Jocelyn Moorhouse
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Jocelyn Moorhouse debuted with Proof (1991), a dark drama of three complementary characters, one a blind man, one a housekeeper who takes care of the blind man in return for sexual fantasizing, and an ordinary man who simply needs a friend. Martin is a contemptuous blind man, whose only friend is his housekeeper Celia. Martin's passtime is to take photographs, and Celia volunteers to tell him what he has photographed, but it sounds like he doesn't trust her anymore. One day Martin meets Andy, a dishwasher in a restaurant, and hires him as a trusted source to describe the photographs.
A flashback shows how, as a child, Martin was lied by his mother about what was out there in the world.
Martin and Andy become close friends after they spend an evening at a drive-in movie theater, get involved in a browl and get arrested by the police. Martin tells Andy how his mother used to lie to him. Martin has only one way to know what he has photographed: to ask people to describe his photos. He tests the accuracy of their descriptions to assess if he can trust them. Needless to say, most of his photos are of random subjects, mostly unfocused and rarely centered on one object. somehow he has decided to trust Andy. Instead, Andy has already lied about one thing: when Martin asked him to describe Celia, Andy told him (for no apparent reason) that she has blue eyes. Martin tells Andy about Celia. He knows that she desires him but he shuns her because he feels that, as long as she doesn't have him, she will not pity him, he will pity her.
Celia senses that there is something new in Martin's life. She uses fragments of photographs to reconstruct how Andy looks like. When the two meet, there is immediately tension between them: Celia is clearly jealous of him.
Martin's dog Bill has a tendency to disappear for a few minutes. Martin is puzzled. One day Martin he takes a lot of pictures while Bill is gone to find out what happens. Andy is there but Martin does not know it. Andy sees what happens: Celia calls the dog and keeps it for a while. Celia is home when Martin asks Andy to check the photographs and see what happened when Bill was not obeying his call. Andy sees both himself and Celia in the pictures, but lies to Martin.
Celia is clearly obsessed with Martin. She takes a picture of him in the bathrooms and blackmails him: she wants his company for just one night. They go to the symphony hall and then, back home, she tries to have sex with him. She knows he is still a virgin. He almost loses control, but then stops in time and runs away scared. She resents most that she is like a wife to him but he does not trust her, he trusts Andy better. Next, Celia tries to seduce Andy. Celia is jealous and uses her sexuality to separate the two. For good measure, she sticks the photograph of Bill in the park into the collar of the dog. When the veterinarian finds it, Martin asks him to describe it, and then he learns that both Celia and Andy were in the park when they were not supposed to be there. Now he knows that not only Celia but even Andy cannot be trusted. He walks back home only to realize that they are both in the house and, even if he cannot see them making love, he can guess the ultimate betrayal.
Celia takes Andy to her house, and Andy realizes that it is one giant shrine to Martin. Andy walks out terrified. The following day Celia goes back to clean Martin's house as if nothing happened, but instead Martin fires her.
Andy asks Martin to forgive him. Martin gives him the final test: the photograph taken when he was a child of the landscape that Martin always thought had no man raking the leaves, despite what his mother always told him. Andy tells him that there is indeed a man raking the leaves. Martin realizes that his mother never lied to him. Martin forgives Andy.

How to Make an American Quilt (1995) and the adaptation of A Thousand Acres (1997)

(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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