Monday, October 31, 2016

The Dressmaker

I still find it curious that Salmon Arm offers some unusual film advantages. A town so small by comparison to its cultural offerings. One of them was started by Don Hughes who loved the ballet and the opera. He single-handedly got those events in motion. So both series are shown here, just as they are in Calgary.

Kate Winslet
A glamorous woman returns to her small town
in rural Australia.
With her sewing machine and haute couture style,
she transforms the women and
exacts sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.
The other curious offering is a set of 10 films brought in by the Shuswap Film Society, films picked up from the Toronto International Film Festival.

Last night Bonnie and I ran out of the door of our house to catch the early showing at 5 pm.

When we got there the ticket seller said that it was sold out, and that the film had started as well.

“Only a few seats left at the front and it would be too dark to find them.”

Bonnie knew she couldn’t stay awake if we hit the 7:30 pm showing so we paid our money and Bonnie proceeded down the isle before me, gingerly one step in front of the other in the dark, finally pointing to an obvious isle seat for me.  I was surprised! A good isle seat.

She proceeded down the isle and found another good isle seat!

It was only a few frames into the show that I could see that the head of the man in front of me loomed on the screen, filling the middle third of it. I had to lean into space of the woman to the left of me, or in the other direction, far into the isle, to get any sense of the full imagers on the screen. I happily did this knowing the only other choice was to go home.  Bonnie was doing the same neck-craning act.

Before we left for the movie, Bonnie had gone to You Tube to see a small promo demo of the film. What stayed with me was the introductory text which said that the The Dressmaker is essentially Unforgiven with a sewing machine. Hard to find a sentence more intriguing than that one.

This is an Australian film. On our drive home, Bonnie wanted to know what genre I thought the film was. I was nailing it as Post Modern, a genre I don’t understand, as evidenced by how little I get out of Moulin Rouge (2001) and of how much Rebecca loves it. Of course, Moulin Rouge (2001) references the pop culture of her generation. For some reason, I was able to “get” this film – the references to the movie, South Pacific, the satire on the stereotypes of people growing old, the dry arid landscape, the mentally unstable mother, even the dressmaking (Tilly with a pin cushion on her wrist creating costumes for people of who they wished to be seen as, instead of who they are).

The Dressmaker, a wonderful movie, if anyone gets a chance to see it and would like to view Unforgiven rewritten with a Singer sewing machine instead of featuring a gun.


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