The romantic and chivalrous adventures of adopted bastard Tom Jones in 18th-century England.The romantic and chivalrous adventures of adopted bastard Tom Jones in 18th-century England.The romantic and chivalrous adventures of adopted bastard Tom Jones in 18th-century England.
The rough form would be a contrast between the refined and the uncouth, between disciplined manner and unbridled lust, between old Hollywood presentation and the new. Thus, the uncouth merges with sex and the presentation used here.
That presentation form is at once hyperrealistic hand-held verity, engagement with running horses, A specific film joke where Tom and Sophie follow each other riding animals, widely varying lighting schemes using found light, frequent direct dialog with the audience and highly stylized "old" stuff: swordfights, wellworn plot closures, a typical love story but where the girl is halfway in the old and new worlds.
Make no mistake: the star of this is Suzanna York as our surrogate. Will we embrace this new manner of film-making, directly sensual and "real?" Of course we do, as much as no woman can refuse Tom
No serious watcher of film can omit this from their schedule. And it needs to be followed by "Barry Lyndon," and "Sex and Lucia."
Kubrick's project took this same story from the other side, the refined one. Its cinematography is lush and precise. But the project is one that contrasts nature (rather than raw sex acts) with foppish aristocracy (rather than general city society). But the intent is the same, to charm through images, just in Kubrick's case the images are aristocratic.
Medem's project is much more sophisticated, switching the dial so that the sex/repress, country/city, realistic/stylized image contrast is between experienced truth and written truth. But the same noir-like capricious fate is at work through copulation in Lucia as in Tom. The same idea as targeted woman, lovely desirable woman as the viewer's surrogate (and judge).
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
- Apr 30, 2005