But who’s really the unattainable one in In the Mood for Love — the woman or the man?
Cet obscur objet du désir is not a direct relation to any other film but source is from Pierre Louÿs
Actually, yes, That Obscure Object of Desire is a remake of The Devil is a Woman, which was also based on the same novel.
no, it is not Justin. Bunel and Jean-Claude Carrière avoided the film purposely. Same source does not mean remake. I am from eastern europe so I hope i am speaking correct to you.
I don’t mean “remake” in the Hollywood sense of being formulaic. The films are very different, but it’s fun and illuminating to compare them, I think, and von Sternberg certainly got there first.
I will throw in the Harold Ramis Bedazzled
Chris Marker’s La jetée, apparently influenced by the aforementioned Vertigo
No one can attain Nomi.
I can’t believe nobody’s mentioned Vertigo! The ultimate movie about an unattainable woman! Madeleine is forever tortured and out of touch with reality and Scottie loses her before he can decipher the workings of her mind.
My bad somebody did mention Vertigo before…. hehe
Vertigo, for sure.
This may be stretching the premise, but how about Rebecca?
Der Blaue Engel by Joseph Von Sternberg with Marlene Dietrich.
I think Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love is great movie of the kind
Denniszen, I would classify Kim Novak in Vertigo as an unattainable woman for all the reasons that Cesar mentioned, and the fact that the Madeline Scottie becomes obsessed with isn’t real, therefore he can’t have her.
I don’t suppose THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE counts …
The Third Man. That ending defines unattainable.
yeah wong kar wai, but in the mood for love is not the only one in that trilogy and so are more of his films that share this same theme. chuncking express is a good example, but then the other way around. she already lives in his apartment.
movies starring rena tanaka (the early ones) come to mind also. she often seems to play that girl that knows that she does not need any one else in her life.
Harry Lime attained her, i’m guessing :)
Thank you to the people finally said Vertigo. My selection would be Solaris, a film that shares alot of the same themes of Vertigo.
I have to disagree with Solaris — the woman is dead, yes, and therefore unattainable, but she was rejected by the man, who seems to want to drive her out of his mind. Now he can’t completely do this. But I think the power dynamic in the relationship is clear, from how emotionally bruised and battered the dead woman is. It’s the astronaut/scientist who has made himself unattainable.
And yes, Wong usually has a balance of unattainable women and unattainable men — someone is always unattainable, but the man that longs for an unattainable woman may be some other woman’s unattainable man (as in Fallen Angels and Chung-King Express and Ashes of Time). Wong is sort of the “bisexual director” par excellence (in sensibility anyway) in that he always views love relationships from both sides.
We should also mention some early Godard, including Breathless, Le Petit Soldat, and Contempt. And isn’t The Passion of Joan of Arc one of the ultimate films about an unattainable woman, in that her devotion to God puts her so completely beyond the reach of earthly men and their laws?
All Godard movies?
I’m gonna co-sign This Sporting Life, just because given the cursory reflection that I can afford to in between tasks at work, I can’t think of many movies where the “unattainability” (or whatever) of the female figure isn’t presented as some sort of game, albeit one lacking the instructions. This Sporting Life never feels like a game (although the actual games in it manage to serve as some sort of brutal and cathartic vacation from the Sisyphean labor of emotion) — it feels like a guy ramming his skull into a brick wall until it bleeds, and the woman he’s doing it to impress hating him for it. Now that’s failing to attain a woman.
Daniel, I was going to say more Godard, but I’m not so sure — Karina is clearly rescued by the strong hero in Alphaville, and the women in My Life to Live and 2 or 3 Things are clearly so powerless in terms of their social position. In Band of Outsiders Karina is also very little-girlish and totally at the mercy of the men.
“Unknowable” women — yes, I think Godard is always speaking to that theme. Such as it is.
But here’s an interesting question which this topic raises — does the unattainable one suffer from being unattained/unattainable?
If they count Annie Hall and Breakfast at Tiffany’s
I would say Casion, but she is very attainable and easy……..all you need is money and drugs.
Sharon Stone’s character in “Casino.” Not sure why DeNiro’s character wanted to “attain” her so badly in the film, especially after all she did to him.
For me, Roman Holiday. The Princess (Hepburn) wants to be attainable and the audience wants her to be attainable, but she just can’t be attained.
First off, great question. Secondly – 2046 has got to be up there for me
This is a topic very close to me and I even made my own movie on the subject. It’s called “Barstool Cowboy” and it’s available if you want to check it out.
i have to agree with in the mood for love and in that effect most of wkw’s works. also the movie malena comes to mind. i have to watch it again though for it’s been years since i saw this film. i just kind of remember the boy lusting/loving malena from a distance.
this is totally rolling the dice here but what about…..“The Piano Teacher”