Film: Double Bill - CLAUDE MILLER, DIRECTOR OF 'CLASS TRIP' ON HIS IDEAL CINEMATIC PAIRING
THE SEARCHERS (JOHN FORD, 1956) BREAKING THE WAVES (LARS VON TRIER, 1996)
Thursday 04 February 1999
In The Searchers, John Wayne is a violent, racist Indian hunter. Towards the end he pursues his niece, Natalie Wood, who was abducted at an early age and raised by Indians. When Wayne catches up with her, you think her time has come. But he picks her up in his arms and says: "Come on Debbie, we are going home."
In Breaking The Waves, Emily Watson has been raised in a very strict puritanical and religious way, and has just married the man of her dreams. She calls him from a phone box to tell him explicitly, and rather crudely, how much she loves him. Especially his big knob.
Cinema can show how emotions erupt and change the course of one life, breaking the barriers that make a person follow unwritten rules bred into them through education and culture. Watching these two films together, I would expect the public to be deeply moved, their emotions challenging their pre-conceived ideas and stereotypes, if any.
It can't hurt to spend five hours completely captivated. Being a film- maker, I do not believe in analysing too intellectually the films I enjoy. I leave this to the critics.
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