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Izzy Olive and her band combine Rock and Folk music in songs that explore identity, race, gender, and domestic violence. Half Gringa has been been releasing songs since 2014. Tracks from the band's new album Gruñona are available in rotation and by request on CHIRP Radio.
Welcome to The Fourth Wall, CHIRP's weekly e-conversation on cinema. This week's subject is the independent film Lady MacBeth.
This edition is written by CHIRP Radio volunteers Kevin Fullam and Clarence Ewing.
Kevin, from the moment I finished watching Lady MacBeth until now I’ve been thinking deep thoughts. This movie is not my favorite – in fact it might be my least favorite film of the last five years or so. But it did get me thinking that, if I didn’t like this movie (and I definitely didn’t), then why I do like other stories like it?
In this movie, Florence Pugh plays Katherine, a young sociopath who lives on a huge country estate with her husband Alexander and father-in-law, each man not so much a character as a walking list of unpleasant tics. Katherine’s not getting enough affection from her husband, so she takes up with a stable hand (Cosmo Jarvis). When the intrigue of the situation escalates, she starts killing people, much to the chagrin of her black maid and only constant companion Anna (Naomi Ackie).
That’s pretty much the plot of the movie. It features several basic production shortcomings, starting with the lack of a simple time and place title card to let the audience know when and where this story is taking place. Director William Oldroyd and cinematographer Ari Wegner chose to compose the movies using a series of long, quiet, still frames which only result in several unearned jump scares and the movie itself feeling a lot longer than its 90-minute run time. If you’re going to use a technique perfected by Kubrick in Barry Lyndon, you better have more to offer than dead silence and empty rooms.
Also, the overall plot hinges on the resurrection of a particularly ugly film stereotype of the mute black servant whose main role is to be scared of their white master. This isn’t so much an unpleasant “misunderstanding” as a case of a bad filmmaking decision.
There are a lot of unanswered questions about Katherine, but very little is left to the imagination about what she is. She is a victim of abuse, but she’s also anti-social, reckless, and not so much “fierce” as “vicious” in how she deals with her problems and other people. Audience members walking into the theater thinking they’re going to be watching a feminist revisionist fantasy about Victorian-era womanhood will probably change their minds once a child becomes involved with the main character’s wrath.
When was the last time you lived the lavish hotel lifestyle? Now's your chance for the next 3:07 anyway...
Feast your eyes on this fresh new video from local Chicago group So Pretty for their song “Comfort Service” out now on their latest release Suck It Up from Bernice Records &Tapes. Suck It Up wears many musical genre hats over the course of the record, and "Comfort Service" sounds like a long lost B-52s B side you didn't know you were missing.
So Pretty gives a 5 star performance at their 5 star hotel make shift set. You might just get your bell rung in the pit when the kids start moshing to this one.