Essays on cinematic narrative. The focus is a set of dynamics collected under the concept of folding, a related system of techniques to model agency and causality.

Screen Lovers

Published: 15 Mar 2014

One kind of folding is particularly obvious and lush. The general framework is the same that we call external reference, but has some attractive features. Also, it is amazingly common.

We are talking about films where the filmmaker and the main actress are lovers. In virtually every case, we know this when watching the movie. In many cases, you can feel how the camera lingers or the lighting adjusted to flatter. The movement of the camera and editing can sometimes be erotic.

Movies where the two lead actors are lovers are less interesting because the passion doesn’t cross the creative boundary. Those are included in the external reference category. Some, like the cases of Robert Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, or Warren Beatty and Annette Bening are interesting.)

There are so many that I am not sure how to handle the examples. I think we will have a section immediately below of the most interesting ones that also have a filmsfolded comment. And after that a section with a quite long list of known cases.

Screen Lovers Notes

Films in which the filmmaker is in love with an (usually) actress.

This list has quite a few problems. It is not comprehensive, though I would like to have additions. It only deals with male filmmakers and actresses, though there must be interesting other cases. And it mixes all relationships regardless of whether the film itself was influenced, or the public knew when the film was made.

But here you are. Please email me with corrections or additions.

From the List of Fours

Woody Allen

Frederico Fellini

Stanley Kubrick

Akira Kurosawa

Roman Polanski

Andrey Tarkovskiy

Orson Welles

Kar Wai Wong (???)

Christopher Nolan (indirectly)

Al Adamson and Regina Carroll

The Female Bunch (1969)
Satan's Sadists (1969)
Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971)
Angels' Wild Women (1972)
Blood of Ghastly Horror (1972)
Brain of Blood (1972)
Naughty Stewardesses (1974)
Blazing Stewardesses (1974)
Black Heat (1975)
Jessi's Girls (1975)
Doctor Dracula (1981)

Woody Allen and Mia Farrow

A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982)
Zelig (1983)
Broadway Danny Rose (1984)
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
Radio Days (1987)
September (1987)
Another Woman (1988)
New York Stories (1989)
Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
Alice (1990)
Husbands and Wives (1992)
Shadows and Fog (1992)

Woody Allen and Diane Keaton

Sleeper (1973)
Love and Death (1975)
Annie Hall (1977)
Interiors (1978)
Manhattan (1979)
Radio Days (1987)
Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)

Dario Argento and Daria Nicolodi

Deep Red (Profondo Rosso) (1975)
Inferno (1980)
Tenebre (1982)
Phenomenon (1985)
Opera (1987)
Mother of Tears: The Third Mother (Terza madre) (2007)

Warren Beatty and Julie Christie

Heaven Can Wait (1978)

Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton

Reds (1981)

Roberto Benigni and Nicoletta Braschi

You Disturb Me (1983)
The Little Devil (1988)
Johnny Toothpick (1991)
The Monster (1996)
Life Is Beautiful (1998)
Roberto Benigni's Pinocchio (2002)
The Tiger and the Snow (2006)

Ingmar Bergman and Käbi Laretei

Stimulantia (1967)
Fanny and Alexander (1982)

Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann

Persona (1966)
Hour of the Wolf (1968)
Shame (1968)
Faro Document (1970)
The Passion of Anna (1970)
Cries and Whispers (1972)
Scenes from a Marriage (1974)
The Magic Flute (1975)
Face to Face (1976)
The Serpent's Egg (1977)
Autumn Sonata (1978)
Saraband (2003)

Ingmar Bergman and Ingrid von Rosen

Cries and Whispers (1972)

Luc Besson and Milla Jovovich

Fifth Element, The (1997)
Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, The (1999)

Luc Besson and Anne Parillaud

Nikita (1990)

Walerian Borowczyk and Ligia Branice

House (1958)
The Astronauts (1959)
Rosalie (1966)
Goto, Island of Love (1968)
Blanche (1971)
Within a Cloister (1978)

Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson

Henry V (1989)
Dead Again (1991)
Peter's Friends (1992)
Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

Richard Brooks and Jean Simmons

Elmer Gantry (1960)
The Happy Ending (1969)

Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter

Planet of the Apes (2001)

Tim Burton and Lisa Marie

Ed Wood (1994)
Mars Attacks! (1996)
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Planet of the Apes (2001)

James Cameron and Suzy Amis

Titanic (1997)

James Cameron and Linda Hamilton

The Terminator (1984)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
T2 3-D: Battle Across Time (1996)

