3 items from 2015
Call this a revisionist feminist postapocalyptic historical western home-invasion horror drama. But even that doesn’t quite do it justice. I’m “biast” (pro): desperate for stories about women
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
You haven’t seen a movie like this before. Even a wild label like “revisionist feminist postapocalyptic historical western home-invasion horror drama” doesn’t quite do it justice. The Keeping Room is a thrilling experience in how it defies categorization even as it pulls in bits and pieces from various genres in a way that shakes them all up, and in how it finds a fresh perspective on a scenario that is familiar in many of its aspects via the simple yet radical approach of telling its tale through the eyes of women.
This isn’t quite a western: we are not on the untamed frontier but, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Five years after the Michael Caine vehicle Harry Brown hit theaters, director Daniel Barber has returned to the director’s seat with a revisitation to period drama, which he first explored with his Oscar nominated short The Tonto Woman. With The Keeping Room, he, along with Brit Marling, Sam Worthington, Hailee Steinfeld and newcomer Muna Otaru, relive the end of the American Civil War still firmly wrapped in the fraying husks of racism and sexism, yet his tale, penned by first time screenwriter Julia Hart, sees these barriers burned to the ground in a fit of valiantly feminine retaliation.
Bolstered by a set of strong female performances, Barber’s essentially feminist film premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. I had the opportunity to sit down with the director to discuss how he came to the project, if he had any apprehensions about tackling American racism as a British filmmaker, »
- Jordan M. Smith
‘Point of view’ in cinematic storytelling is at the crux of the entire issue of equality and sexism in film. Its influence on popular culture – and, in turn, society as a whole – is routinely underestimated. The fact is that the majority of the narratives we watch on our screens are told from the point of view of white men – making their experience the ‘norm,’ and everything else marginal. This creates a skewed cultural perspective, and leads to a situation that reinforces a pervasive sense of entitlement – if your perspective were the only one regularly represented in the media, you would unconsciously assume it was the most important, too. This is why The Keeping Room is a vital film.
In reality, the perspective of white men is, of course, no more important than any other perspective – particularly considering that that point of view is actually in the minority in global terms. »
- Sarah Myles
3 items from 2015
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