search

Christine

Christine

Hollywood has never seemed to know quite what to do with Rebecca Hall. The stunning British actor came to the industry’s attention with a scene-stealing turn in Christopher Nolan’s magician thriller The Prestige, shortly followed by a juicy role in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona. But since her arrival, Hall has largely languished with supporting roles in films that in no way prepare you for the breadth she displays in director Antonio Campos’s tragic character study, Christine.

Hall completely immerses herself in the role of Christine Chubbuck in Campos’s stark retelling of the story that led to the television news reporter’s suicide live on air, aged 29, in 1974. It’s one of two films on the subject at Sundance this year – the other is the documentary Kate Plays Christine.

First seen on the set of WZRB’s station in Sarasota, Florida, analysing footage of herself in closeup, from the outset Campos depicts Chubbuck as an extreme perfectionist with a relentless drive to succeed in the male-dominated business. As portrayed by Hall, it’s also made immediately apparent that Chubbuck lacks the requisite on-camera appeal that her job calls for: interviewing subjects, she comes across as sedate and cold. When commissioned to interview a local fruit-seller for a light news segment, she can’t even feign a genuine smile for her audience.

Craig Shilowich’s script suggests that Chubbuck’s frosty on-air disposition stemmed from her inability to connect with people. Her only close ally is Peg, her mother (J Smith-Cameron), with whom she shares a small apartment. And although she harbors a crush on her handsome co-anchor, George Ryan (Michael C Hall), Chubbuck rejects his advances, scared to confront the feelings he stirs up.

Despite her ambition at work, Chubbuck at first rejects a mandate delivered by her station manager (Tracey Letts) to deliver more exploitative “crisis” stories, priding herself on her serious brand of issue-driven journalism. Seeking a promotion, she eventually relents, but struggles to deliver what her boss wants.

Chubbuck, at her wits’ end, begins to crack. Picking up on her daughter’s impending meltdown, Peg alludes to a bad episode in Boston that caused Chubbuck to relocate, worried that history will repeat itself.

To her colleagues, Chubbuck is impenetrable (“You’re not always the most approachable person,” she’s told by Ryan), but Campos invites empathy in his portrait of a woman on the verge. His last film, Simon Killer, saw Campos take the opposite approach, by probing the darkest recesses of a troubled mind in a detached manner that was discomfiting.

In Hall, he has the perfect actor to convey Chubbuck’s internal struggle in a manner that’s devastating.

— Nigel M Smith, The Guardian

Christine

Wed February 1, 2017, 7:30 PM, Muenzinger Auditorium

UK, 2016, in English, Color, 119 min, Rated R for a scene of disturbing violence and for language including some sexual references • official site

Director: Antonio Campos, Writer: Craig Shilowich, Cast: Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Maria Dizzia, Tracy Letts, J. Smith-Cameron

recommend

Tickets

10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.

Parking

Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.

RTD Bus

Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

Virtual titles to stream from home

Cox & Kjølseth
: Filmmaker Alex Cox & Pablo Kjølseth discuss film topics from their own unique perspectives.

Z-briefs
: Pablo and Ana share Zoom-based briefs on what's currently playing at IFS

Sprocket Damage
: Sprocket Damage digs deep(ish) into current and classic films and film-related subjects to bring to you insightful, humorous, and enlightening perspectives on the industry.

Search IFS schedules

Index of visiting artists

Wed Oct 20, 2021

Drunken Angel

At Muenzinger Auditorium

Fri Oct 22, 2021

Dodes'kaden

At Muenzinger Auditorium

more on 35mm...