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MARIA'S LOVERS: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
When Ivan (John Savage) returns home from World War II, he marries his teenage sweetheart Maria (Nastassja Kinski), who he fantasized about while away. But the war has damaged him emotionally, and he is unable to make love to her, causing a huge rift between them. Meanwhile travelling musician Clarence Butts (Keith Carradine) comes to town and flirts with Maria.

Review by Louise Keller:
A sensitive and subtle film about love, lust and emotional scars, the title is perhaps misleading. The film explores the quandary that two lovers face when sexual inadequacy causes a void in their relationship. To John Savage's Ivan who returns to his Pennsylvania home a war hero, Maria (Nastassja Kinski) symbolises the angel that allowed him to survive the horrors of the war. It was her image he carried with him throughout, but now faces the horror of not being able to satisfy her. Director Andrei Konchalovsky draws us into the rhythms of the community and the sensitivities of the characters are they strive for happiness. Most of the action is of the emotional kind and Kinski in particular shines brightly as the confused wife who blames herself for her husband's inadequacies before trying to find a way forward.

The film begins in black and white as Ivan reassures the army shrink that all he is thinking about is going home. As soon as the bus that drops him home drives away, life begins again in glorious colour. It's an effective beginning to a film that contrasts inadequacy with eroticism and relationships that are locked in a prism of confusion. Robert Mitchum is solid as Ivan's father who finds it difficult to express his feelings and Anita Morris excellent as the red-haired buxom neighbour with easy virtue who offers a comforting bosom to the damaged soldier. David Carradine's Clarence Butts ('the name is Clarence Butts; no iffs and ors'), is superb as the travelling musician with the bulldog Dave and sleazy manner who takes what he wants without considering the consequences.

This is a story that only too well highlights the complexities of relationships in the aftermath of emotional trauma. Despair colours everything as a welcome safe return for a brave young soldier spirals into nightmare. Ivan and Maria are the two most vulnerable characters - for different reasons - and we care what will happen to both of them.

Published January 10, 2009



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

MARIA'S LOVERS: DVD (M)
(US, 1984)

CAST: Nastassja Kinski, John Savage, Robert Mitchum, Keith Carradine, Anita Morris

PRODUCER: Bosko Djordjevic, Lawrence Taylor-Mortoff

DIRECTOR: Andrei Konchalovsky

SCRIPT: Gérard Brach, Andrei Konchalovsky, Paul Zindel, Marjorie David

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Juan Ruiz Anchía

EDITOR: Humphrey Dixon

MUSIC: Gary Malkin

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jeannine Claudia Oppewall

RUNNING TIME: 109 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16 x 9

SPECIAL FEATURES: None

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Shock

DVD RELEASE: January 10, 2009







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