“Intimacy” was the film that became famous and infamous for its graphic sex scenes. Patrice Chereau’s “Bohemian world” forced the sex to make sense and used it as the way to tell story. Cold, unerotic, uncomfortable viewing, shaky and unfocused film was challenging. People saw – what lovers saw but they couldn’t enjoy it. While the audience was expecting the “lesson” – “how to get intimate with somebody”, – film itself was about feelings. People forgot – intimacy doesn’t have definition.
Patrice Chéreau was confirming thhat you don’t need words for intimate things: “The sex became a language. And they are saying a lot. Sometimes people say – “They don’t talk”. But nobody talks that much when they’re making love. Nobody talks that much in the life. But language wasn’t accepted and film became rather irritating and misunderstandable for majority of audience in the end. It seems that people “cached” only parodian part of “hollywoodian sex”, but symbolistic transference to the theatre was left untouched. Even diid audience understand that it was parodia?
Presented in 2001 in Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals, “Intimacy” was the winner of the Golden Bear. Commission recognized film as the story that showed things you will never see in the real life. Mo
Written according to the Hanif Kureishi novels “Intimacy” and “Nightlight”, the script was total invention. Unfortunately, it became as the biggest French filmmakers mistake – dialogues were unnecessary: “Based on the wonderful short stories by Hanif Kureishi, the dialogue by Chéreau and
Anne – Louise Trividic is incredibly flat, feeling like it has been translated.” Filmmaker’s genial idea
2.Stephen Hunter, “Întimacy”: Too Candid Caamera, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2001; Page C01
to combine male and female points of view in the same story, needed to be left unspoken as the film itself. If Patrice Chéreau wanted to picture sex as the language, probably it would be better to leave it from any interference. Filmmaker tried to explain the situation: “At first I decided that I want to make “Intimacy”. But the book was almost impossible for filming”, but this excuse was not heard.
“Intimacy” would not work without br
“Intimacy” was the story of Jay (Mark Rylance) and Claire(Kerry Fox). We don’t know how they meet each other. They are strangers who come every week on Wednesday to have sex. There is no speaking. They “masochistically” tear off their clothes and satisfy desires in the nasty, depressing, “Dostojevskian” style basement. Then Claire dresses and scurries out of the apartment. There is no agreement – only unspoken rules. Everything is typical until Jay decides to know a little more about Claire. He tries to get something more from her than sex, so he follows Claire. Wh
“Intimacy” was powerful yet unformed. Press was headlining about real penetrating actors’ sex and what they should or shouldn’t – do, when dealing with sex scenes. The idea to accept “Intimacy” as the whole story was ignored. Articles became “stamped”. Even if it was still attracting people attention, the thoughts about feelings were left in underground. Only ironical articles, interviews and extraordinary stories were telling something new – they and become the basis of this “dossier de press”.
I. Instead of creating the feeling –“Intimacy” was sexually revealed.......3
II. How objective can be articles:
1) recto/verso through intimacy.....................5
2) recto/verso through the Rylance’s body................6
III. “Any woman would know that this movie was directed by man”.........7
1) what feels woman about intimacy...................9
2) non-spoken characters are created by too much talk...........9
IV . From Shakespearian actor till “perfect” notice in CV..............10
V. How to find difference between jealously and tolerance?
3) can tolerant definition for jealously be created ..............12
4) unfortunately, “there will be no trick” ..................13
5) can passive man feel the tolerance for active woman............14
VII. Appendixes ..............................17
Instead of creating the feeling –“Intimacy” was sexually revealed
As “Intimacy” was film about feelings, I was interested to find as much as it is possible different points of view from every different position: How Patrice Ch
At the moment, press was acting according to the audience desires and there was nothing surprising. However, in this situation the majority of articles became “stamped” – they were saying the same thing that actors were having the real sex, how much can be shown on the screen etc. – and tried to put it in the every sentence, but in different letters. Some of the publications even developed the ‘rules’:
In the beginning to remark about graphic sex scenes and censorship;
In the first example even (App.1), the technique of using camera is combines with hardcore porn! (3)
In the middle to write the general idea what story was about;
In the second example (App.2) the beginning of plot story is not managing to be written without mentioning sex – lately that kind of attention to love scenes becomes irritating. (3) The third example is even more annoying when Jay’s is starting to be compared with Tom Cruise. What it is about? Is it the “cock-tail” of Hollywood and French Cinema?
And finally to mention something about Patrice Chereau and film’s technique.
