Remember My Name

(Alan Rudolph, USA, 1978)


On its release, Robert Altman's The Player (1992) reminded many filmgoers of something that was so heartening in the progressive American cinema of the '70s: a sense of the messy ambiguity of individual behaviour and group relations, a texture of life impossible to railroad into the confines of a tight plot.

Alan Rudolph was once Altman's protégé, and his films from Welcome to L.A. (1977) to Mortal Thoughts (1991) have explored, in a remarkable way, the sometimes scary mystery of romantic relationships.

Remember My Name, the director's finest film, is like Fatal Attraction (1987) or Play Misty for Me (1971) turned completely inside out: a triangle consisting of a suffering wife (Berry Berenson), a cheating husband (Anthony Perkins) and a crazy Other Woman (Geraldine Chaplin).

But Rudolph offers us no comfortable place from which to morally endorse or condemn any of the characters.

Critic Jonathan Rosenbaum detected in Remember My Name the salutary influence of Jacques Rivette. So did Rivette. The casting of Chaplin is only the most obvious sign of this intriguing kinship.

MORE Rudolph: Mrs Parker and the Vicious Circle, Equinox

© Adrian Martin December 1992

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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