event / Screening
Event in the context of the Cologne Cinema Nights 2023
A Woman Under the Influence
(USA 1974, 146‘, subtitled, Director: John Cassavetes, Editing: David Armstrong, Sheila Viseltear. Improvised motion picture with Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk)
In an American suburb, Mabel desperately tries to live up to her role as wife, housewife and mother of three children - and in the midst of imposed role models and expectations, she slips into uncontrollable impulses and feelings of her own. Her usually loving husband, Nick, patronizes her visibly and his colleagues from the road construction are overwhelmed by Mabel's irritating behavior. The family reacts to Mabel's despair with a mixture of indifference and crushing care: the attempt for a new beginning after her return from psychiatric treatment soon ends up in old mechanisms.
John Cassavetes' social drama makes visible the neuroses, excessive demands and abyss lurking behind suburban facades. The haunting improvisational play of Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk experiences a congenial condensation in the montage: a devastating finding of classic role distributions reveals structural dysfunctionality in loving proximity to the characters.
"The films of John Cassavetes have accompanied me since a very early point in my life as an editor," reports Ulf Albert, who has already been awarded the Grimme Prize and the German Television Prize for his editing achievements. "I learned a lot about acting, character direction and editing from analyzing his films. And when we started making improvised films as the ensemble DIE GLÜCKLICHEN, A Woman Under the Influence was a film we could all agree on as a model."
Ulf Albert sheds light on the specifics of editing Cassavetes' film and, with insights into his own editorial work, allows a comparison to current challenges of editing improvised films in the digital age.