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Surviving Desire1991

  • 3.8
SURVIVING DESIRE is a comedy about obsessive love from the director Time Magazine called “the smartest new outlaw in the movies.” SURVIVING DESIRE is a bold and playful little tale about a handsome young college professor smitten with a beautiful young female student. It is a swift dissection of male infatuation that is as fierce as it is compassionate.

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2 members like this review

Love it! will recommend to all friends who like to think they are intelligent

Member Reviews (10)

Love it! will recommend to all friends who like to think they are intelligent

2 members like this review
top reviewer

This film is the same length as a premium TV episode, but gives you a whole different experience from anything on TV right now. There is something so nice about a self-contained piece of work that is not scrambling to produce plot twists, or deliberately leaving loose ends to be attended to in a season finale. I like TV once in a while, but this is different. Every moment of SURVIVING DESIRE is enthralling, despite the protagonist's DiCaprio-circa-BASKETBALL-DIARIES-haircut and the mildly abrasive soundtrack.

Many lines are great, such as: His weaknesses are endearing; his strengths threaten to eclipse my own self-confidence. He eats out. A lot.

Smart-alecky fun and well acted bunch of intellectual bamboozlement that makes one think while watching but perhaps not so much afterwards because they kinda exhausted the themes. I loved the sentiment of the work.

Hal Hartley: an American original.

knowing dostoevsky's biography, and having read his works, helps place the emotive trials and trails in this comedy. i've now seen four hal hartley films, and this is my favorite, though i will watch more. the gazes of the actors, their static quality, is more nuanced here than in meanwhile or trust. mary ward reminds me of audrey hepburn. i have been an english professor at a university for over ten years, teaching writing and literature. this film is compassionate to its characters in a way that is inspiring. the dance scene, the product placement (pellegrino), the period stage sets, and costumes were all very chummy. the dialogue's complexity made it a fun film. the juxtaposition of the "madwoman" and the other characters, particularly drunken henry, informed the infatuation/desire in a way that i could relate to, but i think in the end the "madwoman" became a rather non-nuanced depiction of delusion. perhaps!

Funny, but it felt unfulfilled and increasingly disconnected toward the end. The final scene was the kicker, in terms of disaffectedness. It seemed increasingly abrupt and unlinked, toward the end. Strong start, weakish finish. I liked all the actors and actresses, though; I'd watch it over, again, just for Rebecca Nelson.

What can art do measure fictive love against the genuine article?

Find out in a film that is sweeping the nation! Starring Martin Donovan as a classy professor in "Hot for Teacher." Just kidding. This ain't no "Elegy."

In true Hartley fashion, the film is populated with intensely articulate characters. Where the wordy, rapid-fire dialogues of 30's-40's screwballs are a source of great comedy, Hartley has us asking why the presence of a verbose, everyman philosopher around each corner is so strange. So unconventional as to draw us out of a Hollywood style naturalism that is so effective at proxying for reality.

Love is hard. Even in the idyll of the academic hamlet. In a tale as old as time, the bumbling professor Jude leaves us free to perform our own errands of love in search of a less "contrived nature."

Can fiction truly guide us? It's better than groping around in the dark.

(Five stars for the dance sequence alone.)

Awesome, I want to hang out with people this intense...

"God, I wish we lived in RENO!"

With quick, witty dialogue, SURVIVING DESIRE seems like a strange, cerebral extension of John

Hughes that maintains the humor but kicks up the sincerity a bit. It makes me think that if my high school-self were tragically more sophisticated… this would be the movie that version of me would have made.