…THAT DOESN’T EXIST ANYWHERE ON EARTH
Two films come to mind on Father’s Day. And neither are films you want to show to your Dad, but say so much about Fatherhood. These two films are Brian De Palma’s “Obsession” and Henry Jaglom’s “Irene In Time.” I would go anywhere in the world to catch this double feature today.
Bernard Hermann’s baroque score literally bullies you into submission from the Toccata in D-esque opening. Cliff Robertson plays a really rich guy who loses his wife and goes totally nuts. Spoiler alert, but if I don’t tell you the twist, you may never watch it. One day, he finds a woman that looks identical to his wife and goes even crazier. He thinks she didn’t die and double crossed him (who cares why). He is still deeply in love with his dead wife, but in actuality, this woman is his daughter.
The look on his face is priceless in the agonizing slow motion finale, when he goes from wanting to kill her to discovering he has a child. It is the look you expect to see when your child first pops into the world (via your partner’s vagina). I have chills just writing this. “Obsession” is playing tonight in one of the art house cinemas in Paris and I will be there, so I can say I saw “Obsession” in Paris on Father’s Day!
IRENE IN TIME
I doubt this movie is playing anywhere in the world, except Henry’s Jaglom’s living room. Jaglom is my favorite unknown director (outside Los Angeles). The author of “My Lunches With Orson Welles” and masterpiece “Venice/Venice”, Jalgom self-released numerous films in LA for the past thirty years or so. His other masterpiece is the hardly known “Irene In Time,” about a sick woman who plays a bizarre game of scavenger hunt with her dead father (Tanya Frederick is downright scintillating in this role). I’ve had two girlfriends with Dad complexes, so I know this look very well (its a haunting look, man).
How far this film goes is admirable, 2001-eske… and maybe even courageous? Can I say that? The depth in which Tanya Frederick goes to find not just the clues her Dad left her, but her actual dead father is sort of mind blowing. Spoiler alert, but you probably won’t see if I don’t tell you what it is, Jaglom dedicates this film to his daughter in the first card of the ending credits. This card gave me more chills than the card “Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino” at the end of “Pulp Fiction.” That’s cinematic balls right there, to make THIS movie and THEN dedicate it to your daughter. I’m rarely wowed anymore at the movies. The songs include a hymn about Starbucks, which I could not remove from my mind days after.
So make this double bill happen you want to make your Dad very uncomfortable. After all, what moment with Dad is not uncomfortable? That’s what Dads do, they make you feel awkward and uneasy, because they have difficulty expression their ahem… love for you. Happy Father’s Day!
Written by: Norith Soth