The Handmaid’s Tale was originally a novel from prolific writer Margaret Atwood. I read it about 30 years ago when it came out, but my memory is sketchy. My sketchy memory left me free to watch the new television series The Handmaid’s Tale with fresh eyes. This is a review of season 1. Continue reading “Review: Season 1 of The Handmaid’s Tale”
What is it that separates us from forest dwellers foraging for food and living in hollow trees? According to Into the Forest the answer is a simple one: the electric grid. Beware the spoilers. Continue reading “Review: Into the Forest”
Starring Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood and written and directed by Patricia Rozema, Into the Forest is the rare disaster movie told from a woman’s point of view.
The film is based on a novel by Jean Hegland. Also featured are Max Minghella, Callum Keith Rennie, and Michael Eklund.
Here’s a bit of the synopsis, which sounds tense and scary:
“In the not too distant future, two ambitious young women, Nell and Eva, live with their father in a lovely but run down home up in the mountains somewhere on the West Coast. Suddenly the power goes out. Over the following days, the radio reports a thousand theories: technical breakdowns, terrorism, disease and uncontrolled violence across the continent.
Then, one day, the radio stops broadcasting. To battle starvation, invasion and despair, Nell and Eva fall deeper into a primitive life that tests their endurance and bond.”
There is video of the two main characters and the director in a interview at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The director Patricia Rozema told Indiewire in response to a question about people changing in films, “In some movies, this is one, where the world around them changes a lot and that brings out something in them. I love that when Evan’s character says, “let’s use the gas,” you think she’s nuts. Everyone’s on Ellen’s side, but by the time they use the gas to watch the home movie and watch dance, we’re entirely convinced, or at least I am, that that’s the right thing to do. We need the nourishment of art.”
That part of the film reminds me of a story one of my uncles used to tell about riding the rails during the depression. He and his brother, another uncle, arrived in a town with 10 cents between them. One brother wanted to use it to buy food. The other wanted to go to a movie with it. Decades later, when I heard the story, there was still that conflict between them – one wanting the practical, one wanting to find some respite in art.
I’ve actually made a decision to do films with female leads now for the rest of my life.Another comment that Patricia Rozema made during her interview with Indiewire really struck a chord with me. She said, “I’ve actually made a decision to do films with female leads now for the rest of my life. The history of cinema is so horrifically unbalanced, that the little that I can do to rebalance it – I love seeing women be interested and complicated and strong. If the men are doing male characters and I am doing male characters, then who is going to do the female characters?”