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WisFilmFest2007: Russell on "Red Road"

Post by Jesse Russell on 4/15/2007 12:10pm

redroad041407.jpgUnless one of the four films I'm slated to see today blows me away, Red Road will end the festival as my favorite film of the weekend. I'm almost tempted to scrap my 7:30 p.m. and catch it again today at 7:15 at the Stage Door - but that would be wasteful and from what I hear The Boss of It All may be the film to unseat Red Road.

The United Kingdom leads the world when it comes to monitoring citizens via Closed Circuit Tele Vision cameras. Red Road focuses on Jackie (Kate Dickie), a CCTV operator in Glasgow, and we are offered a glimpse into her daily routine monitoring the goings-on of the citizenry. We see her eye-in-the-sky relationship with various "characters" who pass by her lense everyday - a cold and distant one-way relationship.

Soon her camera falls on a figure from Jackie's past, Clyde (Tony Curran). We quickly learn that Clyde played a role in a tragedy in Jackie's past as she becomes obsessed with tracking him first via the camera and then eventually by foot. As the film progresses we are presented with just enough information to make false conclusions about their past relationship. She obviously knows Clyde, but Clyde doesn't know who she is when they eventually meet face-to-face at a party.

Director Andrea Arnold excels in creating an atmosphere of internal conflict with filmgoers through the cold lens of a distant camera, awkward tense social interaction, raw angst through the lead character, and off-putting but intense sexuality.

Not to be missed.

Jesse Russell


Jesse was born and raised in Connecticut, began blogging in 1997, and moved to Madison in 2003. In 2005, he co-founded dane101 along with Kristian Knutson and Shane Wealti. In addition to helping nearly a dozen contributors run this website he's helped launch various events in the city including What's Your Damage?!, the MadPubQuiz of Awesomeness, the Fire Ball Masquerade, Dane101's Freakin' Halloweekend, and more.

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