“In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts, and in living colour…”
When News Reporter, Christine Chubbuck, committed suicide live on air, it shocked the world. It is significant that the reporter suffered from severe depression throughout her career. When she decides to change the opening of the show one evening, the news team do not question her motives, having witnessed her in such an upbeat mood. It was only soon after that she pulled the trigger.
Not to be mistaken for the 1983 Stephen King film, Antonio Campos’s biopic, Christine, is eloquently executed, featuring a wounding lead performance from Rebecca Hall. The film is set in the 1970’s, and the atmosphere of the time period is weaved into the film’s aesthetic. A slow pace aids to the audience’s level of frustration as the film progresses, and Christine reaches a downward spiral. Campo keeps the mood somber, the lighting dull; the pace slow. But he has such a way with direction that, for all your dread, you remain captivated throughout.
As for Hall, her performance is so cleverly calibrated, setting out to shatter our emotions. Only seconds into seeing her character, we are immersed in her pain, and soon get to grips with her piercing personality traits, and awkwardness. Her character notably holds similarities to Gyllenhaal’s Lou Bloom in Nightcrawler. Don’t expect to exit jumping with joy after this screening. It is guaranteed to make you feel very uncomfortable, but nonetheless fascinated. Not everybody will be able to sit through Christine, for it may be too much.
Deeply devastating, Christine draws a thrilling illustration of Chubbuck’s mentality, making for a critical character study. Campos’s cold film reminds us that although a person may appear strong on the outside, it’s not always how it may seem. A dark and haunting tale, accurately and compellingly told.