Friday, 26 February 2010

The Jennifer Connection(s)

Zoe Tapper, Jennifer's esteemed female lead, has a deservedly large and devoted following out there, and of course there are dedicated websites that track the progress of her career. I see that one such,, has noticed my last post and added a few lines on Jennifer among their listing of Zoe’s current projects. They must have checked out my other Jennifer-related postings on here and, not unreasonably, took away the notion that Zoe might be playing the late Jennifer Jones in the film. I ought to confirm, then, that Jennifer is not a Hollywood true story but an entirely fictional tale, set in present-day London. One doesn’t want to spill too much about the plot; however it’s simple enough to reiterate that for me the titling of Jennifer was a sort of cinephile tip of the hat to William Dieterle’s Portrait of Jennie (1948) and to Jennifer Jones’ luminous performance therein. But really that amounts to nothing more than a little movie-lover’s in-joke – you’d never suppose the connection from watching the film, even if you know the Dieterle picture inside out.
What’s for sure, though, is that Jennifer borrows (or steals…) some of the thematics of a certain family of Romantic film stories – Jennie being one, but Hitchcock’s Vertigo (with Kim Novak, pictured) undoubtedly the most admired – in which female beauty is shown to exert a near-mesmeric hold over a man, and could even, in a certain light, be imagined to derive from some supernatural origin. (I’m sure all fans of Zoe Tapper will have no difficulty envisaging her in just such a role.) There is a great Romantic line uttered by Jones in Jennie that could also, in my idle fancy, adorn some imaginary poster for Jennifer: ‘Of all the people who lived from world’s end to world’s end, there is just one you must love, and you must seek until you find him...’ (or, in this case, her.) But of course there are two ways to take such a sentiment: one as proof of a towering, heartfelt, quasi-religious love, the other as evidence of a disturbed mind...

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