We already know the story: in 1974, Christine Chubbuck, an aspiring TV newscaster in Sarasota, Florida, took her life while on the air. The explanation given was that she was suffering from depression. Antonio Campos’ film takes a dark look at what made an idealistic journalist end her life in such an extreme and public way. It’s a narrative that, at least on the surface, speaks to the ambitions of professional women as well as the skewed priorities of broadcast news, to the point of touching on how, for some, media has come to serve as a means of existential affirmation. (Allegedly, Paddy Chayefsky’s classic script for Network was inspired by this incident.) In addition, at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge on November 4, there will be the area premiere of Robert Greene’s Kate Plays Christine, which comes up with an interesting twist on the story. The film follows actress Kate Lyn Sheil as she prepares to play the role of Christine Chubbuck. She slowly becomes obsessed with the part.
Campos’ film, from a script by Craig Shilowich, is less interested in serving up a moral lesson or providing sociological analysis than generating sympathy. Like Afterschool (2008) and Simon Killer(2012) e. Christine’s hapless efforts to be assigned meaningful, socially . . . READ MORE !!