This week, the clever and subtle comedy Captain Fantastic comes out, about a father who raises six beloved children away from civilization, with Viggo Mortensen as the wise patriarch. At the request of Life around, Alisa Taiga understands what an independent American film consists of, which everyone who remembers himself as a child should go to.
Producer: Matt Ross
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, George McKay, Annalize Basso, Nicholas Hamilton, Samantha Isler
Fathers and Sons
The problem of a “broken” (or “dysfunctional” from the English dysfunctional) family is one of the central issues in modern American drama, whether it takes a comedic twist (“Little Miss Happiness” or “The Tenenbaum Family”) or turns into a deep and irreparable drama (“Margot on wedding "or" Virgin Suicides "). “Captain Fantastic” works on two fronts: it has several strong tragic moments and dozens of funny little things like celebrating Noam Chomsky’s birthday instead of traditional Christmas or collective deer hunting.
Fathers and children in American comedy are not always a generational conflict (inert elders versus young rebels), but a balancing act between values, which most often become a source of contradictions, and a combination of a dozen different characters - from a powerful aunt to a grandfather who has not regained consciousness for a long time . It’s impossible to please everyone, it’s more and more difficult to speak with your voice. This is about some of the great recent family dramas of recent times, including Rachel Marrying with Anne Hathaway and Nebraska by Alexander Payne.
The utopia in which the children of the protagonist Ben Cash live (an absurd name, given that he does not possess any wealth), is a world without gadgets, information noise, credit policy and sugar diet: in general, all the harmful things that documentaries are talking about healthy lifestyle of body and spirit. All six children study at home, discussing The Brothers Karamazov and Lolita, playing in the folk group on different instruments and understanding the leaves better than the logos of world brands. The father makes sure that his wards from early childhood know what is really important: family, inner core, kindness, broad horizons and love for nature.
One of the most insightful films about escaping into the wilderness away from family and environment pressure is In the Wild with Emil Hirsch starring in real life events. Another independent film worth seeing is a detective story about ecoterrorists who live underground in a forest and develop a blackmail plan for environmental pests - the exciting East Grouping starring Brit Marling.
Viggo Mortensen has been in films since the mid-80s, but two events really restarted his career: participation in the Lord of the Rings trilogy by Peter Jackson and his acquaintance with David Cronenberg, who starred him as a former killer, fake Russian mafiosi and Sigmund Freud . From the extensive filmography of Mortensen, in which there are roles in second-rate detectives, and the main role in John Hillcoat's "On the Road" by Cormac McCarthy, it is worth paying attention to two unobvious tapes.
In “Runaway Indian” he plays a Vietnam veteran with a criminal past who is struggling with his brother’s orders, and in the thriller “Reflective Skin” he becomes one of the inhabitants of an abandoned town where really terrible things happen. Both films come from the early 90s, and they are worth the time.
Dramedy is another name for the genre of comedy drama, or tragicomedy. It is the imperceptible transition of a funny story into a sad channel that characterizes our favorite films of all time - from Graduate and Jerry Maguire to Broken Flowers and Serious Man. Independent drama like Captain Fantastic deserve special attention. One of the most popular paintings in this genre last year is “Me, Earl and the Dying Girl” about a young guy who, out of compassion, was forced to make friends with a pretty classmate with a fatal diagnosis.
Highrow vs Lowrow
The educational approach of the father of the family in Captain Fantastic is built around oppositions: children are aware of the achievements of quantum physics, but remain shocked after passing a computer game. For them, there’s a high culture with Moby Dick and the theory of relativity (highbrow), and there are comic book superheroes (lowbrow) that you’d better not get involved with if you don’t want to stupid once and for all. Children will question parental escapism when they see how their peers live and what the culture of consumption of the middle class is like.
Recent studies prove that the father of the family is not quite right, dividing cultures into high and low, and also does not take into account that communication with peers is necessary, including then, in order not to make an offer on the first date.
For a very sad reason, the family of Captain Fantastic sets off on a journey across America: a bus named Steve will take them to relatives and long-left acquaintances. The genre of road movies - a movie on the road - has flourished in the United States, as the local culture does not imply the development of public transport, and a 16-year-old child is most often given the old parent car after a compulsory school examination for rights. You can drive to the United States before drinking alcohol and getting married, and it is not surprising that it is the nation of motorists, for whom the car is not just a means of transportation, but a real mobile home, we owe the best films in the genre of travel movies.
If the eternal classics in the spirit of Bonnie and Clyde, Wasteland, Disappearing Point and My Personal Idaho State are overlooked to impossible, turn on the wonderful road movies of the early 70's - Five Easy Pieces with Jack Nicholson or Monte Hellman lane with countercultural Kerouac spirit.
Cameraman Stefan Fontaine
Stefan Fontaine, who is responsible for the excellent visuals in Captain Fantastic, is primarily known for his camera work in the Odiarovsky Prophet (remember the scene with the deer knocked down), his Rust and Bones, and the last film by Paul Verhoeven with Isabelle Huppert. Of Fontaine's other works, the win-win “My heart stopped beating” about the pianist-gangster and the gloomy “New Life” of the wonderful Frenchman Philippe Granriere.
In the middle of Captain Fantastic, it is obvious what the father of the family is really fighting for: his main enemy is global capitalism with a cult of quick and unnecessary acquisitions, infantile children wrapped in parents' loans, mortgages that take away the best years of life in dull work, and dull the norm of middle class standards. The romanticized dreaddy of Matt Ross only slightly indicates the contradictions of the 21st century that each of us will sooner or later face. The most popular and massive American documentary filmmaker Michael Moore reflected them most convexly and deafeningly in one of his documentaries. “Capitalism: A Love Story” is formally a story about what is behind the devastating crisis of 2008, but in reality it is an attempt to understand what is wrong with the modern economy, in which there is less and less space for an ordinary person.