Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? The movie is based on the Edward Albee stage play, a story of dynamics that dominate households around the world, to each their own; a galvanization of the slow death of the living room tomb where people tethered to each other see to it that a little part of each other’s souls is chipped away each day, with each argument, fight, or disagreement, an area of their wellbeing tainted and maimed. With each conversation and exchange. With each thought communicated or miscommunicated, understood or misapprehended, with each precious interaction, the wedlocked belligerents carry each other to the grave, holding hands all the while they trip each other up and put each other down and throttle each other’s minds and spirits in the name of death do us part.
Plus, one of the greatest lines ever voiced. ‘I swear, if you existed, I’d divorce you!’ …
Behold, the living room prisons in which modern society has locked itself, exposed, for all to see; filled with the betrothed — individuals dis-individuated, trying to run the gauntlet chained to each other — hands and feet and swollen skulls, perplexed and afraid at how they can’t make inroads, not in the way they’re convinced they could. They get angry, mad at each other, livid at how they hold each other down, astounding in their ability to take while giving, to be taken time and again, lashing out at every turn and brutal, lethal in their complex civility — here they are, for everyone to behold, care of Edward Albee, Mike Nichols, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton. A punishing representation of our times and civilization.
From the bays of a tempestuous Pearl Coast,
Fish a ton of oysters, be wary of the currents.
PS – In memory of the late Edward Albee, one the greatest playwrights of our time (who passed away five months ago), here’s a video clip that captures the desperate situation of the modern condition, our condition, and the angst that accompanies it.
PS 2 – If we were to give this clip a title, it would be IN THE NAME OF DEATH DO US PART, or THE CIVILIZED TORTURE CHAMBER.