Freudian slap

Artykuły


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

Woody Allen\'s given his therapist the boot, says John Patterson in his look at new US movies

Monday September 22, 2003
The Guardian

One should always give Mike Figgis credit for having the courage to pursue his own enthusiasms, but that doesn\'t mean one has to like his movies. Among his films, I\'ve truly enjoyed only the studio-backed Internal Affairs, but that had more to do with its script by Henry Bean and a villainous lead performance from Richard Gere. I did wonder whether the studios know how to bring the best out of Figgis (or at least to keep the half-baked radicalism of his independent work to a minimum), and hope that his big-money latest, Cold Creek Manor, might be a return to the classical form he evidently relished in Internal Affairs. Well, it\'s not, but it has its promising moments before it all goes wrong.
Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone play a Manhattan couple, Cooper and Leah Tilson, who abandon the city for a large ramshackle house in rural upstate New York. Although it looks deeply forbidding, they think Cold Creek Manor, with all contents and furnishings included, is the perfect fixer-upper, what with its pool for the kids, the stables nearby and the adjacent quiet, small town. Cooper the documentary-maker is initially thrilled about the ready-made movie that may lie hidden in the belongings of the family that formerly owned the house. Unfortunately this promising angle doesn\'t go anywhere.
Instead we are directly introduced to Dale Massie (Stephen Dorff), last son of that very family, who arrives one day after a three-year prison stint and offers to become the gardener of the house he grew up in. He\'s overly familiar, frequently bare-chested, faintly messianic and obviously up to no good. He\'s the worst candidate for the job and yet Cooper and Leah hire him just like that. Soon enough there are poisonous snakes all over the house, the kids' pony ends up dead in the pool and Dale starts picking fights with Coop at the local saloon. Questions arise: where are Dale\'s wife and kids? What\'s the matter with Dale\'s barmy old dad (Christopher Plummer, quite unrecognisable) up at the state hospital? And why are there old-fashioned slaughterhouse axes all over the old house?
This might all sound a little like Straw Dogs, but don\'t get too excited. Figgis lacks Sam Peckinpah\'s singleminded interest in what happens to a peaceable bourgeois father when violence impends (he\'s also singularly short on beartraps in the living room). He does concern himself, to a limited extent, with the distrust that already exists between Cooper and Leah, and the ways Dale is able to exploit it, but again he takes only a few tentative, half-bored steps down this path.
As you would expect, a siege is not far off, Dale is a psychopath, and blood will surely flow. All the things that feel as if they\'re being set up for us early on fail to pay off, and not because Figgis is manipulating us cleverly. On the contrary, most teenage girls in the audience should be able to spot the rooms or shacks that the characters should on no account approach. Yet approach them they do, and they are rewarded with an immense amount of tittering and outright scorn from the audience, and deservedly so. Cold, creaky and mannered isn\'t the half of it - it\'s the whole of it.
Woody Allen\'s movies have been fairly horrible for the past five years, so it was interesting to learn that his latest, Anything Else, has been touted as a partial return to form. But the form that it returns to is that of very middling Allen, like Bullets Over Broadway. In fact, everything that has been talked up in Anything Else was previously achieved in that very movie.
The good news, apparently, is that Woody, now pushing 70, doesn\'t play the romantic lead. That task goes to Jason Biggs, as a comedy writer in love with a feckless and manipulative actress played by the always zesty Christina Ricci. Allen lurks in the background as Biggs\'s mentor of moves, and hands off the top comic duties to the dependable Stockard Channing, playing Ricci\'s boozy mother. The other surprise is Allen\'s new-found hostility to psychoanalysis, supposedly the film\'s other hot selling-point. He now hates Freud in much the same way formerly socialist neo-conservatives now hate Marx.
All this isn\'t enough to convince me that Woody has gassed up his tanks. No one cares about anti-Freudianism, and John Cusack already did the Woody-substitute thing in Broadway, after which Allen renewed his teenage-skirt-chasing tendencies in Mighty Aphrodite. When he makes an old man\'s Manhattan, then I\'ll start listening to him again.

adjacent – przyległy, sąsiedni
barmy – stuknięty, szurnięty
boozy – popijający (alkohol)
bourgeois – będący burżujem
credit - pochwała
feckless – bez entuzjazmu
to fix up – to provide
forbidding – posępny, odpychający
to gas up – nalać paliwa
half-baked – nieprzemyślany, nie w pełni przygotowany
peaceable – pokojowo nastawiony
Ramshackle – rozwalający się
Relish – rozkoszować się
scorn – pogarda
shack – chałupa
siege - oblężenie
to be single-minded – mieć tylko jeden cel
slap - klaps (gra słów w tytule polega na tym, że "Freudian slip" to 'freudowska pomyłka'
stint – pobyt, okres czasu wykonywania czegoś
tittering – chichotanie
tout – nielegalna sprzedaż (szczególnie biletów przez koników)
Villain – czarny character, łajdak
zest – zapał


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