is not harsh-looking and unattractive, and is a superb casting. The difference between her looks as a teenager and as a woman are striking, but to call the casting "nepotism" is political correctness gone mad. Huston shouldn't ever be expected to conform to the codes of 21st century Mother Grundies.
Assaf Dayan may, paradoxically, have been helped by struggling a little in a language that was not his native tongue in conveying the sheer youth and hothouse growth of the character he's portraying. Contrast his performance as the psychotherapist in "Betipul", the Israeli TV series unceremoniously and unsubtly copied by HBO's "In Treatment". Age changes men as well as women, and in similar ways, even if Hollywood critics disagree.
Huston's movie is based on a curious but superb short novel, by a very underrated writer. Hans Konigsberger reminds me in some ways of Milan Kundera. He has the same flat intellectualised style contrasting starkly with the passion of the issues he's addressing. The novel takes about an hour to read and is well worth the effort.
Does someone know where I could buy a copy of the movie?