Allan King's A Married Couple by Zoe Druick

By Zoe Druick

Long earlier than 'Reality TV,' Canadian filmmaker Allan King triggered a stir via blending people's deepest and public lives in his 1969 documentary A Married Couple. This observational cinema piece, which took an unscripted examine the city Edwards kin, used to be deemed too contentious to air via commissioning community CTV at the grounds of over the top nudity and obscenity. however, the documentary used to be authorised via the Cannes pageant, and it really is now stated as a milestone in realist filmmaking.

In Allan King's A Married Couple, Zoë Druick examines the movie within the context of overdue Nineteen Sixties cinematic and cultural routine. via a scene-by-scene synopsis and an research of up to date responses to the piece, she strains A Married Couple's impression on documentary and Canadian filmmaking. The 5th quantity within the Canadian Cinema sequence, this paintings is an available and fascinating creation to a debatable movie and its attention-grabbing director.

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It’s called absolute truth. And he gets it. How does he do it? ’ In similar fashion, Billy’s ad thoroughly links communication and consumption. The ad also makes an ironic commentary on observational cinema. ’ Rather, he is trying to capture them in action. ’ Contrary to these advertising promises, there is no workaday secret for that. Billy seems confounded that although he has rewritten the copy five times, his interlocutor (whose identity we never know) is laughing at him. Does he believe in the comments he has made about the route to absolute truth (about sports, no less), or is he merely spinning a message, ‘Western Union Style’?

In two of the cases, joy has been commodified, stressing its compensatory nature for something lacking from everyday life. Throughout the film, numerous arguments are enacted about the management of the domestic space. In scene 8, the couple discusses renovating the kitchen. Antoinette’s vision of it is dramatic and expan- 38 Documentary Melodrama sive: Moorish arches, an oven for roasting a whole lamb. Billy points out how unrealistic these fantasies are. Then, as her vision becomes more elaborate, he explodes about ‘goddamn faggot-approved’ design.

Billy, who appears in much of the film wearing little more than red bikini briefs, apparently would not have worn any underwear were he not asked to do so by King. ‘The first week we were shooting,’ recalled Leiterman, ‘we were there for morning wakeup and Billy got out of bed and tramped around the house, went down and called the dog, and then went out in the backyard and played with the dog – all this completely naked. ’19 Yet, despite this casual approach to clothing, he can be seen at numerous times in the film smoking a pipe and ruminating about the respect owing to him as the man of the house.

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