Ageing, ageism and ledderhose disease images feature films rina rosselson researcher in the representation of old women in feature films

I missed seeing Hannah (2018) on the big screen. This film co-funded by Euroimages of the Council of Europe did not ledderhose disease images get a wide distribution in London but a friend alerted ledderhose disease images me. She recommended the most depressing film about an old woman ledderhose disease images she had ever seen and wanted to know what I ledderhose disease images thought. She knows that I do not like to be influenced ledderhose disease images by being told what the film is about so I ledderhose disease images had no preconceptions.

My first impression was in response to the first image ledderhose disease images and sound. For the first time in films about old women I ledderhose disease images recognised my own ageing skin. Age spots are also called sun spots to make them ledderhose disease images more acceptable. In French they are sometimes referred to, more cruelly, as ‘les fleurs de cimetière’. But I also noticed the temporal vein that had me ledderhose disease images worried a few months ago.

The opening close-up is of Charlotte Rampling making odd disturbing unnatural sounds. I interpreted this as a woman in deep distress, possibly demented and the next sequence as a session of ledderhose disease images psychological workshop for people needing to express their distress. I wondered why the face closeup filled only half of ledderhose disease images the wide screen. This framing was common throughout the film.

As the film progressed I desisted from this interpretation as ledderhose disease images Rampling seemed to operate normally going to acting workshops, swimming, working as a cleaner and child minder, baking, using public transport. But I became more and more irritated by the greys, browns and different shades of cold blue of the settings, by Rampling’s cropped closeups appearing more often than not on the ledderhose disease images side of the screen with a dark area on the ledderhose disease images other half. The long sequences, the brown vertical lines appearing regularly in some scenes, the stairs, the long sequences of waiting for the train? tube?, the multitude of stairs, children running, the dog not eating, all details of the mise-en-scene are designed to force you to make sense of ledderhose disease images a film that has no story. One is forced to interpret the signs and try and ledderhose disease images fit them in a non existing narrative. I felt insulted by the scene – a too obvious image – where she emasculates (is this the right word?) the lilies after being rejected by her son. The sequences about a beached dead whale and the walk ledderhose disease images to the dustbin in the back of buildings seem to ledderhose disease images be cuts of another film.

I sought help in the reviews. It seems that most of them picked out some of ledderhose disease images details in the film to support their own interpretations which ledderhose disease images are often contradictory. In so doing they construct a story by ignoring other ledderhose disease images significant sequences. The late divulging of the reason for the husband’s incarceration in particular is left for viewers to imagine ledderhose disease images or ignore and the reviewers to be so divided in ledderhose disease images their assessments.

A bleak film about modern life for the up and ledderhose disease images coming rich of London and their disfunctional relationships. a mother trapped and dominated by her husband and not ledderhose disease images really happy with the role she was forced into; a daughter who blames mother’s lack of affection for her current unhappiness; a son who is successful in the accepted sense of ledderhose disease images the word but has no time for love or enjoyment ledderhose disease images of his family, his kids glued to TV or machines; his friend, who has failed to make it rich and works as ledderhose disease images a builder for his rich friend – resentfully, as it turns out.

BUT the start of the relationship between the mother and ledderhose disease images the younger man seemed to me to have real tenderness ledderhose disease images and enjoyment of each other on both sides, and I was surprised by his coke fuelled, bitter, cruel outburst later. He can only relate at a superficial level and seemingly ledderhose disease images deals with his feelings of failure/loneliness/alienation by having lots of sex. As usual the women are shown wanting a full, emotionally engaging relationship, whereas he finds their demands for such a thing ultimately ledderhose disease images controlling and destructive.Is this more the norm for many men in our ledderhose disease images society – sexual relationships leading to responsibilities which they fear? Man still meant to be the eventual provider? as illustrated by the son and his wife.

Of the 24 people who came to the film session ledderhose disease images of EON only 16 stayed for the discussion. One member (the one male member of three who stayed for the ledderhose disease images discussion) declared that the only good point of the film was ledderhose disease images that the older woman enjoyed having sex. He was reminded that her desire was in the context ledderhose disease images of unpleasant selfish family. The majority of contributions were about the betrayal of the ledderhose disease images daughter by her mother and the impossibility of suspending disbelief ledderhose disease images . Nobody saw in the film a challenge to stereotype. (see previous blog The Mother or Thatcher Britain )

In my 60s Death was remote, the past was safely tucked away in an effort to ledderhose disease images deal with retirement and negotiating my identity as an ‘old woman’. Nowadays the past and death are familiar visitors. I viewed EAAD again and was shocked by its impact ledderhose disease images on me. The gender of the protagonist Alexander did not seem relevant ledderhose disease images since the poetic and sometimes intriguing treatment of his memories ledderhose disease images and of his coming to terms with death touched me ledderhose disease images deeply. Although I am not terminally ill, at 84 my brain often revisits the past in a ledderhose disease images sort of life review exercise and memories surface unexpectedly.

