Given the current recommendation to stay home and practice social distancing, we at the Chicago International Film Festival are looking at past selections from each year of the Festival that you can stream now from home. Stream our past selections as we look forward to the 56th Chicago International Film Festival this October 14-25, 2020. Find the full 56 Films for 56 Years selections here.
With today’s #56Films entry, Morvern Callar, UK director Lynne Ramsay solidified her reputation as one of the emerging stars of 21st Century auteur cinema.
Director: Lynne Ramsay
38th Chicago International Film Festival
With her utterly cool and mystifying second feature, Scottish director Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin) solidified her reputation as one of the emerging stars of a 21st Century female-driven auteur cinema from the UK (along with Andrea Arnold, Joanna Hogg, and Clio Bernard). From the 38th Chicago International Film Festival, the film takes us on a head-trip with its titular character whose name few can pronounce. And like the film itself, Morvern (played by a terrifically open-faced Samantha Morton) is a bit vague. But when she buries her recently suicided boyfriend and steals the manuscript for his unpublished novel and sells it as her own, you can’t help but want to join her on this sumptuously photographed journey into the cold heart and “candy-colored anomie”—as described by critic J. Hoberman—of Generation X. For viewers of a certain age (like this one), the soundtrack—a mix of moody electronica (Aphex Twin and Stereolab) and ironic throwbacks (Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra’s “Some Velvet Morning;” The Velvet Underground’s “I’m Sticking with You”)—was a must-have at the time of the film’s release and a way to continually relive the film’s alluring and languorous reveries. — Anthony Kaufman, Senior Programmer