But in the third example (App.3) the situation goes at the top when compares love scenes with fight film scenes (Is it quite similar?) (2) and still manages talk about emotions and body language. (3)
My research hasn’t finished only with such “sex-oriented” examples. There was one article that managed to talk about film even without mentioning “intimacy”! (Appendix 4) But probably that type publications is example of what our society needs and actually it is not so boring till you real 3 -5 articles. But after 20 – 30, “the same” stores, you really become boring.
Recto/verso – through the Rylance’s face
As it is nearly impossible nowadays, appear in the press objectively, usually you are treated in right or wrong way. It is difficult to find middle. The same things were happening with “Intimacy” also. Trying to find “the real true”, I have chosen three articles one of them very positive, other two – quite ironical. The comparing of these publications, forces you to create another, maybe more objective opinion.
The first article (App.5) easily gives up with using: cleverly, powerful, amazing, brilliant. Barely three times mentioning word “sex” – article tries to stay away from this topic. Starting from non-effect making introduction, publication goes on with: “The film cleverly reveals these characters’ innermost thoughts and feelings through actions and reactions”. Then at the same time ironical side (App.6 –7) answers with unsatisfaction: “it is shame that such taboo-shattering scenes were wasted on such an otherwise tedious and unengaging film.” Moreover, another ironical side obviously agrees: “.it is mind-numbing boring.” Sensible article tries to give another argument that: “By the time we get to the eng, we have been through a considerably grualling journey.” At this time, positive article makes the mistake by only saying things but not giving any descriptions about it.
The irony “pays back” pointing out that without sex all film is “extremely irritating”, and that the only thing, which keeps you, is “tolerance for Mark Rylance”. But this time tolerance grows up in to irregretable details: “The camera is pitiless, emphasizing every line and wrinkle on Jace’s face.” It doesn’t sound so cruel still it is said about character, but latterly the comments comes out like this: “Mark Rylance has a small, gaunt face with a high forehead, a jaw line that bears stubble even after he has shaved and a pencil – point chin that emphasizes the soapy somberness.” As audience was already used to see naked woman body, it was a challenging decision for Rylance and press “didn’t forget” it.
The talks haven’t finished here – attention to Rylance body was continuing: “Chereau is no more interested in Fox’s body than Rylance’s” or “Thought you have seen all you’ll ever want to see of Rylance”. The positive side stays shy from such a description proving that: “Rylance gives a solid center to the film”. Even if his acting could be treating as a little bit superficial – the explanation that it was most difficult role is acceptable in this publication.
Continuing about actors there is a little but solid attention to Fox that she is “absolutely amazing”. But ironical side instead of putting attention to her (probably) there is nothing to put on) is noticing about Marian Faithull’s role in “Intimacy”. She is described as “the only good thing” which appeared in film, but, “who, sadly, doesn’t really have much to do”. Press loves Marianne and her gossips, this is why she even gets the regret from it that she seems like “refugees from another, more genial film”. Interesting, what would be press comments from “another” film – refugees from “Intimacy”?
Talking about Patrice Chereau positive (or maybe too positive) point of view says that his “gripping visual sense combines with strong performances to make the film work powerfully”. But another side comes with complain about “too pedantic fashion” and not enough showing things: “If you want to know two ordinary people utterly having sex looks like, “Intimacy” is your movie. Beyond that, forget it”. The contraversional articles fight between each other, but sensible one finishes that “Intimacy” is “carefully staged” and finally – “brilliant”.
The irony doesn’t conclude in this way. It is probably more getting lost you between the understanding of real and not real sex theories: “Precisely because you know that Rylance and Fox aren’t really having sex” or “The sex scenes are explicit enough to make you believe they are actually doing it”. Where does it lead? What does that mean = “make you believe” and “because you know” – then audience is exactly informed that actors are really doing it. Can such a strong irony be based on such a big mistake? Alternatively, is can be the way how ironical articles point out that in the real life Rylance and Fox would never go to this. But, why articles do not give the explanation?
“Any woman would know that this movie was directed by man”
I was looking quite a long time for the article that would reflect the situation in which I was involved myself. The publication that would notice the differences between man and woman as the filmmaker and how it is different when it touches intimacy? From this moment I divided articles according to the genres – these two will be more about women and will go more deeply into the Kerry Fox personality. But before starting the analysis, I would like to point out that some parts of the analysis will be based on my own, as female, point of view and experiences; which, I hope, will be helpful and fulfill not answered questions.
