I watched A Safe Place yesterday and remembered how my best friend and I were so curious about Jaglom in high school. We watched Always, But Not Forever, Someone to Love,  New Year's Day and then got together the summer after our first year in college to watch Eating and then I forgot all about him until yesterday. 

In A Safe Place, beautiful Tuesday Weld effortlessly portrays Susan/Noah the woman child. I never knew really knew what a talented actress she was until I saw her in this role. The DVD shows other actresses auditioning for the part and it seems as though no one came close to portraying the complicated character as richly as Weld. Her character was simple minded, sexy, sensitive, even innocent and yet vicious, aloof and tawdry. I thought of Mia Farrow and Sandy Dennis in the role and decided that they couldn't be as sincere as Weld. The editing and music chosen for the soundtrack added to the little surprises in this film that ends vaguely. I seem to favor films that end this way.

When I discovered Cassavetes, Jaglom went into the "toy box".  I began to think Jaglom's  films were fragmented, diluted and weak interpretations of better works done by writers and directors more talented and experienced than he was.  However, I look back and can see I was watching very adult films at a young age. I thought myself quite sophisticated at 15 having watched Jules and Jim  at 13, had just started to read Nin and long Russian novels and I tuned into Thirtysomething every week.  I had no clue what complicated people we all grow up to be.  I had yet to experience all the complicated feelings, relationships and world we come into when we finally grow up. So all the muck that bored and confused me was just over my head. I never watched a Jaglom film after I turned 20.  Twenty years later and  maybe Jaglom has more to offer? I'll re-watch a few of his films and finally watch Venice/Venice. Maybe A Safe Place was just a really good film.



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