By Zoe Druick

Long prior to 'Reality TV,' Canadian filmmaker Allan King brought on a stir through blending people's inner most and public lives in his 1969 documentary A Married Couple. This observational cinema piece, which took an unscripted examine the city Edwards kin, used to be deemed too contentious to air through commissioning community CTV at the grounds of over the top nudity and obscenity. however, the documentary used to be authorised via the Cannes pageant, and it truly is now mentioned as a milestone in realist filmmaking.

In Allan King's A Married Couple, Zoë Druick examines the movie within the context of past due Sixties cinematic and cultural pursuits. via a scene-by-scene synopsis and an research of up to date responses to the piece, she strains A Married Couple's impression on documentary and Canadian filmmaking. The 5th quantity within the Canadian Cinema sequence, this paintings is an obtainable and fascinating advent to a debatable movie and its interesting director.

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Additional resources for Allan King's A Married Couple

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Courtesy Allan King Films Ltd. Chris Wangler, sound. Courtesy Allan King Films Ltd. 4 In the simplest terms, A Married Couple observes the relationship of a white, middle-class couple in mid-life (he is forty and she is thirty) with a young family. They wrestle with their intimacy and simultaneously with social gender roles in the nuclear family. Billy works in advertising; Antoinette works in the home. In place of plot, the film offers a compelling series of set pieces in which repetitious emotional scripts are enacted.

BOY 1: You keep out of this! 42 Documentary Melodrama The script is clearly ridiculous and the actors laugh at the end, but Billy remains quite serious. This vision of food and family rings false – and is entirely different from Billy and Antoinette’s own meals – but, presumably, Billy has written it. Again a distinction is highlighted between scripted and unscripted media, as well as between advertising discourse and observational cinema. By comparison, the ‘real’ inserts itself much more forcefully into the family’s meals at home.

Joy’ is prominent on the cover of the cookbook she is using during the tense breakfast scene that follows. ’ Given the tense encounters of these scenes, the repetition of the motif of ‘joy’ seems highly ironic. In two of the cases, joy has been commodified, stressing its compensatory nature for something lacking from everyday life. Throughout the film, numerous arguments are enacted about the management of the domestic space. In scene 8, the couple discusses renovating the kitchen. Antoinette’s vision of it is dramatic and expan- 38 Documentary Melodrama sive: Moorish arches, an oven for roasting a whole lamb.

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