AGORA
: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.


CRITICAL WOMEN HEADLINES

1/3/09

Surviving Revolutionary Road



Revolutionary Road

Directed by Sam Mendes

Synopsis: Based on the celebrated 1961 Richard Yates novel, director Sam Mendes' "Revolutionary Road" is the story of a young couple (Oscar� nominees Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet) trying to find fulfillment in an age of conformity. Trapped in a world of encoded convention, they dream without faith, as lies and self-deceptions build to explosive consequences. (RT)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Michael Shannon, Kathryn Hahn, David Harbour, Kathy Bates


Richard Yates, the author of the book upon which this film is based never earned his rightful place in American literation while alive. But now that he is no longer here, Sam Mendes has made a film out of this masterpiece novel and Richard Yates will live on in the minds and hearts of those who take the time to see this extraordinary film.

Revolutionary Road a trip from the American Revolutionary War to the banality of the suburban life that stiffles and destroys humanity. The film remains thankfully and skillfully true to the book. The dialogue, every item captured on camera, the customs, the pictures on the walls, the furniture and that kitchen, unmistakably 1950"s, capture the feel of the 50's where fear pervailed; where people lived under the cloak of repressive McCarthism the likes of which people in this counry never experienced and never thought they would when they died for liberation from the English Monarchy.

Revolutionary Road presents the life of the fifties housewife in brazen detail, the banality, the loneliness, the space between the houses endless without benefit of the "desperate housewives" peering behind freshly laundered curtains. There were no women leaning on rolled up towels peering into city streets from their windowsills. In the suburbs there was the too big house and the for-show-only front lawn where drama erupted and backyard parties where everything not allowed flourished.

Revolutionary Road does not focus on the children or the mandatory 'dinner table' of this era. It magnifies the life of the adults, the women who stay home and the men who go to work, to business. The crowd rushing into and out of train stations the pre-Kennedy hat, the heavily liquored lunches, and the rise into corporate America with a nod to the hum drum grind of the easily forgotten twenty year man who kept the company afloat.

I lived in this era. I survived and that makes this film even more riveting. Remembering when, along with the other film goers who remember now, what we had conveniently forgotten.

The brilliant performances, the script, the music, the cinematography, culminate in the unrelenting brilliant fulfillment of the vision Richard Yates brought into our lives, the lives that made corporate America an industry, a family, a total way of life and love.

Bring back into consciousness what you have forgotten and reach out to those who never knew. See Revolutionary Road because...it is our history, the history of middle class America before women found their voice.

Linda Z
WBAI Women's Collective

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