Kate Plays Christine leaves us with what seems like an unanswerable question: how can you play this woman authentically and bring her story to life when in doing so your effort is proving exactly what you're trying to avoid. I don't think this is an easy thing to maneuver, but Greene's meta as hell film will stick with me just because it is so unsatisfying.
The thin line between reality and fiction gets blurred as Kate falls deeper into Christine's backstory. The methodical work for an actor to get in character is (almost) always interesting and a good premise for a documentary, but unfortunatley in this case I found myself attempting to suicide before Kate Lyn Sheil.
Kate can't play Christine, but her meanderings and musings seem natural. She's just not believable as someone who can capture a complex and intense individual.This somehow came out more exploitative than the Campos film. They already have a compelling subject, yet it still managed to fall short. That wig and faux tan was quite costumey and distracting too. That ending felt so forced.
A worthy specimen in the hybrid documentary genre. I must admit though that there were times where I got frustrated and distracted by the device and simply wanted a more raw and less contrived approach to Kate's search into the soul of Christine. Despite that, its still an engaging look at depression, media, and questioning the degrees of accessible truth through reconstruction. Besides: "Its all bullshit anyway."
Rather meta but it's quite the thinkpiece on the tragic on-air suicide of Christine Chubbuck in 1974, which did not directly influence 'Network' but coincidental parallels remain. Other than society's morbid 'snuff' real-life violence curiosity, the most haunting element of her story is 'the uncanny' - a blur between reality and fiction, an act which obliterated boundaries between TV and audience...
The risk of a film clarifying itself at the end is we spend a lot of time in the cold. This is an intentionally uncomfortable experience, asking viewers to reconcile notions of performance and exploitation via the conflicting intent of director and star. That it ultimately rejects our desire for unseen artifice didn't quite justify its occupation with Christine's suicide to me, but hey I'm the fuck who went to see it
Another of these docdrama meta experiments, "Kate" shows an actress training to play a newswoman that shot herself live in '74. The twist is that this actress may have her own dramatic agenda on camera,or may be affected by her role,but that is largely uninteresting. What bites is diving into the story of Christine, a deeply depressed woman that history forgot, despite her final effort for notoriety. |||IndieLisboa16
So the problem starts in the idea that this is a documentary, but of what? Of woman who commited suicide on TV or of an actress that cannot get into the skin of her, it's just so messy and all over the place that is very hard to believe it is not written, prepared and the actress used in that to get to this effect which for instance comparing to Rowlands in Opening Night is infinitely small. Very hard to understand.
Uses the building process of a performance as means to explore the limits of documentary cinema, as well as the amorality inherent in exploiting a real tragedy in name of artistic merit. Can a film really capture the complexities of a human being? Can an actor? Its most daring mechanism is, curiously, the admittance of defeat when faced with the tapestry of challenges and questions it confronts itself with.
Even now awarded at Indie Lisboa and with a previous success via Sundance, the usual smart doc-not-doc movie for épater le bourgeois. Using the most basic meta-fiction, or according to Variety, "docmaker fixated on the malleable line between reality and performance", works the concepts in such primary and expository way and form that reveals itself unproductive and ridiculous. A relative of "Interior. Leather Bar."