Quartet

Quartet

DVD - 2004
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The quartet consists of novelist Marya Zelli, her Polish husband, Stephen, wealthy philanderer/artist H.J. Heidler and his wife, Lois. Though she has been indulgent of H.J.'s past indiscretions, Lois isn't keen on her husband carrying on an affair with Marya under their own roof. Meanwhile, Stephen sits in prison, jailed for his various petty thefts. Once Stephen is released, he learns about the triangle. When the dust settles, it is Marya who suffers the most.
Publisher: [United States] : Criterion Collection ; Chicago, Ill. : distributed by Home Vision Entertainment, c2004.
ISBN: 9780780026797
0780026799
Branch Call Number: Fic
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (101 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.

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j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2018

I wonder if she really is married to that Mr. Zelli.
-As long as they pay the rent, what do you care?

===
She's a character. She's a type. They have their little hour, and then we hear no more about them.
===
Where did she come from? Does anybody know?
-Somewhere rather vague and exotic. Martinique? Could that be right? Anyway, her mother's supposed to be a West Indian.
That means she's a Creole.
- What is a Creole?
I thought it was a way of cooking chicken.

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2018

I hate all that kind of thing, astral bodies and all the rest of that.
-Astral bodies is philosophy.
===
They arrest everyone - except the criminals.
===
I'm not interested in being kind to anyone. I'm interested in them. In character. In forms of life. You should've married a stockbroker and stayed with him in South Kensington.
===
Women like Lois, who've always had money, just don't understand what it's like for somebody like me, who've never had any.

===
You know lots of girls make extraordinary marriages. You know, for all sorts of reasons. But the time comes when you must out loose. Can't you see that?
-No. I can't.
You're a very tiresome child. You'll be all right. You'll row your little boat along, but if you try to help your husband, you are done.

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2018

You see, Michel, men feel disgusted by what they do, and so they drink, take drugs and are forever changing partners.
- What about women?
Oh, that's quite different. They can stay happy with each other because they only do what is beautiful.
===
♪ I need a good-time huggin'
♪ Good-time kissin' man
♪ Don't want a part-time lover
♪ Want a good-time huggin'
♪ Full-time lovin' man ♪

===
Your friend's in a hurry.
- She's Creole. She's a bit strange.
===
Do you think I'm the maid to be made love to every time the mistress's back is turned?
===
I must tell you that you misunderstand Lois utterly. You will persist in judging us by the standards of the awful life you've lived.
Can't you see you're in a different world now? You're not going to be letdown. You're with friends.

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2018

You have friends and you lose them. It's not so funny, you know?
===
We must keep up appearances. We must play the game.
-Savage?
Bolshevist.
===
It's my fault for getting involved with these neurasthenics. But it's not I who seek them out. They who find me. It's as if they sensed a weakness in me that... they fasten on to.

===
I find - don't you - that married people often have strange relationships? One thinks they're on the point of breaking up, and then it turns out they're thicker than ever.
===
Really, don't you think - honestly - don't you think women are truly superior beings? I only happen to think of my own parents. Father, very charming and all that, but weak, shiftless. Oh, we children were on Mother's side, absolutely. I suppose that's made me the way I am. I can't bear to see a woman taken advantage of, whether it's you or Lois or... whoever.

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2018

Why is love like Rasputin?
-I haven't the faintest idea.
Because you can... poison it... and you can stab it... and you can knock it down in the mud. And it will always get up again.

===
You've made a mistake, Madame. I'm not the type to sit and wait. I've had to long enough. I've never shared a woman in my life, and now to have to share with someone like that.
===
Some of us have to put up with things.
-I wouldn't. I'm used to living in a decent way, among decent people.
===
Can't you see that this man, who is at the end of his love, this bag of bluff, he just wants you as a sort of dessert to finish off his meal?

===
You can call me conservative or traditionalist if you like, but I believe in the family... parents and grandparents, grandchildren, children. Nowadays people live in a dirty way. There is no tradition. There is nothing beautiful.

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j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2018

A biopic fictional account of author Rhys’ trying time in pre-depression Paris when her husband was jailed and had an affair with a well to do married man. It is a melancholy film about an obnoxious man Heidler (Alan Bates) who emotionally enslaved Lois (Maggie Smith) his wife and also financially the apprehensive Marya (Isabelle,) in times when women couldn’t really get meaningful jobs in a man’s world. The film depicted jobs for young women like Marya were performers on stage, actors in porn, lady’s paid companion, kept women of well off men or as a shop girl if she was lucky. Per Wiki, the book was first published as “Postures” in 1928, it was released in US as “Quartet” 1929. Like her best known work “Wide Sargasso Sea 1966 (adapted to film in 2009),” it dealt with patriarchal bias towards women that drove many of them mad. Interesting insights to the film and author in the "Conversation with the filmmakers." Also DVD comes with a pullout with a film review “Quartet by Robert Emmet Long.”

r
Ron@Ottawa
Dec 24, 2016

This is an older film directed by James Ivory, with Paris in the 1920's as the back drop. It depicted the relationship between two married couples. A pretty messy one. Reasonably enjoyable to watch.

b
BertBailey
Mar 20, 2013

Based on Jean Rhys' first novel, this dark story (with close captions) appears to be a thinly-veiled autobiography of when her literary mentor, novelist Ford Maddox Ford, had her as his 'kept woman.' The plot focuses on his foibles and machinations, and those of his colluding wife - almost as much as on the victim's perspective. It's graced with the artful direction and production of the Merchant & Ivory team, including a good script by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Best of all, however, it's got Isabelle Adjani in the lead - playing the besotted victim of the indolent Brit couple who have her in their thrall. Maggie Smith is fine and also rather striking in her own way, but although she plays her perverse part well, it doesn't show her talents to best advantage (as seems to be the case with just about anything she does these days). Alan Bates, as her husband, is as good as ever in his role as a repressed, post-Victorian user who is only half-aware or half lying to himself about his doings. The supporting cast and settings - Paris in the 1920s - are also all fine and well done. Still, this flick is a coup mostly for Adjani, whose allure is strongly in the fore: exquisitely beautiful, sometimes coy and youthful, she also manages to conjure a womanly yet hesitant anger as she gradually realizes everyone's indifference towards her, and their callousness about her fate. This includes doubts about verging on prostitution with the man who keeps her - which is never stated outright, though the film's direction makes it very clear. Her grasp is also jaded when it comes to the fourth person in the title's quartet: the slippery, never-quite-committed husband she awaits, without material or other support, until he emerges from prison. The extent of the protagonist's naivety would not fare well at the heart of a story in less sensitive hands than those of the Merchant-Ivory team. Conversely, rabid feminists of the sort who filled the landscape in '81, when this came out, would probably find this most frustrating, what with their lucid views about just what makes men tick and blind spots regarding the complicity of women. (I wonder if there are any still about?) In all, a well-realized production of Rhys's story about convoluted passions. Very well worth watching.

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