ON THE WATERFRONT
Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint.
‘Character’ uses a number of devices to reveal itself in narratives such as On the Waterfront and Moulin Rouge. Psychological tension, the allure of beauty and connection and the context of which time period, which social class, is it comedy or tragedy are all affiliated with the role of character.
With Terry and Edie the love scene is obvious, we want them together, it is just a matter of time in the story and on it goes. The pauses, gazing interest between them and background music seep into the longings of the viewer, there is no escape we are trapped by their iconic stature and beauty.
Moulin Rouge was fun too. The possibilities of love, those original feelings of exuberance always hit the heartstrings of the poet, the lover and eros the muse. Here there is no hidden psychological tension instead we glimpse at the full expression of love’s range, the impossibly true and fleeting, all externalized and shared to its audience.
For me Brando is real, complex, unpredictable while Moulin Rouge is addiction, potential, suffering and fantasy. Both equally powerful.
Costume Design carries the story. On the Waterfront boxer Brando wears his checkered coat and corduroy pants which in a black and white film add as much visual texture as his scarred eyebrow. Eva Marie Saint is incredibly feminine regardless of what she wears. Old black and whites don’t have to work hard in creating character, their cinematic elegance and simplicity keeps them in a genre of utter classiness.
In Moulin Rouge the colors, music, sets and costumery are outrageous and glorious.
When you reflect back on those seminal ‘love’ moments in your life, don’t they seem momentous, blinding and make you smile? and they take you right back to the exact time, place and people. It’s as if memory and our emotional responses to our experiences is the world of our soul.
Being human is a full experience. How rich we all are!