Allan King's A Married Couple
Published: August 2010© 2010
144 Pages, 5.30 x 7.52 x 0.35 in, 13 photos
Long before 'Reality TV,' Canadian filmmaker Allan King caused a stir by mixing people's private and public lives in his 1969 documentary A Married Couple. This observational cinema piece, which took an unscripted look at the urban Edwards family, was deemed too contentious to air by commissioning network CTV on the grounds of excessive nudity and obscenity. Nevertheless, the documentary was accepted by the Cannes festival, and it is now cited as a milestone in realist filmmaking.
In Allan King's A Married Couple, Zoë Druick examines the film in the context of late 1960s cinematic and cultural movements. Through a scene-by-scene synopsis and an analysis of contemporary responses to the piece, she traces A Married Couple's influence on documentary and Canadian filmmaking. The fifth volume in the Canadian Cinema series, this work is an accessible and engaging introduction to a controversial film and its fascinating director.
2. Observational Feature Filmmaking and the “Dramaturgical Perspective”
3. A Married Couple as Documentary Melodrama
4. Promotion and Reception
5. Imitation of Life? Toward a New Theory of Documentary Mimesis
6. Conclusion: The Legacy of A Married Couple
'This is a first-class and wonderfully accessible reading of a complex film that has received far too little critical engagement. With clarity and verve, Zoë Druick makes a convincing case for the ongoing relevance of A Married Couple in a book that is sure to appeal to cinephiles, filmmakers, and students alike.' Brenda Longfellow, Department of Film, York University
'Allan King's A Married Couple is a too often overlooked Canadian classic by a major Canadian filmmaker. Linking the film with current cultural and ethical debates around reality and representation, Zoë Druick's important analysis will re-introduce the film to an international cultural canon. A masterful achievement.' Tom Waugh, Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Concordia University