Before “Intimacy” was presented in Lithuania, people didn’t know a lot about Patrice Chereau. This is why during the film presentation, he was named as Patricija – that means female. During that moment, the film for me was more interesting as it was made by woman. I wanted to find out how woman understands intimacy? To compare how she – Patricija and how I? Moreover, whatever would be shown in that film, I was already proud that film was done by woman. I thought that another “The Piano” came. But.. after watching film just for first10 minutes, my reaction was completely unpredictable – I was very angry. There was something surprising and not acceptable. No woman could understand feeling of intimacy like this! No woman can’t even consciously reach that point of such an understanding. I knew that there was something wrong, but that “wrong” was so curiously interesting.
This is the moment, when I would like to go into depth of the first article (App.8) and point out Kristina Nordstrom’s reaction: “Of course, no woman would be attracted by sex like this”. She proves my opinion and gives the explanation, which already every “woman-reader” knows. But even if woman never were satisfied with man who doesn’t spend time with her, then what seduces and attracts woman to accept role like this? “I was very interested in the question of intimacy and what that means. How to become intimate with somebody. How to know somebody”, – answers Kerry Fox.
Kerry Fox is a woman. Women always care about feelings. But acting in “Intimacy” and thinking about “how to become intimate with someone”, Kerry Fox creates “non-feeling” woman character. She admits that process of building such a portrait was really important in her relationships, but all sensation was taken from the pictures of the life, “from things I witnessed”. Process of creating the art doubled with personal life. But, lately, Kerry Fox gives the paradoxical and reaching the top phrase – that “non-feeling” woman is created by only giving herself over to Patrice Chereau – man – and trusting him completely: “I spent most of the time not knowing what I was doing”. (App.9)
Coming back to the first article the article’s author invisibly mistakes. Only when screening is finished, he runs into unsatisfied Kristina Nordstrom and asks – why woman would be not satisfied with a sex like that?- and lately in his article he proves that not only woman would know that this film was made by man, but that “a man might know it, too”. But how “might” can work if the author before asked “why not”?
Lately, the same article is pointing out some female and male positions. The author, as the male himself, gives quite ironical notice about woman: “She is so single minded that she courageously avoids the line we know every woman on earth would have eventually said: “I could help you to fix this place.” It seems that author respects Patrice Chereau’s decision to leave characters without speaking and at the same time ironically enjoys it. He finds out the advantage how to go around about “every woman on the worlds” remarks.
Further, Roger Ebert demonstrates the side of his male ego. He describes that the reason why Jay feels so lonely, is his desire the revenge for the woman and for the happy marriage. It seems that author combines these two objects together as it is only dependent on each other. In summary, the author could get quite strong feed back from feministic women-critic, but the only sentence saves him: “Intimacy” is shy of any theory”.
Otherwise intimate but not shy interview with Kerry Fox becomes more and more sensible as the author is creating actor-mother character. Remembering the process of creating the film, the award of best actress in Berlin Film Festival winner, explains the tactics which were used in the most intimate moments: “We talked (with Mark Rylance) being good to each other and kind, open and honest. And that me must always tell each other exactly how we feel. But, unfortunately, the interviewer doesn’t ask, how it is possible to describe how you feel during that kind of moment. Does body language is that criterious which helps during this kind of situation? Silence creates the intimacy. However, talking about “speaking”, Kerry Fox concludes that that mutuality of intimacy was reached only by talking about it all the time: “With this particular film, we talked so much beforehand because we knew it was going to be such a big deal and that it could be very difficult”.
“.and shock of what he says next makes me break a chopstick clean in two”
With him you can take-away sushi and have a good chat in the park of South London. With him you can feel free and were hippyish clothes as his soft voice asked Jane Horrocks, as Lady Macbeth, to hitch up her skirts and pee on stage. And even this is not too much. He is never boring as he can clear “that many great actors are stupid”. You can feel so much of Shakespeare in him, that Patrice Chereau was not afraid to suggest him one really blow –job.
This is Mark Rylance – and the interview (App.10) that presents him as not strange, but never boring character. . This time in intimate sphere and more concerning about male position’s feelings and thoughts. As it was the last article which I found during long my research, it was also became as the last ”treasure” when Mark Rylance started to talk about different kind of intimacy. It is not so easy to get man talking about feelings. He says not a lot, but says what nobody says.
This is why it makes some kind of perception for people to understand that intimacy is not so easy reachable and that it is never the same. Actor doen’t go in deep explaining which form of intimacy is used in film, but more pays attention that people are missing the point: “.the sort that takes a couple beyond the merely physical is the hardest thing in the world to achieve.”. They don’t catch this idea and don’t understand that film itself is telling this, “but partly”. Viewers understand only part of it also.
