NYFF 2010: CERTIFIED COPY Review
[Once again, our thanks to Aaron Krasnov for the following review.]
If one lives for years with an object, believing it wholly original and with value, finding out later in life that the object is a mere replication, does this take away the value of the object? Monetarily without question, emotionally perhaps, a loss of genuineness is sure to effect on a superficial level, nostalgically almost certainly not. Without the original there would be no copy, without the copy no memories, provenance suggesting an artificiality of the object but not the remembrance.
From an alternate perspective: If one lives for years with an object, believing it wholly original and with value, finding out later in life that the object has been replicated, does this take away the value of the object? Do the memories of the copy devalue the memories formed from the original or do they co-exist on a certain plane? If the replica is exact, intent as formed by creation should propagate through the copies, memories derived from the purpose of the original, communicated through the copy. The value of each piece as subjective to its owner as it is ubiquitous in form and merit. On a certain plane the objects are substantially different, on another entirely the same, perpetuated as far as you would like to take it.
The above notion of confluence is at the heart of Certified Copy, a Borgian romance of ingeniously twisted platitudes.
A man and a woman go on a date into the hills of Tuscany, an initially aimless trip turning into a voyage towards facsimile. The man, an established culture critic whose new book Copie Conforme discusses the value of copies within the art world is taken to see a painting titled Original Copy. The painting, a copy once thought to be original, though later deemed a replica still provides cultural heritage to the small town. The woman, an art dealer and fan, invites the author on a date so she can get to know him, possibly in the romantic sense.
Upon stopping for coffee the couple gets into a conversation about the woman's child, his obstinacy and parenting tactics. When the man steps outside to take a phone call, the proprietress steps in, discussing the woman's husband, their conversation, choice of language and mannerisms. Not intending to offend, the conversation continues, the woman playing along, discussing her husband in terms of the man she is courting. Once the man returns from his phone call, the charade is taken further, the man now role-playing the husband.
Here the lines start to blur, role-playing becomes a central feature of future conversations, the couple switching modes between first date and 15 years marriage on the fly. The relationship on display from nervous first steps to solemn, removed distance. As the date plays out, the once assured understanding that this is the first date begins to fade. Each shot bringing the opportunity for more fog to occlude the boundaries as the couple switch roles mid-thought, sometimes mid-sentence.
A magnificent work of layered conversation,
distorted realities and captivating beauty Certified Copy enacts
a parable for contemporary marriage amidst the trappings of newborn
love in the hills of Tuscany.
Certified Copy screens Friday, October 1st at 9:15pm, and Sunday, October 3rd, at 11:30am, at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. Click here for more info and tickets.