Sunday, September 28, 2014

Women in Love (movie review)

This Ken Russell film came out some time ago and is tame by modern day standards.  However D.H. Lawrence was considered racy in his day, and Women in Love was controversial, or at least so I was warned in advance.

Although the film was made in the 1960s, it's set in an earlier time, emerging from Victorian.  The one guy, not the coal mine owner's son, is given to strong opinions but doesn't cite many contemporary authors, so from purely a textual analysis, I couldn't quite place him vis-a-vis some of the other luminaries, my fault for being an ignoramus in many dimensions.  No one mentions Freud or anything.

I just learned that Nietzsche died the day Hitler was born, is that true, or just the year.  Let me go Google... timeline = {"Adolf Hitler":"20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945", "Friedrich Nietzsche":"15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900"}.  Not even the year.  I've been reading in Nietzsche, Godfather of Fascism? recently and I guess I'm wondering what these D.H. Lawrence characters think about fascism.  Maybe it was the day he went crazy?

I'd look for attitudes towards fascism starting with the father I think, the old man.  He's more like an earlier industrial revolution steel and coal Quakernomics dude in wanting to see his workers taken care of, with widows getting free coal to not freeze to death.  He's more of a Luddite though whereas Quakers saw reason behind labor-saving machinery.  The son is more in the "let them freeze" school (ironic given his ending) i.e. the "not my problem" camp, not wanting much wholism in his diet.

Lack of interest in any "big picture" seems to be a key feature of most these players:  a willful obliviousness to their animal context from an analytic perspective, and therefore with only an ability to act out.

Such obviously intelligent people don't manage to get along very well at all.  But then what would be the plot if all were daises and roses?  There's some happiness in the mix, but these stars sometimes seem disappointed way beyond reason given their many social privileges.  They're disappointed that "love" is maybe not really an emotion?  Like in some Japanese manga (comic books), lots of soul-searching goes on, and that's part of the charm of the genre.

Given the build-up I'd received I was misinterpreting the title somewhat and expecting more attention to the topic of physical intimacy among cis and/or trans women.  One cannot say intra-female relationships go unexamined, however I'd say the film is rather male-centric.  That's not a criticism, just an observation.  Maybe the title could have been Women in Love with Weird Men as Distinct From Each Other (but who would have bought it then?).