Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Forgotten Movies: ALICE DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE
I came upon this scene from ALICE DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE on TCM the other day and realized how much about this film directed by Scorsese in the seventies I'd forgotten. I'd forgotten the naturalistic performances that movies from the era had. I'd forgotten what real settings can do for a film.
When Alice Hyatt (Ellen Burstyn) is suddenly widowed, she travels to California with her 11-year-old son Tommy (Alfred Lutter) to resurrect a singing career. In route in Phoenix, she gets a job singing at a piano bar and meets us with Ben, (Harvey Keitel) who turns out to be married and abusive. In Tucson, she puts her dream of singing on hold and becomes a waitress. She meets a farmer, David (Kris Kristofferson) and begins to think about a new life with him.
In an interview with Richard Schickel, Scorsese said it was really about a woman and her son and those scenes are the strongest in the movie. He says, "It was not for the feminists. They felt that because she got involved with another man, it undercut the independence of the woman...but that's the movie I made."
I remember the same issues being raised with AN UNMARRIED WOMAN. Both great films.
If you've never seen this one, you are in for a treat. We allow a little more latitude in what constitutes feminism now. For better or for worse.
FOR MORE FORGOTTEN MOVIES, GO TO TODD MASON'S BLOG.