Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pull the Trigger

I love movies because, unlike most TV, they are an experience shared at the same time in the same room with a bunch of strangers. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love TV, too. And thanks to the globe-shrinking powers of the internet, watching TV has become one of our greatest communal experiences. But there’s just something about stories told in the dark that always makes my pulse quicken. I am also a person who enjoys watching the trailers. In fact, if you come late and make me miss the trailers I will hog the popcorn in revenge.

Now, once again, the series of tubes has made trailer watching a different experience than it once was. It’s rare that I see a trailer for the first time in the theater anymore, rarer still that I haven’t heard of the movie altogether. But that’s just what happened when I got an email recommending “Trigger” last week. [Big, swooping hat tip to Babs!]

“Trigger” is the kind of movie trailer that makes me want to run out and see the movie immediately. It makes me excited about movies. It makes me want to share it with strangers. So, I will.

I know, right? A movie about two women rockers and their friendship and possibly more? Ticket – I want one. Now.

So, as I do with anything that excites me, I try to find out more. A little digging and the story of “Trigger” unfolded, and, once again, only made me want to watch it more.

Indie film regulars will recognize its stars: Canadian actresses Molly Parker and Tracy Wright. You might know Molly from “Deadwood,” “Six Feet Under” or the intense and disturbing “The Center of the World” (where she shares quite a kiss with Carla Gugino). You might remember Tracy from “When Night is Falling” (as the circus director’s wife, and the circus director was also her long-time, real-life husband Don McKellar) or “Me You and Everyone You Know.”

And now, well, there’s no way to sugar-coat this, so I’ll just say it straight. This next part is sad part. Tracy died in June of this year from pancreatic cancer. “Trigger” was her final film, made in only nine days as everyone rushed to work with her before she became too ill. I know, tinges the excitement with melancholy and weight.

>So now, not only do I want a ticket but I want the movie to be special. And, from the glowing review in Cinematical, it really is. Reviewer Monika Bartyzel calls it perhaps the best example of female friendship put on the screen: “Quite simply, Trigger is to female friendship what Before Sunrise/Before Sunset was for romance.”

Some wonder what it takes to make a realistic woman for the big screen. Can a man write a well-formed female character? If they do, is it just a result of collaborations with a woman in their life? To me, the success of a female character depends not on the person writing it – Daniel MacIvor wrote the film – but on the humanity put into it, and how a female actress can then infuse that with their own gendered experience. In Trigger, these women are about as real as they come.

It also probably must be noted that the male reviewer for The Hollywood Reporter was considerably, condescendingly less impressed with the film saying that nothing said between the women in the film’s conversation-heavy dialogue makes it “the least bit compelling.” I guess two chicks just chatting to each other doesn’t do it for him. He also bums us out even more by revealing that “There’s also a hint-- more a perfumey whiff really -- of homoeroticism in their relationship, but it vanishes quickly.” Sheesh, dude, even lesbians don’t get that bitter when the lesbianism fizzles out in movies.

Look, we all know movies about women and their relationships outside of those with men are a rare breed. Think back to the movies you saw this summer and count how many passed the Bechdel Rule. That is a movie with at least two women in it who talk to each other about something other than a man. How many did you get?

So, naturally, any movie that both satisfies that rule and brings together such tremendous talent and is about women in rock-and-roll is a no brainer in my book. Take my ticket. Dim the lights. I’m going to the movies.


Miz Moffatt said...

Might I also note that, not only is Daniel MacIvor a brilliant playwright/screen writer/actor, he's also an out and proud gay man. I was thrilled to see a female-fronted piece by MacIvor and, heck, even if it's fleeting lesbian undertones, I will still gladly watch! Thanks for sharing the trailer, Ms. Snarker! :D

B Northcut said...

love that the only commenter on that Hollywood Reporter says to the reviewer, "I'm really glad I don't know you personally."

Anonymous said...

This sound FANTASTIC! I love Molly Parker (don't forget another canadian movie, Marion Bridge - with a strong female ensemble cast including a certain Ellen Page) and I knew I recognized Tracy and now I know why.
So when's it coming out? This feels a little bit like getting to the theater way too early and waiting and waiting and waiting for the lights to dim . . .

Anonymous said...

Wish I was at TIFF! I believe this movie was originally to be a sequel to Hard Core Logo. Thanks for all your Can-Con, Snarker!

Unknown said...

Music, Marion Bridge - I mean, Molly Parker... Count me in! Definitely wanna see this :)

Natalie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You might also know Molly Parker from Twitch City, which co-starred (and was written by) Don McKellar and Daniel McIvor - another example of Canadian acting awesomeness.

Holly said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for mentioning the Bechdel Rule! I've been intermittently trying to remember where that was from for well over a year now.

Crystal said...

1) I saw this film at TIFF. Tracy, well, gah. She carries the film. Watching it is really like watching a tribute to her. Without spoiling much, there's even a moment where her character ponders mortality, and knowing her circumstances, I was left feeling like "I am NOT STRONG ENOUGH for this!!"

2) There was a Q&A after the film and Don McKellar told a story about how Tracy, fighting to the last, told her oncologist to reschedule chemo because "I'm making a movie, dammit." Don teared up telling the story, and again, I'M NOT STRONG ENOUGH.

3) MacIvor was also there. He actually wrote the characters as two men, and said they became two women with very minimal dialogue changes. (And that they cast the two women because they were simply the two best people.)

;) babs said...

can't wait to see the movie.
very sad about tracy wright!

thanks for the hat tip

dc said...

Oh Mis Moffat, I was just about to say the same thing about Daniel MacIvor. He write superbly for women and if anyone hasn't seen it, try watching the award winning movie: Marion Bridge which has Molly Parker and a young Ellen Page in one of her first film roles.