|This kiss... so embarrassing.|
Act of Love was programmed to show on cabble TV yesterday, and after reading some good reviews about it, I've chosen it to be my day fifty-eight movie.
Directed by French Anatole Litvak in 1953, the film presents two different times: the prologue and epilogue are in the same time of the production (actual days, as announced at the beggining). The other part is a flashback from the last WWII's days at Paris. The movie was really promising in its dark atmosphere, but I was a bit disappointed actually.
The US ocupation in France after the Germans had been evacuated from the French territory is pictured in its dual aspects: at the same time that its presence was welcomed, there was also a lot of opposition.
Litvak is not so clear about what is his opinion on the subject, but without a doubt he focuses on a moral aspect about it: the increasing sexual market in occupation times, and the humiliation that it was for the french. And he chooses to present it in the moralist manner so popular in the hollywood productions at that time.
According to Litvak, there were two different kinds of women (some of them pretty young) during war times: the ones that had chosen to "happily sell themselves" in opposition to the pure and innocent ones that had no alternatives. Ok, there could be differents perspectives, but not like the one presented by Litvak, that is so judgemental and prejudiced at the same time, that the movie becomes really unbearable.
At my early teen years, Hollywood productions from the 30's to the 50's were known as "classic movies", and were very popular in TV, so much that they were almost a synonymous for hight quality. I used to watch all of them through the night, at weekends. I adored them (and the actors) until I saw them again some years after as an adult. Some are incredibly good and ironic even, as Casablanca, but others are grossly moralist and antifeminist, as Rome Adventure, for example.
Act of Love, despite its good start and ending (the story in both parts is interesting and goes to the point - how carelessly and prejudiced authority, and humanity actually, can be), is mostly incongruous. Prejudiced, silly, moralist are words that apply to it, unfortunately. Because some of its subjects are valid and not usual in productions of that time or even nowadays.
PS: Fragments: The Right Kind of Wrong, 2013.