Writer/director Farah Jabir has created a both a topical and powerful piece centering on female empowerment. Once More Time with Feeling explores an abusive relationship between a Man (played by Patrick Ittleman) and a Woman (portrayed by Noy Marom). Through superb artistry Jabir allows the Woman to find her inner strength and liberate herself from his domination.
Once More Time with Feeling contains no dialog. Perhaps in homage to silent film, music plays throughout the movie. Ms. Jabir limits her performers’ storytelling methods to gestures and facial expressions. This artistic choice enhances the tension. A gripping and at times disturbing piece of cinema results.
Beginning in media res, Noy Marom’s character opens the story by making an effort to mask herself, as it were. The audience is introduced to Ms. Marom’s “Woman” as she puts on her makeup. As she does so, memories the man’s denigration flash through her mind.
As the scene shifts through images of past and present, Ms. Marom shows both the Woman’s turmoil and indomitability. Through her non-verbal skills, the performer expresses that the Man cannot destroy her spirit. Ms. Marom projects firm resolve as she stares at her reflection in the mirror.
The director shows the contrast between the Man and Woman’s relationship to that of their friends (played by Tiffany Peach and Laval Alsbrooks). These two performers along with Mr. Ittleman smile, hug and display a fondness for being together. Ms. Marom looks down and expresses sadness. Her heartbreaking countenance aids in amplifying the audience’s empathy for her.
Ms. Marom allows the woman’s intensity to manifest itself through dance. The joy on her face contrasts with both her earlier representations of sadness and Mr. Ittleman’s present countenance of defeat. Ms. Marom shows superb execution during this powerful scene. Mr. Alsbrook maintains a blank look while Ms. Peach smiles; the contrast between the male and female characters’ reactions is telling. The warmth of Ms. Marom’s smile concretizes her character’s victory.
Ms. Jabir has the following thoughts on Ms. Marom’s professionalism.
The moment I met Noy, I knew she was the perfect choice for Lou (The Woman). As a director this is rather rare to feel but Noy possessed such a unique sense of direction and honesty in her performance and this attitude was brought to set at all times. She was both uplifting and understanding, which is surprising given the nature of material that we were working with. Truthfully, she was an absolute joy to work with. *
Ms. Marom’s cites a Joseph Campbell quote as her inspiration. It explains her commitment to her craft.
“Follow your bliss. If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living.
When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be. And when you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.”
Noy concludes: “I believe in that, and that’s what I intend to keep doing. To follow my bliss and to enjoy the ride.” **
Once More Time with Feeling is produced by Farah Jabir and Amanda H. Miller. Ms. Miller also plays the Waitres in the film. Jenny Wang is the production’s Cinematographer and Editor. Angie Urrea is the film’s Gaffer / Grip.
Fans of arthouse films will be delighted by Once More Time with Feeling. Its theme of female empowerment will hold a strong appeal for modern audiences.
*Press release from Thompson Communications
** Retrieved from http://www.cinemanewswire.com/noy-marom-virago.html on 02/22/20.