marriage

The Convenience of Wives: On Goodfellas and Marriage

The first time Karen and Henry meet in Goodfellas, Martin Scorsese’s pivotal 1990 decades-spanning Italian gangster film, it is on a forced double date that precedes a back room meeting, with the sole purpose being so Tommy can “bang this Jewish broad”. Henry is beyond rude and Karen is timid, although timidly pissed as she has every right to be. Notably, she is dressed to the nines (complete with styled hair and a set of pearls) as she will stay for the duration of the film no matter the situation. When Henry stands her up on the second date she immediately requests, nay demands, to be taken to find him in order to ream him out in front of his cohorts.

‘Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans’: A Marriage of Light

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927), as in other works of F.W. Murnau and the German Expressionist movement, is a style of emotions triggered in service of light where the relationship between Movement-Image is also the same between Image-Light. The intensity of light and its relationship to form thrust Expressionistic ideas into a new era and few films exemplified this more beautifully than Sunrise. The intensity of light is measured in proportions of black versus white and brightness versus darkness. Each frame of the film becomes a physical object, an exploration of this gradation. Each frame explores the full spectrum of the gray scale, passing from the darkest shadows to a white light, evoking a true sense of the chiaroscuro. In each frame, light, framing and blocking leans towards a tendency to split the visual image along a diagonal or dentale line (See Picture 1 and 2). This visual idea communicates an idea of a rift, a growing separation between lovers and worlds

The Lady Eve

‘The Lady Eve,’ Sturges on con artists and romance

The Lady Eve is all about the game of romance. Jean has a great monologue at the beginning of the film that really shows this game in action. While sitting at a dinner table, she narrates as various women approach Charles, in an attempt to gain his attention (“Every Jane in the room is giving him the thermometer and he feels they’re just a waste of time”). She studies Charles. What makes him tick? Is he self-conscious? What kind of woman would he like? All of this is for the purpose of conning him, which she does rather well. It also shows how love (and ultimately marriage) can be a façade.

Scroll to Top