This is the only film review I’ve ever written;
“The Godfather is the story of a lovestruck young woman who falls for a man with a big fun family who keep her in the dark about how she lives in luxury and gets a smack when she steps out of line”
So in that spirit I want to put something down for the film, ‘Into the Forest’ from writer/director, Patricia Rozema. Adapted from the novel by Jean Hegland it’s an after the apocalypse film with two female leads, Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood.
What a nourishing bath it was to watch two real women unadorned by cultures weighty objectification needs as they sink closer and closer into nature. By experiencing these ‘natural’ humans it puts a glaring light on what our culture has put on women to be sexy, beautiful, there for our judgement – madonnas or whores, surviving through manipulation. See it for this alone. The ‘quality’, the anchor note that a ‘she’ brings to the planet is there to behold.
Rozema’s direction is spare yet full of motion, her vision beautifully held. The actors are wonderfully simple, bare and true.
There were a couple of moments when I had to choose to walk across the bridge of my disbelief and back into the film. That got me thinking how programed we are to suspend our disbelief;
Cop – What were you doing Thursday the 23rd from 3 to approximately 4:25?
Person – I was taking my sister to the dentist (or some other immediate answer as if people are faster than day planners)
Our Hero kills multiple Uzi shooting assailants while not getting hit once by these professional killers – we go with it!
And of course she runs into the basement and not out the door to her neighbors when she realizes a monster is in the house.
Of course hospitals are really that busy, babies that sad and typing constantly on a computer is what allows a page to load.
To experience ourselves in more diverse stories we need to expand our skill to suspend disbelief in new ways and stay in a story that we haven’t yet been trained to accept. We cannot keep demanding the same story habits and expect our psyches to evolve.
For example I heard that the true story behind the film ‘The Revenant’ was that after the Leo DiCaprio’s character finds his way back to the fort after being left to die, he actually forgives the guy, thereby not challenging him to a duel to the death. That would have been a powerful, brave, story turn to have made, forgiveness in this madness we are living, not revenge.
I felt so seen and met by ‘Into the Forest’. It supports what I have to say in my blogs and my podcasts and I am grateful to all who had a hand in it.
So, men, women, other, find ‘Into the Forest’ and get some new feels on. Our evolution requires it. And if the Apocalypse happens, I hope we get to start over this way.