This is a fascinatingly bad film. It reveals what is best and worst, mostly the latter, about Stanislavsian method and the NY Actors' School.
For a work that I truly think poor, I must admit it has commendable qualities. The on-location cinematography- almost all of it in deep- focus- of '61 New York is great, and the acting is impressive when it's not clownishly overwrought. But the best things about this film underline its worst and most offensive qualities.
The storyline: a college girl is raped in a park. Traumatized, she runs away from home and eventually attempts suicide. She is stopped from killing herself by a dude who goes on to kidnap, imprison and attempt to rape her while drunk. When she escapes the creep, she realizes she is lonely and goes back to the abuser, asking to be his wife. She convinces her mother that this is right and good.
Stanislavski's philosophy has always seemed to me to be: accept type- casting as the truth about yourself. In patriarchal terms this means accept womanhood as a victimization of male desire. In capitalist terms this means that one should accept class-oppression as a product of the needs of the Market.
If you resist your type-cast, the Actors' Studio might tell you, you are merely trying to ignore the Truth. Put in what-I-take-to-be- Stanislavski's-terms, I am proud to say I am in denial. It only means that I resist this World's dismissal of myself.
Mary Ann Robinson, a young woman living in The Bronx, New York, with her neurotic, overbearing mother and kindly but ineffectual stepfather, is raped while walking home one night. Keeping the attack to herself, Mary Ann runs away, seeking to lose herself in Manhattan by renting a seedy flat and taking a job in a dime store. Overwhelmed by people's hostility and her own despair, Mary Ann tries to jump off the Manhattan Bridge, only to be stopped by Mike, a garage mechanic who takes her back to his modest basement apartment nearby. At first appreciative of Mike's kindness, Mary Ann becomes terrified when he refuses to let her leave. Is Mike really Mary Ann's rescuer - or is he another rapist?
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January 19, 2017 at 04:21 PM