The Fan (1949) - Otto Preminger
Otto Preminger's The Fan, is a timely story
centered around Lord Windermere and his wife, whose relationship becomes
increasingly unstable, mostly due too outside influences. It's a story that is told backwards, starting many years after the events, told by
the character of Mrs. Erlynne, a woman very much responsible for the
instability which plagued
Lord Windermere's relationship with his wife. With a story focused on the
upper-class, narrative style, and visuals, the film reminded me of quite a bit of a Max Ophuls' film. Visually, Preminger uses some nice compositions and exquisite camera moves at the right times, to add to the film in a way that it's not distracting in the slightest. Two of my favorite moments being the transition of Mrs. Erlynne arriving at Margaret Windermere's birthday party, and the handheld use towards the end of the film when Mrs. Erlynee and Margaret Windermere are trying to sneak out of Robert Darlington's home. The Fan does a great job at presenting a simple story which becomes ever-increasingly complex
due to the social-pressure and gossip which takes place in this world. We witness first hand how the Windermere's relationship is completely healthy, but how these forces can and will create conflict, which really has no reason being
there in the first place. The reveal that takes place about 2/3rds into the film involving Mrs. Erlynee was a nice touch, which really creates a strong emotional resonance towards the end of the film regarding the "ultimate sacrifice" she makes. The Fan is a film that examines the decisions we all make,and how the past/present/future all influence our lives and the connection which exists between them.
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