6/20/15

THE PASSION OF ANTHONY MANN...I THINK...


Above I've posted a thirty minute documentary about the relationship between Spanish actress/chanteuse Sarita Montiel (Sara Montiel to Hollywood--or is it the other way around?) and her relationship with various lovers, primarily director Anthony Mann (who I posted a very rare interview clip of a week or so ago). Unfortunately, the interview is conducted in Spanish, a language I have absolutely no knowledge of despite taking it in 7th grade. This is beyond frustrating as I have no idea what the hell she's talking about. I've watched it a few times, looking for clues as to the story she's telling. From other sources I've garnered the following info; they met on the movie 'Serenade', a Mario Lanza comeback flop that Mann directed in 1956. They fell in love and Mann, in full fifty-year-old mid-life crisis mode, left his wife for the sultry Montiel (who was twenty-two years younger than him). They married and were together for about seven years when the marriage was either annulled (according to one source) or simply sputtered to an end in divorce.

But did it sputter? Or did it explode? Montiel's demeanor in the interview is mysteriously low-key when discussing Mann. Since I can't understand a fucking thing she's saying, I've been trying to look for body language, eye tells, etc. all in an effort to uncover the tale of the marriage. Along the way there are some great photos and clips. At 11 minutes 30 seconds in, there's a clip of Mann being interviewed (not the one I posted earlier) and discussing violence. He talks of how satisfying violence is to audiences because it isn't happening to them. Mann then characterizes himself as "a very mild-mannered guy." What does this mean? Is the clips inclusion meant to be counterpoint to the tale Montiel is telling? Is Montiel recounting memories of a violent relationship with the director? Unless somebody out there translates this for me, I have only dark implications to go on. About 15 minutes into the doc there's a nice "love montage" of photos of Montiel and Mann. Finally at 19 minutes there comes behind the scenes footage of the making of "El Cid"--this little filmlet is, I believe, available on the two-disc DVD reissue. It's inclusion implies that the massive epic somehow brought about the end of the Mann-Montiel union. In closing, all I can say is: WHY DIDN'T I PAY ATTENTION IN 7th GRADE SPANISH? As I recall, it was because I was hiding in the back of the room reading books about film directors...

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