There are two big films about old couples in my list of blogs : Amour and Iris. 

I did not think that Iris was entirely fiction and I did not include it in my studies.  However I mentioned it because the audience of the Brent U3A film group found the treatment of dementia was very good and useful.  On the other hand I was furious at a comment  in Lewis,  a TV series, when the policeman enters a household and sees the place with books and papers all over the room, the floor and exclaims:   

 I see….,   Murdoch’s style of interior design

Since then a friend who knew my feelings about the film recommended an article by Lucy Bolton: The Intertextual Stardom of Iris  in 

Feminisms: Diversity, Difference and Multiplicity in Contemporary Film Cultures. edited by Laura Mulvey and Anna Backman Rogers

I quote : The film legacy however is that the name of Iris Murdoch has become inextricably linked with Alzheimer’s disease and  her image  of the older unwell and no longer capable Murdoch is the prevalent persona that emerges from the film. 

I have blogged about Amour (2012). I saw it at the NFT. At the end the audience remained silent longer than I have experienced in my long life of film going. The film received countless international awards  in many categories,  Best Film, Director, Screenplay, and Actors. Here I would like to point out that the actors Riva and Trintignant, were the same ages as the roles they played. This enhanced the realist issues of isolation, ageing with a disability, poor caring, and tragically separation and death. The separation of the loving couple music teachers started on the return of the wife after the unsuccessful surgical operation. From then on the roles of the couple had to change.  After repeated strokes she decided that she did not want to go back for surgery and expressed her desire to die.   He had to become the carer with all the hard work involved and the pain of seeing her demand to die. She even  attempted to throw herself out of the window. When she refused eating and drinking and her pain became too hard to bear he did end her life by suffocating her with a pillow.  He then committed suicide. 

The film demonstrates  how relationships of couples can change not only in their roles but in the kind of emotional attachment they have to each other….. 

About rinaross

Born in 1935. MA in Film and Television Studies at the University of Westminster 1998. Studying the representation of older women in film since then.
This entry was posted in Ageing, ageing couple, audience responses, care, death, love, old couple separation. Bookmark the permalink.

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