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

5/9/09

Downloading Nancy : Self mutilation and more



Johan Renck: Director

Writer: Pamela Cuming, Lee Ross
Cast: Maria Bello, Jason Patric, Rufus Sewel, Amy Brenneman

This film is not for everyone. In all probability it will not make huge profit at the box office. However, it explores a subject of real dimension that promises to grow in proportion as the Internet continues to dominate our lives, our ability and means of interacting with one another.

This is a story told with exceptional acting and palatable insidious pain as the viewer is forced to see another way towards liberation from inner tormoil.
Nancy addresses her pyschological pain by inflicting physical pain of increasing intensity upon her body. She deems a sharp razor a requisite item to be thrown into her pocket book cosmetic bag when she leaves the house.

With grueling precision Downloading Nancy depicts Nancy's progress towards liberation in the execution of a plan established on the Internet with a man committed administering her pain and ultimate demise; this time without use of the computer. In the process they go beyond their 'plan' into the realm of 'normal' human interaction that we are all familiar with.

There is a pivotal moment captured in the image of the 'man in the bath tub'.

During the course of my viewing experience I have seen (as you probably have) well over one hundred scenes of an adult in a bathtub with or without benefit of bubble bath. But Christopher Doyle offers an aerial view of the man, the bathtub, the surrounding ceramic that takes the banal and elevates this familiar image into breathtaking visual moment.

For me this visual transformation captures the essence of the film: there is nothing shown that we do not know but to know this human process in search of easement of psychological pain through the eyes of Downloading Nancy's creators is an entirely new and awesome experience.

Downloading Nancy might be a first brutally honest film on self mutilation but I am confident it won't be the last.

Release Date: June 5, 2009 (Limited)

LindaZ
WBAI Women's Collective

2 comments:

  1. Downloading Nancy does an impressive job of handling a disturbing subject without being explicit or gratuitous. I am still processing the emotional impact.

    If you enjoy the rich "art house" experience of a truly challenging film, check out one of the upcoming screenings:

    Starting June 5 -
    New York, NY - CTY Angelika Film Center
    Los Angeles, CA - Laemelle Theatres: Sunset 5, Playhouse 7, Town Center 5, Monica 4-Plex

    June 19 -
    Palm Desert, CA - Cinemas Palme D'Or

    July 3 -
    San Francisco, CA - Presidio Theatre
    San Diego, CA - Gaslamp 15
    Berkeley, CA - Rialto Cinemas Elmwood

    July 10 -
    Dallas, TX - Angelika Dallas
    Houston, TX - Angelika Houston

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  2. I saw it, and highly recommend it. Not for the faint of heart, or anyone looking for a "feel good" experience. But this film has substance - something that is lacking in most of what is put out these days. And Bettina was right. All the violence happened in a way that we didn't see it directly. Nothing gorey.

    This movie really made me think. Am I being present enough to my own wife? Do I take her attempts to connect with me seriously enough? It makes me want to be a better person.

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