The travelling and panning shots, the stills, the long takes (average shot length (around 2mins), the importance of buildings, the contrasts between the sea views and the noisy cars ledderhose disease images in dark streets, the sometimes imperceptible editing between different time frames, the colours, the subtle acting, the music and the poetic script and language all contribute ledderhose disease images to the impact of the film.

My first surprise was Alexander’s first memory triggered by the reading of a letter ledderhose disease images from his deceased wife Anna by his daughter. The memory was of a visit of the extended family ledderhose disease images on the birth of his daughter. While the titles flashback sequence showed Alexander as a child, I perceived him in the following memories as the observer ledderhose disease images of past events.

It is the image of human shapes hanging on the ledderhose disease images border wire that gave me a clue of how to ledderhose disease images interpret the film. The shapes were definitely not human and yet expressed poignantly ledderhose disease images the tragedy of refugees. This image made me reluctant to interpret the scenes featuring ledderhose disease images the 8 years old refugee boy with no name and ledderhose disease images Alexander’s trip to the border as a realist description. It is when I read the scenes featuring the child ledderhose disease images not only as a comment on the exploitation of refugee ledderhose disease images children but also as a device to expose Alexander examining ledderhose disease images the last hours of his life that I could make ledderhose disease images sense of certain scenes. (However I am still pondering on the image of the ledderhose disease images three cyclists dressed in yellow at the end of the ledderhose disease images film)

Alexander and his carer: It is to his kind carer that he declares that ledderhose disease images he is going to die. She offers her help and support but he refuses. His visit to her village is surreal. The wedding ceremony involving the whole village and the bride ledderhose disease images and groom dance is interrupted. Alexander asks his carer to look after his dog. The ceremony stops and starts again. For me these sequences show interest in the Greek traditions ledderhose disease images but also the way the needs of the boss prevail ledderhose disease images over those of the employed.

Alexander and his daughter: The relationship is very interesting. The first memory sequence occurs when his daughter reads aloud ledderhose disease images her mother’s letter. This memory is full of the joy of the baby’s birth. The extended family visit and view the baby in a ledderhose disease images cradle on the beach and socialise. But in real time there is a cold contact with ledderhose disease images the daughter and son-in-law who refuse to look after the dog and have ledderhose disease images sold the house that is due to be demolished. He does not divulge that he is dying.

The self absorption of the poet and distance from his ledderhose disease images wife are well represented. Anna: All you think about is your book… I am trying to kidnap you between two books… You live your own life beside us beside your daughter ledderhose disease images and me but not with us… I know one day you’ll leave. On the beach during a party when he leaves her ledderhose disease images to climb the cliff and relive his childhood she calls ledderhose disease images him traitor twice.

MAN:… Maria must you walk away when I’m talking to you. I don’t see why you have to be angry. We need new artistic forms Maria … We need new forms of expression and if we can’t have them better to have nothing.… She gets up… Why do you walk away when I am talking to ledderhose disease images you? She drops the the bouquet of flowers she was holding ledderhose disease images and walks away. He runs after her off the bus.

She comes back to the bed … the knives and forks the silver ones, my dowry, where have you put them. She nearly falls and Alexander catches her and helps her ledderhose disease images back onto the bed : yesterday they were still here. He sits back on the chair and looks at her. … Why mother Why didn’t anything work out the way we expected? Why Why must we rot helplessly torn between pain and ledderhose disease images desire Why have I lived my life in exile. Why have I felt at home only in those rare ledderhose disease images moments when granted the grace to speak my language my ledderhose disease images own language When I could still recover lost words or ledderhose disease images retrieve forgotten words from the silence. Why is it that only then could I hear the ledderhose disease images sound of my footsteps echoing in my house again why?. He kisses her on the forehead. Tell me mother. Turns the light off. He walks to the door in the dark: … T ell me mother ? why didn’t we know how to love?

Goodbye to the boy: In the next sequence the boy comes to say goodbye ledderhose disease images and the two hug and declare their mutual fear. I see this as Alexander saying goodbye to his introspections. The next sequence is the highly praised bus sequence. Here we see a relaxed smiling Alexander observing the passengers ledderhose disease images – and himself- in a detached manner: the political activist, the student couple, the musicians, the poet. The poet declares life is sweet.

The front doors open to reveal a baby in a ledderhose disease images pram watched by grandmother, people in white are singing. Anna comes towards him. He walks towards her:… Anna, shall we dance? I know you don’t like me to but today is my day. They dance in close loving contact and kiss … Anna I’m not going to the hospital I’m not going … to the hospital Anna I’m not going… I’d like to make plans for tomorrow ………

RELATED POSTS