Celluloid Screams Presents: The Woman (18)

You may have heard about THAT film at Sundance Festival?  The one where a rambling man interrupted the Q&A, and said the film should be burned and never shown again?  The one that produced an early review which simply said “Go Fuck Yourself”?  No?  Well that film is Lucky McKee’s The Woman, screening at The Showroom later this month.

Here’s what the rambling man thought:

Some background.  It’s based on a book by famous horror writer Jack Ketchum, who has had several books adapted for film including The Girl Next Door (not that one!) and Red.  His books tend to centre around the brutal, and The Woman does not buck the trend.  A quick synopsis:

“When a successful country lawyer captures and attempts to “civilize” the last remaining member of a violent clan that has roamed the Northeast coast for decades, he puts the lives of his family in jeopardy. ” – IMDB

The Woman is a film which seems to have polarised opinion.  There has been a knee-jerk reaction to the violence against women in the film.  It’s odd really, most countries do not shy away from this in their film making.  Domestic violence is a sad fact of life all over the world, but in Hollywood really bad men can go around shooting whoever they like but hit a woman?! That’s just wrong, but at the same time,  dreadful torture-porn of the like of Hostel and Vacancy are accepted in the mainstream.  Its an odd juxtaposition.  I remember a similar outcry when The Killer Inside Me came out.  Whilst admittedly hard to watch at times, I thought it was a fantastic piece of film-making, which never stooped to glamorised violence.

After reading some level-headed reviews, it would seem as though McKee has taken an “All American Family” and  is highlighting the misogyny and domestic violence that often takes place behind closed doors. The instrument of the woman is a device to make you question who exactly is civilised,tackling issues which are seldom discussed in film (or indeed in public).

I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve seen the The Woman.  There’s a huge difference between glamorising violence against women and documenting it.  In an era where few film-makers are prepared to take chances, this is clearly a bold move.  It remains to be seen whether he manages to pull it off or not.  In a world full of shallow, shiny movies made for the TV generation, its refreshing to see people making films that tax an audience on many levels.

Showing on Friday 30th September at The Showroom Cinema

www.showroomworkstation.org.uk/thewoman