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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Margarettown and Loving Annabelle

I briefly noted watching Loving Annabelle and not liking the ending some years back. Saw the DVD with all the extras (making of, behind the scenes, commentary, related short film etc.).  Enjoyed it, including supporting roles involving such people like an old priest, student (Laura Breckenridge, who was also in the show Related and is married to the Boy Meets World actor) and the mom from Mr. Belverde. But, the ending still was a tad off.

The director noted in the "making of" segment that she saw M├Ądchen in Uniform (too early for her to see it on YouTube) and wanted the teacher and the student to actually hook up.  She found the actress who played the student around four years before filming and they did the commentary together.  The actress was a fairly normal for these things mid-20s while filming, but shades of Veronica Mars, seemed a bit too mature to play a minor student.  Her maturity, at least sexually, vis-a-vis the teacher fits the plot, but still it was an issue for me.  Overall, watching it again, the couple worked and key aspect of the film was how well the setting etc. was handled so expertly.  This is so even though over and over during the commentary the director was unsatisfied how this or that shot was handled.

The film is under ninety minutes -- after they finally (the teacher has sex with her boyfriend much earlier in the film; and yes, I gather various viewers of these films say "get on with it!") hook up, the film is nearly over.  RIGHT after they have sex, they are caught in bed, the teacher in effect has to go to the office and (here's the part I didn't really like) is led away by the police. The film seems to take place around the present (though it need not -- no cell phones or the like) and that seemed a tad extreme on some level, plus rather sudden. The film ends as she is driven away, after Annabelle gives her a key set of beads. 

OTOH, guess it works, especially since the student is a daughter of a politician.  You sort of root for them; still, it is a minor student and her teacher. The sudden nature of it, including not being able to get a lawyer or go herself etc. (it's dramatic to have her led away; still seems bad for the students), still seems off.  The director includes an unused quick ending where we see that the teacher was not actually indicted, but felt this was a better one.  And, that love sometimes has dark consequences. Well, sure, but she was arrested!  She already had to deal with the first love of her life (in photographs, "played" by the director, an amusing thing many viewers would miss if they aren't aware of who it was) committing suicide. Rather tragic mixture of same sex love in her life, you know?  Some in the IMDB comments didn't like it ... can't check though, since they ended them!

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Margarettown is the first book of the author of Elsewhere and The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, among other books I did not read.  It was a quick reading book and relatively painless to read, but the lead couple is rather unpleasant.  The title is a pun of sort -- Margaret Towne is a young woman a somewhat older teacher assistant falls in love with.  The guy is explaining things to her young daughter because he's dying from some ridiculously obtained disease [the truth of various facts in his account turn out to be questionable at some points].  This is used in a fashion (the quick leads to the chapters) in by A.J. Fikry.

The book also views things from her point of view in one section and ends up in the point of the view of the daughter.  Turns out "Jane" and a couple other characters are for me more pleasant.  As to the title, when the couple goes back to her home, it turns out that there are various versions (of different ages) of Margaret there though when he proposes, they seem to disappear.  Again, it's hard to know how serious to take this because near the end, we get input from her high school boyfriend (all grown up) saying the "teen" version wasn't like that. But, maybe he too sees people differently? The narrator's sister challenges some of his details and dramatic license is cited. 

Anyway, the conceit is only present in one section though a short section seems to view the daughter's p.o.v. from inside her mom's uterus.  The book overall was a mixed bag for me; I like her writing but the story didn't quite appeal to me.  At least, the "N" (we aren't told the husband's name) and Margaret's stories.  The other characters help save the book for me.  Like films, we can go back to the film discussed here, good books have good supporting casts.  And, viewing things from different points of view is something I like -- when I tried to write, that was something I used too.  Empathy is a big thing for me and lacking it is troubling.

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