The Private Life of a Modern Woman

USA 2017
Director : James Toback
Cast : Sienna Miller, Alec Baldwin, Charles Grodin, Colleen Camp

71 Min. | OV | Originalversion
German Premiere
International Section

To the sounds of Johannes Brahms’ »A German Requiem«, gleaming darkly as conducted by Otto Klemperer, the camera scans a reproduction of Hieronymus Bosch’s »The Garden of Earthly Delights«. Sometimes the grotesque visions of the painting double in split-screen, sometimes they form a dialogue with images of actress Vera Lockman, who is rolling around in her sleep. Images from Vera’s nightmare come to the surface. An ex-boyfriend badgers and threatens her. Suddenly there’s a shot and the real nightmare begins, one that there is no waking up from. The first moments of James Toback’s variation on Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel »Crime and Punishment« are truly breathtaking. The elegance of the split-screen direction, the vehemence of the music, the equally enchanting and disturbing world of the painting and the knowledge of Vera’s guilt create a metaphysical space that goes further that what is shown to us. For one day the actress played by Sienna Miller, who won’t let anyone close, but remains nearby, will be in a struggle with herself and what she has done. This intimate thriller is only 71 minutes long, but it tells us everything about life and this world.