Sunday, December 14, 2008

Loves of a Blonde

Milos Foreman’s Loves of a Blonde continues the French New Wave tradition of showing the absurdity of gender relations. If I had to compare it to one of the films we have seen, I guess it will be A Woman is A Woman. Andula’s fliting from one man to another reminded me of Angela going between Émile and Alfred. Despite a suicide attempt, I find Andula superficial like Angela trying to find a man to fulfill her needs. Though Andula does not sing, she is the subject of the two songs featured in the film. In the beginning, a woman on a guitar sings a Beatles-like song with a repetitive lyric structure: “I told her I like her (body part)/She said “Why don’t you (action with body part becoming more sexually suggestive as the song goes on)/”And I love her so yeah yeah.” This song serves to foreshadow Milda’s seduction of Andula as he repeatedly tries to get her into his room and succeeds a little too well. The second song sounds like an old-fashioned big band song with its lyrics convey trepidation from the older soldiers (“You have a pretty daughter. I have a crush on her. I want to take her hand.” At least that is what I remember.)

While A Woman is a Woman plays with the conventions of the musical, Loves of a Blonde contains one stunning scene that pays homage to the Busby Berkeley musicals. The scene starts out with an empty dance floor and slowly fills with people dancing the same steps. However, like the music in A Woman is a Woman, the scenes in Loves of a Blonde seems to start and stop randomly. One moment we see the bumbling middle-aged soldiers discussing whether or not to wait for the girls to come back and the next moment we see Milda and Andula discussing her suicide attempt. I realize that it seems that I do not understand the concept of cross-cutting/parallel editing. But to me visually the very abrupt transition did not seem to indicate that the purpose of the editing was to show the two events occurring in the same time. Rather, it seems to show the comic/tragedy dichotomy of life, particularly of young love. A moment can seem life forever as depicted by the long durations of shot but a moment can pass just as quickly and it is time to move onto the next scene.

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