Kyle Cubr reviews “Christine” before its upcoming Music Box run for Cine-File

subtext-eye

Voyeurism, be it via film or television or the news, has always included a sense of morbid curiosity. In Anthony Campos’ CHRISTINE, Sarasota reporter Christine Chubbuck (Rebecca Hall) is coming to terms with her disappointing life. She lives with her mother after suffering a mental breakdown, is still a virgin, feels stymied in her career and is lonely. By now the real-life story of Chubbuck’s on-air suicide is well known, but Campos seeks to unearth the reasons why. What ensues is a psychological blueprint of a person who is very misunderstood, much in the way QUEEN OF EARTH is for Elizabeth Moss’ character. Mental health is touched on several times throughout the film, not only foreshadowing the morbid finale but also offering hope to those facing depression in their own lives. Christine’s final pleas, ”In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in ‘blood and guts’, and in living color, you are going to see another first—attempted suicide” speaks not only on her own situation but also humanity’s compulsion for the macabre. CHRISTINE offers insights into the cutthroat nature of broadcast television and does not shy away from the dirty politics often required to achieve success. In the end, the film is a cautionary tale and one that will hopefully shed some light for those in similarly frustrating situations.

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