A little bit struggled about censorship, Mark Rylance notice that even if it hard or soft sex, he doesn’t think that “the sex scenes are particularly erotic”. He agrees with Patrice Chereau idea to ignore sex scenes and accept film as the whole story. He believes that the most important is to reveal things about these people (characters). People are looking what they are doing, instead of trying to understand who they are. He gives quite interesting comparance:” It’s a bit like the Adam and Eve story, except the man is Eve”. The discussion about this argument was not r opened, but does “Adam and Eve” story affect Mark Reliance personally? What would be the feeling of being in the position that changes the beginning of humanity?
Even if article gives some interesting ideas, it doesn’t finally reveal the interview. Publication leaves many unanswered questions. It seems that the taste of sushi had concentrated article on other things. Author only unremarkably mentions that Rylance in any case was talking “of more than 10 years beforehead” with his wife about movie. But how the author can be so sure? Unfortunately, we can not hear even one sentence from this talk. Maybe in future.
Interview is not specified for “Intimacy”, this is why it lately goes depth in to other things, but before that, it mention the ironically funny idea, that “Intimacy” “makes pretty good sense within the broader context of his acting and directing CV”. But can you really put “Intimacy “in CV? How it should sound –experience of first blow-job of real explicit sex in cinema?
From the whole articles, only the Alexander Linklater’s essay (App.11) gave me the opportunity to find out things about feelings in the deepest way. It is again story about the sex, but this time it is sexy story about feelings. Alexander Linklater, Kerry Fox boyfriend, was the only person who was situated in the extraordinary situation. Even Mark Rylance wife, I think, hasn’t met so many difficulties.
Nowadays still existing patriarchal society had been growing for “Wednesday woman’s” boyfriend other believes and their ignorance weren’t so easy. Touching his personality and that moment feelings, Alexander Linklater silently opened the picture of every important in this story characters’ inside life and experiences during the film: How much needed to use and loose everyone that to make “Intimacy” work? How “Intimacy” invisibly was interfering in actors’ personal life? Finally how grown up the tolerance?
Alexander Linklaster, probably, the most difficult ever written article starts with the jealously. This feeling was the biggest his enemy during whole film’s screening. He even gives the definition for that what he must learn how to go over: “It is watching as someone else enjoys what you most desire on earth.” It sounds irregrettably, but so strong and fulfilled with so much angry. Every word is ready to fight. It is definition according the situation and it has characters. Alexander Linklaster names Mark Rylance as the “someone” – who doesn’t have the name someone what you do not want to accept, tolerate and know. “What you most desire in the world” can be suitable only for Kerry Fox. He understands that he is not important itself in this situation and doesn’t have so many right, so he is that who is “watching”. But even if Alexander Linklaster doesn’t give himself the role, names his “acting” as:” The watching is important, whether real or imagined, because jealously works its cleverest tricks with visual distortions.”
Kerry Fox partner remembers his first experiences with jealously – that means that he already knows “how to fight”. He reveals the situation little by little starting from the very beginning – the script. Alexander Linklaster notice that from the start you could feel that there will be some not ordinary situations. He remembers his doubts that “Each episode of “Wednesday” sex was minutely described, skillfully developed atmosphere and meaning as the story progressed”. As it is not so important concerning his feelings, it automatically tells about Kerry Fox and his relationships that Kerry was all the time asking his opinion and showing things. Tolerance of the Kerry and hoping for understanding was from the beginning.
My arguments prove Alexander Linklaster words that Kerry wanted to know what he thought. Maybe not the signfully, but that “wanted” sounds that Alexander Linklaser meant very much for Kerry. But his answer is lost and “platonical”. Thoughts about “elegant written” text and that Chereau is very respectable name, shows that Alexander Linklaster at first really didn’t expect how far it can go. “On paper it looked like another interesting challenge”. Here and was his mistake – “another” grow up into the “significally different”.
The author of essay easily gives up that what he lately find out, he wanted, desired that it would be lay. The adjective for the real situation sounds so painfully: “The truth was glaring”. And lately he consciously understands that “It wasn’t going to be the trick”. Interestingly Alexander Linklaster describes that the first response came as the journalistic reflect. He was thinking that press will like it; it will be some kind of challenge and will pay attention. But he didn’t understand how much that challenge would be related to him.
Probably Alexander Rylance even didn’t write this essay if not another feeling which came as private reflex. It was the understanding that he must forget Kerry and accept her as the character. Accept her as the different person. To see the line between the work and personal life, even how difficult it would be. His situation was difficult – he didn’t have any choice – he was “in the flush of the most important relationship of my life” and he needed to find the way to destroy that jealously guy. He couldn’t play with luck.
