VARIETY – In “Christine,” Rebecca Hall stars as journalist Christine Chubbuck, who committed suicide on live television. Hall and director Antonio Campos talked about Chubbuck’s life and portraying depression in the biographical film during the Variety and AARP Movies for Grownups Screening Series.
“It’s ironic. There’s a common misconception about depression, actually,” Hall said, explaining that many think “people with depression don’t laugh or don’t crack jokes or don’t do things that are energetic.”
“For me, the basis of my characterization was that she is active,” she went on. “She’s not passive. She’s actually desperately trying to survive.”
Last night both Rebecca and Christine director Antonio Campos attended a special screening and Q&A as part of Variety and AARP’s Movies for Grownups series. Usually there is video coverage from these events so hopefully we’ll be able to see that footage very soon. For now, enjoy the new photos.
Public Appearances > Appearances in 2016 > Variety and AARP Screening Series Presents ‘Christine’
THE INDEPENDENT – After Rebecca Hall finished shooting the final scene of Christine, her new film about the American newsreader Christine Chubbuck – who blew her brains out on live television in 1974 – she got into a car. The movie, a small, independent production financed with money Hall helped raise, couldn’t afford on-set trailers and, still caked in fake blood, Hall couldn’t shower till she got home. “I just remember really shaking for a long time as I washed the blood off,” she says. “Being rigged to a machine that pumps blood, and holding a gun and putting it to your head – it’s like your body doesn’t actually know it’s fake. Because, if I’m doing my job correctly, I’ve convinced my brain that it’s real. The adrenaline response is sort of nuts. You sit under the shower for a bit going ‘What the hell is going on?’”
She laughs as we sit eating salad in a cafe in Brooklyn Heights in New York, not far from where she lives. Hall doesn’t want to seem melodramatic, but there’s no doubting her commitment to Chubbuck’s story. “I want to champion this film more than I’ve ever wanted to champion anything,” she says. Tall, beautiful, with sad eyes and a Modigliani face, Hall has a manner that combines boldness with introspection – a mixture key to all her performances, particularly the rawness and fragility she displays in Christine, which is on in selected cinemas now.
Chubbuck’s death has become a gruesome internet meme – the holy grail of online snuff ghouls. But contrary to rumour, there are no videos of her broadcast on 15 July, 1974, when, a few weeks before her 30th birthday, she read a statement on air. “In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts, and in living color”, she said, “you are going to see another first: attempted suicide”. Then she pulled a revolver from below the desk, placed it behind her right ear and pulled the trigger. Why would she describe it as an ‘attempted’ suicide, I ask – was it a sign that she didn’t want it to succeed?
“I don’t know. I was curious about that too, ” says Hall. “I will never know. No one will. But my hunch is that she was just being a good journalist – because she might not have been successful.”Read More
The first official poster for Rebecca’s upcoming role in Christine has been released, and can now be found in the gallery.
Christine (Rebecca Hall) is an ambitious 29-year-old news reporter in Sarasota, Florida, circa 1974. Relentlessly motivated to succeed, she knows she has talent, but being a driven career woman in the 1970s comes with its own challenges, especially when competition for a promotion, unrequited love for a coworker, and a tumultuous home life lead to a dissolution of self.
With ratings in the cellar, WZRB’s station manager issues a mandate to deliver juicier and more exploitative stories, a style firmly at odds with Christine’s serious brand of issue-based journalism. To accomplish her goals, she must overcome her self-doubt and give the people what they want. Christine is a hypnotic and arresting portrayal of a woman at a crossroads.
THE PLAYLIST – It’s never explicitly stated that Hunter Miles is a member of the 27 Club, but that hasn’t stopped the folk musician (“folk” in terms of both his hero status and his particular brand of strummy rock) from getting grouped with other musicians who left this world too soon. The character at the heart of Sean Mewshaw’s “Tumbledown” is already dead and buried by the time the film opens — in fact, we visit his grave quite frequently, much like his many fans — but his specter looms over the entire feature, as does his cut-short legacy. A moody (maybe? or is that simply how a rocker of his ilk is perceived by the public?) singer/songwriter in the vein of Bon Iver and Elliott Smith, Hunter crafted exactly one solo album (one “perfect” album, as one character observes) before dying in an apparently freak hiking accident. He also left behind exactly one widow (Rebecca Hall) who, quite understandably, hasn’t quite gotten over losing her husband.
Hannah’s grief is already years old by the time we first meet her, but she remains steeped in it by trade: she’s trying to write Hunter’s biography. The process is trying, terrible, and not exactly fruitful, but Hannah is determined to get it done, both out of love and maybe a little bit of obligation. There’s one other problem, though, a big, bearded one, because someone else wants to write about Hunter, too, and he just might be better suited to the task.
As scholar/writer/professor Andrew McCabe, Jason Sudeikis subtly mutes his charm — he’s still occasionally smooth and genuinely engaging, but it’s all turned down a touch. What works best about Sudeikis’s work in “Tumbledown” is his easy spirit, his ability to calm a continually riled up Hannah, and to sell it with a smile. Hannah is initially wary of Andrew — fine, she’s totally terrified of him and massively rude at just about every turn — but despite those early misgivings, Andrew isn’t a creep, and when he tells Hannah, “I want to make your husband immortal,” you cannot help but believe him.
