CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.
Film Review: Superb Allegorical Story Told in Essential ‘Christine’
CHICAGO – In one of the great American films of the year, character actor Rebecca Hall interprets a based-on-truth incident from the 1970s, as she portrays the title character of “Christine.” The film encapsulates the nature of mental health, gender issues and the pursuit of random numbers.
This is a deliberately told and provocative story by director Antonio Campos, and he tells it in a unique atmosphere. It unfolds in a series of linear and random scenes, all destined toward the endgame, which actually happened. The essence of the main character Christine is one we all can deeply empathize with, given that it is tied into a step-by-step loss of control within her ills and society’s ills. This was America towards the end of the Watergate crisis (the summer of 1974), and the crumbling of institutions that is occurring in Richard Nixon’s White House is paralleled with the breakdown of Christine’s tenuous existence, and although she is a reporter, she cannot discern her own collapsing nature.
Christine Chubbick (Rebecca Hall) is an on-air features reporter for a low wattage TV news show in Sarasota, Florida. She is bamboozled by her tough and crass station manager Michael (Tracy Letts) and anchorman George (Michael C. Hall), who she has a secret crush on. She lives with her mother (J. Smith-Cameron), after having had a nervous breakdown at her former job in Boston.
She is given an opportunity to up her game at the station, after confronting Michael for better assignments. At the same time, anchorman George is showing some interest in her, which confuses her more than excites her. This all starts to take a toll on her fragile mentality, and Christine begins to slide downward, leading to her to commit suicide while reporting live on the air.
Rebecca Hall as the Title Character in ‘Christine’
Photo credit: The Orchard