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Allan King's A Married Couple by Zoe Druick

By Zoe Druick

Long sooner than 'Reality TV,' Canadian filmmaker Allan King prompted a stir by means of 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 family members, was once deemed too contentious to air by way of commissioning community CTV at the grounds of over the top nudity and obscenity. however, the documentary used to be authorised by way of the Cannes competition, 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 pursuits. via a scene-by-scene synopsis and an research of latest responses to the piece, she strains A Married Couple's impact on documentary and Canadian filmmaking. The 5th quantity within the Canadian Cinema sequence, this paintings is an available and interesting advent to a debatable movie and its attention-grabbing director.

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Extra info for Allan King's A Married Couple

Sample text

Courtesy Allan King Films Ltd. Chris Wangler, sound. Courtesy Allan King Films Ltd. 4 In the simplest terms, A Married Couple observes the relationship of a white, middle-class couple in mid-life (he is forty and she is thirty) with a young family. They wrestle with their intimacy and simultaneously with social gender roles in the nuclear family. Billy works in advertising; Antoinette works in the home. In place of plot, the film offers a compelling series of set pieces in which repetitious emotional scripts are enacted.

You’re not doing it to me,’ she playfully protests. The cleanliness, Billy clarifies, is to be emotional and spiritual; he jokes that it will be achieved through the sprinkling around of a ‘spiritual lux,’ an ironic comment on consumer products. Although playful, this scene, too, highlights the incursion of advertising discourse into everyday intimacy. One of the aspects of fascination with the film concerns the willing- 43 Antoinette Edwards. Courtesy Allan King Films Ltd. Billy Edwards. Courtesy Allan King Films Ltd.

A cigarette hangs from his lips. He enters an office building, where we discover he is directing a radio ad for Heinz Spaghetti Sauce. During this scene, we see Billy framed by the window of the recording booth facing the camera. In the foreground we see the backs of two boys sitting at microphones. On his cue, they begin to speak. 1: My spaghetti got neat tomato sauce. BOY 2: Not neat, no. The flavour of Heinz Spaghetti Sauce would be described as mouth watering. BOY They continue to disagree until Billy interrupts: BILLY: Boys, boys.

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