I followed the link to the review of Kristen Radtke's Seek You in The Atlantic, and then picked up the book. It's incredible! Have you read it?

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I'm so glad you mentioned that movie in a thread that had very little to do with it, thank you!

What struck me the most is how she seems to be suspended in time - when the movie opened on the bright green and blue I wondered if I was watching something from the 70s, and her hairstyle and red lipstick make her look from a few decades before that. Except for the iPhones, everything else is stuck in time: the hospital, the cars, the vinyls records. It's like she's so untethered she's floating through time. I found that very unsettling, and it really reinforced the "is this all in her head" of it all. At the end, when she's wearing her white jacket, with her hair up, all of sudden she looks more of this earth and of this time, and it felt so strange to me, that it had all become so real and so grounded - their relationship, and her self.

I think I can't see mirror scenes without thinking of you, now. :)

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Feb 27Liked by Sheila O'Malley

Thanks for writing about this movie. I was mesmerized from the first shots by Natasa Stork's Gene Tierney coloration. And how she was shot from one side of her face and then the other as she spoke about her reason for coming to Budapest. I wasn't certain then that she was talking to someone else. Was she talking to herself, was her personality fragmented? That was my initial reaction. And as you mentioned, I was also struck by all the beautiful blues around her then and when she was waiting on the bridge.

Later, after her collapse and her decision not to fly back to the US, it felt like some gigantic "tell" that she was in her hotel room with those rich browns all around her. And then she looked in her notebook/calender and we see that Màrta's notes about meeting Jànos were in green - the color of the Liberty Bridge. I didn't notice that detail until I'd done a rewatch. The ugly apartment she chose was all beige/brown and green - in addition to having the view of the bridge. She wears a blue blouse and a green skirt when she comes to his book release. The first time Jànos waits for her, after she has stalked him to his home, Màrta sees him framed in green iron around the gate and against a beige and brown wall. They do their sidewalk dance against backgrounds of those colors. When he comes to her apartment for the first time, she isn't wearing anything blue. That didn't feel like giving up something of herself, more like being open. For me, the mixing of "her" blue, with the green of the Liberty Bridge, with the beige/brown that I associated with some sort of domesticity/satisfaction was a fascinating mixture, and a beautiful sort of integration. I had a harder time coming up with a consistent theme for the beige/brown. I didn't associate any colors with Alex, perhaps intentionally done to indicate his peripheral place in Màrta's mind? Maybe the flash of yellow when he drove her home for the first time - though I didn't associate that with him, more with her warning herself.

I liked that her friend Helen "saved" her by finding Jànos' overcoat and phone. Even with such a pared down life, a friend was valuable.

I also liked that the purchases associated with Jànos were too big to easily fit into her apartment. The couch only got through the door with some of the legs removed and the speakers required pulleys and had to come in through the window. Open up your life, Màrta!

I admired Màrta that she played with Jànos even though she was obsessed with him. She left the book release with Alex to tease him, she made him wait both with their hours-long walk on opposite sides of the street, and told him she had a dinner party. "Not so fast, mf-er, you made me doubt myself and now you've got some work to do."

I was surprised that the therapist used Rorschach test, I had thought they were considered unreliable. But in visiting the Wikipedia page on them, I see that this has been revised and they are thought to have some diagnostic value. Forensic psychologist use them and 80% of grad schools in psych use them. Learned something new. Also, from a photo of the guy, Dr. Rorschach was one good looking guy. Shame he died so young, probably from a burst appendix.

This was just an excellent film, so glad to have heard about it. And I was really drawn in by your great essay here.

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