John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands

Shadows (1959)
A Child Is Waiting (1963)
Faces (1968)
Minnie and Moskowitz (1971)
A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
Opening Night (1977)
Gloria (1980)
Love Streams (1984)

Claude Chabrol and Stéphane Audran

The Cousins (1959)
Wise Guys (1961)
The Third Lover (1962)
Bluebeard (1963)
Code Name: Tiger (1964)
Blue Panther (1965)
Six in Paris (1965)
The Good Time Girls (1966)
Line of Demarcation (1966)
Bad Girls (1968)
The Champagne Murders (1968)
The Unfaithful Wife (1969)
The Butcher (1970)
The Break Up (1970)
Just Before Nightfall (1973)
Wedding in Blood (1973)
The Twist (1976)
Blood Relatives (1978)
Violette (1978)
Les Affinités électives (1982)
The Blood of Others (1984)
Cop au vin (1985)
Les Dossiers secrets de l'inspecteur Lavardin (1988)
Quiet Days in Clichy (1990)
Betty (1992)

Joel Coen and Frances McDormand

Blood Simple (1984)
Raising Arizona (1987)
Miller's Crossing (1990)
Fargo (1996)
The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)

Brian De Palma and Nancy Allen

Carrie (1976)
Home Movies (1979)
Dressed to Kill (1980)
Blow Out (1981)

Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman

The Ratings Game (1984)
Matilda (1996)

Clint Eastwood and Francis Fisher

Unforgiven (1992)

Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke

Outlaw Josey Wales, The (1976)
The Gauntlet (1977)
Bronco Billy (1980)
Sudden Impact (1983)

Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews

Darling Lili (1970)
The Tamarind Seed (1974)
10 (1979)
S.O.B. (1981)
Victor Victoria (1982)
Trail of the Pink Panther (1982)
The Man Who Loved Women (1983)
That's Life! (1986)

Victor/Victoria (1995)

Atom Egoyan and Arsinée Khanjian

Next of Kin (1984)
Family Viewing (1987)
Looking for Nothing (1988)
Speaking Parts (1989)
The Adjuster (1991)
Montréal vu par... (1991)
Calendar (1993)
Exotica (1994)
A Portrait of Arshile (1995)
Bach Cello Suite #4: Sarabande (1997)
The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
Felicia's Journey (1999)
Ararat (2002)

Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Ingrid Caven

Love Is Colder Than Death (1969)
Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (1970)
Gods of the Plague (1970)
The American Soldier (1970)
The Niklashausen Journey (1970)
The Coffeehouse (1970)
Beware the Holy Whore (1971)
Rio das Mortes (1971)
The Merchant of Four Seasons (1972)
Martha (1973)
World on a Wire (1974)
Mother Kusters Goes to Heaven (1975)
Fist-Right of Freedom (1975)
Fear of Fear (1975)
Satan's Brew (1976)
Despair (1978)
In a Year of 13 Moons (1978)

Federico Fellini and Giulietta Masina

Variety Lights (1950)
The White Sheik (1952)
La Strada (1954)
The Swindle (1955)
Nights of Cabiria (1957)
Juliet of the Spirits (1965)
Ginger and Fred (1986)

Mike Figgis and Saffron Burrows

One Night Stand (1997)
Miss Julie (1999)
The Loss of Sexual Innocence (1999)
Timecode (2000)
Hotel (2001)

Jesus Franco and Lina Romay

Female Vampire (1973)
(+98 more films!)

Vincent Gallo and Chloë Sevigny

The Brown Bunny (2003)

Jean-Luc Godard and Anna Karina

A Woman Is a Woman (1961)
My Life to Live (1962)
The Little Soldier (1963)
Band of Outsiders 2.Bande à part (1964)
Dick Tracy On Mars (1965)
Made in U.S.A. (1966)
The Oldest Profession (1967)

Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky

Week End (1967)
La Chinoise (1967)
Sympathy for the Devil (1968)
Vent d'est, Le (1969)
Lotte in Italia (1970)
Vladimir et Rosa (1970)
One P.M. (1972)
All's Well (1972)

Lasse Hallstrom and Lena Olin

Lumière et compagnie (1995)
Chocolat (2000)

Renny Harlin and Geena Davis

Cutthroat Island (1995)
The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)

Juzo Itami and Tsutomu Yamazaki

Ososhiki (1984)
Tampopo (1985)
Marusa no onna (1987)
Shizukana seikatsu (1995)

Harmony Korine and Chloë Sevigny

Gummo (1997)
Julien Donkey-Boy (1999)

