Saturday, 12 March 2011

Really Good Manitoba Film Alert: Black Field

I saw Black Field on Saturday. What a great film !

I'm really not good at doing arts reviews but to give a bit of background....

The setting is a ramshackle farm near Beausejour 1870s Manitoba, (it was shot outside Tyndall). Two sisters, orphaned in their teens, continue to live there in isolation until an unwanted lodger shows up and changes their lives.

Notable among the performances is that of Sara Canning (from Vampire Diaries - the TV series) who plays ever-wary older sister Maggie. She recently won best actress award at the Women in Film Festival in Vancouver (who, oddly, have not got around to posting the winners on their own website yet). Canning certainly is deserving. She delivers a great performance as 'eighteen going on forty' Maggie.

Lawrence in Arabia:

Maggie in Manitoba:

Just as the desert was a leading character in Lawrence of Arabia, so is Manitoba in Black Field. The ever-present big land and big sky helps drive home the sense of isolation that people living in a spec of a farmhouse on the vast prairie would have battled (or in some cases celebrated) a century and a half ago. It was intentionally shot during that unnamed season between the winter melt and the spring growth which helps emphasize a feeling of desolation.

Again, a really good film and definitely worth seeing !

Black Field plays at Cinematheque at 7:00 pm on Wednesday Mar 16 and Thursday Mar 17, 2011. Writer / director Danishka Estherhazy (for whom this is this is her first feature film) will be there to introduce the film both nights).

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