I am watching a number of Henry Jaglom films. My second is Venice/Venice:
Dean (played by Henry Jaglom) is an indie personal film director who is the only American to have a film in the current Venice Film Fest. Jaglom is a huge admirer of Phillip Roth, but this particular confessional reminds me most of Updike’s Bech at Bay, in terms of explaination of technique (Dean’s approach to editing and preoccupation with a certain types of stories, not to mention distribution methods are Jaglom’s too, far as I can see) and the whole rigamarole that comes with being honored.
Dean spends a good deal of time with a pretty French journalist (Jeanne played by Nelly Alard), she does not have much in the way of good questions but she is sincere (a trademark of most good Jaglom characters). She is confused by Dean’s ability to make touching “real” films and then deal with the unromantic business side of things. She is in love with the him she imagines from his films [the film like Eating, Babyfever and other seemingly female centered topic films includes a number of on camera confessions about romance in film and its effect on audience, seems strange since Jaglom’s films are not Hollywood romances in any way but then again a move star crush mirrors Jeanne’s crush, the best line from the confessionals: In real life one could not be Gidget “the bimbos were ruthless and the Moondoggies were stupid.” This works on its own level plus the fact that Jaglom appeared on the Gidget tv series.]. As he points out, “I have to live a certain way to sell these films.” Jeanne is the sort of irrational character that puts a pall on some of the fun, plus there are at least one too many conversations about reality. The movie moves slowly.
The weird thing about this rewatch of the film is it did not hold up as well as I remember but it did make me appreciate other Jaglom films (Hollywood Dreams and Last Summer in the Hamptons) quite a bit more. The themes of authenticity will reappear in later films, should I star in a play or go Hollywood (Last Summer), should I take the small indie or work with Tom Hanks (Festival at Cannes), how do I stay true to my talent (Hollywood Dreams). Jaglom finds an answer to this question in later films (I will reveal what that answer is when I write on Hollywood Dreams) and this film is less satisfactory because it is the least evolved of all those works (There is risk but in hindsight underdeveloped and since I try to view each film as part of one large work…), but one has to appreciate the style and questions themselves. This is, after all, still a good movie.
This film followed Eating, arguably Jaglom’s biggest monetary and critical success. This may be why Venice is filled with capturing festival hype and adoration.
not streaming but for rent on netflix
Hmmm, this looks like something I should see.