Stanley Kubrick and Susanne Christian Kubrick

Paths of Glory (1957)

Stanley Kubrick and Ruth Sobotka

Killer's Kiss (1955)

Akira Kurosawa and Yôko Yaguchi

The Most Beautiful (1944)

Fritz Lang and Joan Bennett

Confirm or Deny (1941)
Man Hunt (1941)
The Woman in the Window (1944)
Scarlet Street (1945)
Secret Beyond the Door (1948)

David Lean and Sandra Hotz

Passage to India (1984) [bit part]

Mike Leigh and Alison Steadman

Hard Labour (1973)
Nuts in May (1976)
Abigail's Party (1977)
The Short and Curlies (1987)
Life Is Sweet (1990)
Secrets & Lies (1996)
Topsy-Turvy (1999)

David Lynch and Peggy Lynch

The Alphabet (1968)
Eraserhead (1977)

David Lynch and Isabella Rossellini

Blue Velvet (1986)
Wild at Heart (1990)

David Mamet and Rebecca Pidgeon

Homicide (1991)
The Spanish Prisoner (1997)
The Winslow Boy (1999)
State and Main (2000)
Catastrophe (2000)
Heist (2001)

Vincente Minnelli and Judy Garland

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
The Clock (1945)
Ziegfeld Follies (1946)
Till the Clouds Roll by (1947)
Pirate, The (1948)

Colin Nutley and Helena Bergstrom

Black Jack (1990)
Änglagård (1992)
Sista dansen (1993)
Änglagård - andra sommaren (1994)
Sånt är livet (1996)
Under Solen (1998) 6.9
Gossip (2000) 5.0
Sprängaren (2001)

Roman Polanski and Mia Farrrow

Rosemary’s Baby (1969)

Roman Polanski and Emmanuelle Seinger

Bitter Moon (1992)
Frantic (1988)
The Ninth Gate (1999)

Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate

The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)

Tony Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave

Red and Blue (1967)
The Sailor from Gibraltar (1967)
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968)

Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon

Bob Roberts (1992)
Dead Man Walking (1995)
Cradle Will Rock (1999)

Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman

Stromboli (1950)
The Greatest Love (1954)
Joan of Arc at the Stake (1954)
Voyage to Italy (1954)
Fear (1956)
Of Life and Love (1958)

Rupert Sanders and Kristen Stewart

Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

Paul Schrader and Natassja Kinski

Cat People (1982)

Josef von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich

The Blue Angel (1930)
Morocco (1930)
Dishonored (1931)
Blonde Venus (1932)
Shanghai Express (1932)
The Scarlet Empress (1934)
The Devil Is a Woman (1935)
The Fashion Side of Hollywood (1935)

Andrei Tarkovsky and Irma Raush

Ivanovo Detstvo (1962)
Andrei Rublyov (1969)

Steven Soderbergh and Betsy Brantley

Schizopolis (1996)

Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

George Stevens and Joan Fontaine

Damsel in Distress, A (1937)
Quality Street (1937)
Gunga Din (1939)
Something to Live for (1952)

John Turturro and Katherine Borowitz

Mac (1992)
Illuminata (1998)

Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown

Beautiful Kate (2009)

Orson Welles and Virginia Nicholson

Hearts of Age (1934)
Too Much Johnson (1938)

Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth

Lady from Shanghai, The (1948)

Orson Welles and Paola Mori

Mr. Arkadin (1955)
Portrait of Gina (1958)
The Trial (1963)
In the Land of Don Quixote (1964)

Orson Welles and Oja Kodar

The Deep (1970)
The Other Side of the Wind (1972)

Wim Wenders and Ronee Blakley

Lightning Over Water (1980)
Docu Drama (1984)

Wim Wenders and Solveig Dommartin

Wings of Desire (1987)
Until the End of the World (1991)
Faraway, So Close! (1993)

Wim Wenders and Edda Köchl

Summer in the City (1970)
The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (1971)
Alice in the Cities (1974)

Wim Wenders and Lisa Kreuzer

Alice in the Cities (1974)
The Wrong Movement (1974)
Haus für uns, Ein (1974)
Kings of the Road (1976)
The American Friend (1977)

William Wyler and Bette Davis

Jezebel (1938)

Zhang Yimou and Gong Li

Red Sorghum (1987)
Codename Cougar (1989)
Ju Dou (1990)
The Story of Qiu Ju (1992)
Raise the Red Lantern (1992)
To Live (1994)
Shanghai Triad (1995)
Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)


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