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USA 1978
Directed by
Alan Rudolph
95 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

Remember My Name

Alan Rudolph’s low budget film, produced by his long-time mentor Robert Altman, doesn’t really work but it has an off-beat quality that may appeal to some tastes, not a little because of the fine spread of songs written and performed by Alberta Hunter that constitute the film's soundtrack.

Anthony Perkins plays Neil Curry, an L.A. construction worker who is being stalked by an unhinged woman, Emily (Geraldine Chaplin).  Gradually we learn that she was Neil’s first wife and has  just been released from jail  after having served a 12 year sentence for the murder of his one-time lover.  Neil has buried his past and re-married but Emily wants him back.

Rudolph takes a highly schematic approach to his story as well as, somewhat like Altman, giving equal weight to what in other film-makers hands would be marginal issues like Emily's adventures in a local supermarket managed by Mr Nudd and his assistant Rita (Jeff Goldblum and Alfre Woodward in early roles) and with a black security guard (Moses Gunn) who lives in her building. One couldn’t say that the result amounted to much, the potential in the story remaining implicit rather than being realized on screen but Geraldine Chaplin's crazy Emily and Anthony Perkins’s disjointed Neil (who somehow fails to recognize his ex-wife because she used to be a blonde) make for a distinctly eccentric and rather eerie couple.  Rudolph also throws into the mix a running news commentary on an earthquake in Budapest that seems to be intended as a kind of antiphon to the small troubles of his characters. But really what the intentions here were are far from clear.




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