REVIEW OF “GOODBYE AGAIN” 2015
I was disappointed by the 2015 Korean product. It was deeply flawed. The German language version came up. I went to the English version. It was grainy, out of focus and the technical execution was way below standard. I could not get rid of the Korean subtitles. It is different from the 1961 VHS video. I loved the French version.
Philip (Anthony Perkins), is at first interested when he meets Paula at his mother’s house-- she is going to arrange the redecoration of the place. He gives her a lift back to her shop, and we can see the interest developing into something deeper. As he says to his boss’s secretary, when he finally arrives at work, “I met someone today.” “I know,” she replies, “The most beautiful girl in the world.” “No-- a woman-- warm, charming-- and yet sad. There was a deep sadness in her eyes.”
Missing is: At one point, Paula asks: “Has time caught up with me already?”
That remark strikes a chord, even from where I sit with my contemporary sensibilities… Beauty and youth, as the measure of a woman…
Scenes that were edited include: Eventually the young man’s insistence makes itself felt. Given the neglect Paula feels in her relationship with Roger, she succumbs to Philip’s charms. Bergman gives us a glorious moment as she is lying in bed the morning after sleeping with Philip for the first time – her expression is one of tenderness, regret, pleasure, worry – so many emotions – each fleeting but deeply felt. This important scene was missing.
At the concert attended by Paula and Philip midway through the film, an orchestra is heard performing the final movement of Brahms’s Symphony No. 1 prior to intermission and the third movement of his Symphony No. 3 after the interval. (It is somewhat unrealistic that Paula and Philip are shown rushing back to the concert upon hearing the signal that the second half of the concert is about to begin, only to arrive at the back of the hall to hear music that comes more than 20 minutes into the symphony.) In contrast to the sunny optimism of the Symphony No. 1 finale (matched by the mood of the film’s main characters during the opening half of the concert), the melancholy theme of the “Poco Allegretto” from the Third Symphony reflects the sudden tension between them following an uncomfortable conversation during the intermission in which Philip forces Paula to question her relationship with Roger.
What else was missing? The French theme song, with the French lyrics, is translated as "When You Are Sleeping Near Me". The song's lyrics explain: "Sometimes in your sleep you murmur his name, the name you've never forgotten. I feel alone even when I'm sleeping with you now. Someday, if you hear this song, remember me, my beloved."
When the film was made in 1961, Bergman was 45, Perkins was 29, and Montand was 40, though he appears older than Bergman. In her role as Paula, the established and respected decorator is well aware of her lover’s philandering – at one point he says “this is who I am” – and she doesn’t expect him to change. She looks the other way as long has he is discreet.
This arrangement isn’t so striking to me, but what I do find striking?
50 years later we still turn a blind eye for men, still think nothing of men sleeping with women 20 or more years younger, yet we raise an eyebrow when a woman does the same – or anything close.
When Paula begins seeing the younger man, the son of one of her wealthy clients, Roger is incensed. When they discuss the situation and she refers to his many “girls” in order to put her actions into context, his response is maddening (to our 21st century sensibilities). He replies “at least that’s normal.”