Sudeikis’ ascension to romantic leading man is just starting to ratchet up, thanks to turns in smaller features like both “Tumbledown” and the raunchy Sundance charmer “Sleeping With Other People,” but it’s pulling some solid, sensitive work out of the typically comedic actor, the kind of stuff that works necessary magic on big screen romances. Hall’s work here is less transcendent, but she shades Hannah and her copious emotions with skill, and even during Hannah’s worst moments — and, in between her lying, stealing, and occasionally dirty mouth, she’s got plenty — she emerges as a sympathetic and complex woman who refuses to conform to traditional expectations of either grief or womanhood.
Eventually, the pair decides to pen Hunter’s biography together, an endeavor that’s destined to dig up a whole mess of feelings and secrets, both old and new. The script, penned by Mewshaw and his own wife, Desiree Van Til, contains more than a few red herrings, but the film is at its best when it aims for straightforward charm, especially when Mewshaw allows Sudeikis and Hall to fumble and bumble around their feelings in equal measure. Although “Tumbledown” inevitably turns into a romance, that part of the pair’s relationship is the least earned and the least compelling portion of the film. The pair is not without chemistry, however, and while the romance doesn’t quite sing, it’s not all flat notes either.
“Tumbledown” isn’t free of many of the traps and tropes that pervade romantic comedies, but it frequently takes the time to walk through and explore them with an even, sensitive touch. (Only “frequently,” however, as the film does include one of the genre’s worst elements: underwritten supporting characters. Joe Manganiello adopts a baffling Maine accent in order to woo Hannah, while Diana Agron is confined to the “ditzy, terribly mannered” girlfriend role. Both actors deserve much better, but at least Manganiello appears to have enjoyed his role.)
Lensed by Seamus Tierney, the film makes wonderful use of the stunning Maine scenery, and the influence of nature is felt in every frame. Complete with music by Damien Jurado — who “plays” Hunter in music only, pictures that pop up in the film are of another actor — “Tumbledown” strikes a delicate, moving tone that hits more high notes than lows. [B]
Great news! Hopefully there will be further news regarding the film’s release date very soon.
VARIETY – The Orchard has acquired North American distribution rights to “Christine,” the Sundance drama starring Rebecca Hall as a disturbed broadcast journalist.
The film, directed by Antonio Campos, received a warm reception at Sundance when it premiered on Jan. 23, particularly for the lead performance by Hall. It’s based on the 1974 story of Florida anchor Christine Chubbuck.
The movie is written and produced by Craig Shilowich, and Melody C. Roscher served as another producer. Executive producers include Sean Durkin, Josh Mond, Robert Halmi, Jr. and Jim Reeve.
The Orchard, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment, also bought the coming-of-age dramedy “The Hunt for Wilderpeople” and the autism documentary “Life, Animated” out of Sundance.
The deal was negotiated by UTA Independent Film Group and WME.
I have updated the gallery with screen captures from The Gift–in which Rebecca plays Robyn, and stars alongside Joel Edgerton and Jason Bateman. I really enjoyed this film, and although I’m a sucker for a psychological thriller at the best of times, seeing Rebecca in a really great role alongside two other great actors really sealed the deal for me. The story has plenty of twists and turns and an ending that is open to interpretation. Click the thumbnails below to take a look at the captures.
Film Productions > The Gift (2015) > Blu-ray Features – Blu-ray Screen Captures
Film Productions > The Gift (2015) > Blu-ray Features – Alternate Ending
Film Productions > The Gift (2015) > Blu-ray Features – Deleted Scenes
On an unrelated note, you may have noticed the site at long last has a new look. As much as I loved the previous themes, they had been up for quite a while and as I had been slacking with updates for a while, I figured it was time for some inspiration to get the site back on track. The finishing touches are still being added, but for now, I hope you’ll like the changes. I also have plenty to work on content-wise, you can expect to (finally!) see some filmography pages and other additions very soon. Thanks for being patient with me.
THE GUARDIAN – The actor on starring in an acclaimed Sundance drama about Christine Chubbuck – the news anchor who achieved notoriety in the 70s for killing herself on live TV – and why she’s rarely offered parts this complex.
Hi, Rebecca! How are you?
Full of a head cold, but otherwise fine.
I think so. I think it’s just travelling and generally being over-adrenalised and happily pulled in too many directions. But yes, cold!
The last time you were in Park City was with the broad comedy Lay the Favourite (1).
It’s a completely different thing to go with a film that doesn’t have distribution (2); it’s a really different animal. I had no experience of that. The two I came with before both had distribution; premiering them there was more like just having a coming-out party. There were stakes with Christine. It was also playing in the competition, which was a different thing as well. There was a lot more nerve involved. You wait for reviews, for buyers to circle it, and then you wait for the juries. It’s a nerve-racking process.
I was at the Sundance premiere of Christine: did you sit through the entire movie?
I did, yes! I saw a cut, but it wasn’t with music. And I think there is a difference when you see something with an audience, so I wanted to sit through it. I don’t think I’ll ever do it again. I found it really hard.
It’s a tough watch for anyone. Watching it took me back to the space I was in when I was doing it. I wasn’t really conscious of it while I was watching, but halfway through I thought: God, I’ve got this really bad tension, and why is my shoulder seizing up? My posture was changing in my seat as I was watching.Read More