Exactly during this moment, Alexander Linklaster unconsciously remembers things about Mark Rylance, and describes him as the “instrument” which Patrice Chereau is using to “mess around the Kerry”. We can see how works jealously, how it is difficult to see the differences between art-job and real relationship. Evan if he doesn’t describe how felt Kerry watching this kind of Alexander Linklaster reaction, we, of course, can point out that some kind of wall between Mark Rylance and “Kerry Fox partner is already built.
But it seems that Kerry left all the decisions for Alexander Linklaster himself and he chosen the more difficult way – try to accept and understand things. He gives the description how difficult was the beginning and how he even didn’t know were to start, but all the time we can feel so much tolerance for that, what Kerry was doing: “Which is the worst? Seeing nothing, or something; or everything?” Even how voyeuristic you are, Alexander Linklaster admits that is not very pleasant to be hidden and watch your partner having sex with someone else. This is why he had chosen “stay-away” position, which rise up him understanding of situation: “It was an impulse to know how far I could extend the boundaries of my possession of Kerry, and still feel the same about her”. So jealously already transferred to the tolerance.
Before the film was first time screened, Alexander Linklaster goes deep into remembering that kind of film like “Intimacy”. Maybe he is even looking for answers how to go easier through this period. But what he finds out, nothing can be compared with his situation. As “Boogie Nights” was film about porn industry, it didn’t show any sex. The erotic “Big Sleep” was settles together as “you know that they sleep together”. Alexander Linklaster even doesn’t analyze “Last Tango in Paris”, as “Intimacy” was even renamed as hybrid of it. Finally, he must accept, you don’t find such an experiences in other films, as you don’t live it through yourself.
Kerry Fox and her partner’s feelings were the same about “Intimacy”. It was interesting, as you have “never seen it before”. As Hitchock, film industry was bassed on the argument: that active male versus passive woman. In “Intimacy”, observing Alexander Linklaster I settled in different situation. He is voyeuring, but passive. This is the moment when he gives up the feeling of jealously: “I felt deeply, that the active female in this scenario was strong enough and wise enough to be trusted”.
Lately the author forgets the objectivity, he goes into the small details that “floor was hard, giving her carpet burns”. It seems that logically he wants to accept tolerance, but other unconsciousness thoughts concentrate him on thing he can’t see. Finally, surprisingly, Alexander Rylance even starts to show some respect for Mark Rylance that even accept nakedness was not so easy. “Actress have been cultivated in the industry to undress, and are better used to it”. As Kerry Fox lately find it out and respectively understood it, at the same time it shows that Kerry was al the time talking about the things with his partner. About every little detail, about every little feeling.
As the conclusion to the analysis of this article, I would like to pay attention to the last thing that Alexander Linklaster find out only at the end, but at the same time it was very clear seen for everyone else from the side. In the beginning, Kerry Fox’s partner was only caring about feeling – how to accept “Intimacy”, but he never though that every person in world will see his partner and that every single person see that he can’t have “what he mostly desires”. Only latterly, after “black” screening he understands that everyone was watching at his woman. Those questions about tolerance loose its meaning, as people are caring about the process and how it works.
Alexander Linklaster honestly accept, even how difficult it was to go through it that in “Intimacy” “Dirty London had never, I felt, been portrayed as honestly and luminously and this”. He needed and he managed to explain to himself that sec scenes were the most brilliantly executed aspects on “Intimacy”. Finally, that Kerry “who was on screen”, was someone else:”Watching her, I felt a rush of past confusions and abandonment’s”.
As this essay for the ordinary reader will probably appear as one of the “sexy-attracting” story, for Kerry Fox it should be the manifesto of tolerance. Alexander Linlater wasn’t afraid to “put his non – objective feelings” on the paper and to give it for the cruel press. He expected that critics will react to it, but at the same time knew that even irony is afraid to criticize the things you so difficultly find in this world.
Patrice Chereau probably was not the first and maybe not even most talented who tried to picture feeling in film. He said, “Because the film is called “Intimacy”, you have to show intimate things”. But are thing really like that? For me it was always interesting to figure out, if film would be called in different name, would people still find out that film was about Intimacy? Even if press had hidden it after the sexual penetration stories, have people feel it?
“Intimacy” was very unspoken. Mutual in intimate moments, but nor of the articles analyzed the situation and character at the end started to talk. The real true what they thought and what they were looking for was revealed, but somehow it was left without notice. This “dossier de press” also not doesn’t analyze film techniques – people desire for seeing real sexual penetration killed the desire of quality and forms of technique. Publication related these things only with creating sexuality. (Camera never blinks; it is so close and flat.) The way in which things were shown became not important. But still it was so important for Patrice Chereau himself.“Intimacy” wasn’t emotionally effective, you even may not like it, but it was the thing you have never saw before.