For the second time in three weeks a film will open in San Diego that looks at the troubling story of Christine Chubbuck, a 29-year-old Sarasota newscaster who committed suicide on-air in 1974. While both films approach this case from different angles, they inform each other in fascinating ways.
Robert Greene's doc/fiction hybrid Kate Plays Christine calls attention to the fallacies of historical remembrance while actor Kate Lyn Sheil relentlessly tries to uncover Chubbuck's true "persona." As her pursuit comes up short every frame becomes haunted by a prevailing sense of absence and regret.
Antonio Campos' Christine initially seems like a more traditional biopic, yet it has equally idiosyncratic tendencies. Rebecca Hall plays Chubbuck as an infinitely determined and tortured young woman who resolutely believes in the powerful human interest of news. This stands at odds with her station manager's (Tracy Letts) penchant for fender-bender reporting.
Other frustrations abound for Chubbuck. She desires a suave co-worker (Michael C. Hall) but any advances get misinterpreted as a call for help. Nightly arguments with mother Peg (J. Smith-Cameron) plunge her even deeper down the hole of depression.
Hall's brilliantly detailed performance reveals a woman being torn apart by repression and disappointment, as if her intestines had been replaced by barbed wire. Instead of trying to answer many of the intangible questions Shiel grapples with in Kate Plays Christine, Hall only deepens their ambiguity by denying the chance for a therapeutic confession.
Campos has long been interested in the tense relationship between destructive loners and social environments (e.g. After School and Simon Killer). Christine, opening on Friday, Nov. 4, at Angelika Carmel Mountain Cinemas, further suggests that life might not be so antagonistic if only an artistic outlet could be developed. But what's the point if no one's listening?
Christine: Antonio Campos’ biopic tells the story of newscaster Christine Chubbuck, who committed suicide on-air in 1974. Opening Friday, Nov. 4, at Angelika Carmel Mountain Cinemas.
Dr. Strange: In the latest Marvel Studios saga a neurosurgeon (Benedict Cumberbatch) embarks on a journey of healing only to get drawn into the world of mystical arts.
Gimme Danger: Jim Jarmusch’s documentary provides an in-depth look at The Stooges. Opens Friday, Nov. 4, at Ken Cinema.
Hacksaw Ridge: Army Medic Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield) becomes the first Conscientious Objector in America history while serving at the Battle of Okinawa in WWII. Directed by Mel Gibson.
King Cobra: James Franco and Alicia Silverstone star in this ripped-from-the-headlines story about a gay porn star that has a falling out with the producer who made him famous. Opens Friday, Nov. 4, and screens through Thursday, Nov. 10, at Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Moonlight: Barry Jenkins directs this sublime drama about a young black man grappling with questions of identity and race while growing up in a rough neighborhood outside of Miami.
17th annual San Diego Asian Film Festival: The veteran film festival will screen more than 140 films from countries from all around the world highlighting Asian and Asian American perspectives. Screens from Thursday, Nov. 3, to Saturday, Nov. 12, at various venues around San Diego country. For more information visit festival.sdaff.org.
Trolls: Featuring the voices of Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick and Zooey Deschanel, this animated adventure follows a pair of trolls who must save their friends from the clutches of a cannibalistic nemesis.
One Time Only
The Godfather: Francis Ford Coppola’s decades-spanning classic gangster film follows the infamous Corleone family led by Marlon Brando’s Don Vito. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Star Trek Beyond: Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) leads the USS Starship Enterprise on another mission to the farthest reaches of the galaxy where they encounter a dangerous new enemy. Screens at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 5, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
A Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy Krueger stalks the dreams of some unsuspecting suburban teens in Wes Craven’s original slasher movie. Screens at 11:55 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, and 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, at Ken Cinema.
The Vow: Channing Tatum plays a devoted young husband who tries again and again to win the heart of his injured wife (Rachel McAdams) who suffers from memory loss. Screens at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, at Oceana Coastal Kitchen in San Diego.
There’s Something About Mary: Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz star in the Farrelly brothers’ comedy that made hair gel famous. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.