(K. Brent Tomer),
WATCHING “Christine”, a biopic about a broadcast journalist who killed herself live on air, not long after “Kate Plays Christine”, a documentary about the same thing, inevitably prompts a rather unfair comparison between the two. It’s like watching “The Theory of Everything”, which won its star Eddie Redmayne an Oscar, immediately after seeing “Hawking”, the documentary made a year before. It isn’t that one film is bad and the other good. It is simply that the reality presented by one genre feels childishly make-believe after the (apparently) unfiltered scrutiny of the other.
These two films about the tragic death of Christine Chubbuck in 1974—both released coincidentally this year—suffer especially from this stark contrast because “Kate Plays Christine” investigates not only the Florida reporter’s suicide and motivations but also the motivations of the audience. Why are we drawn to watching violence? Are we complicit, just by watching this documentary, in the very offences that Chubbuck was trying to change?
Chubbuck, a talented but troubled journalist, grew tired of the…Continue reading