Keith and Polly Reynolds share an everlasting bond. photos by Keith Borgmeyer Polly Reynolds met Keith when she was 14 years old. He was...
Since Father’s Day just passed us by, it’s only fitting that we give a quick shout out to the many dads of Columbia. We thank you for everything you add to our community and our families, and we encourage you to come to the Citizen Jane Film Festival —bring your daughters, sons, or just bring yourselves! Although Citizen Jane Film Festival features only films made by women, it doesn’t mean the films are made only for women.
As a fest, Citizen Jane tries hard to showcase the fact that the films women make are for everybody. We seek to program a broad range of women-made work so that they’ll be hired to make all kinds of movies that speak to all kinds of experiences, not just the narrow subjects they’ve so often been relegated to. Women can make any and all kinds of movies, from war films to westerns to horror movies to romantic comedies and beyond. A perfect example of a filmmaker breaking genre boundaries is Debra Granik, whose new somber family noir, “Leave No Trace,” opens at Ragtag Cinema on July 20 and is this month’s Citizen Jane Suggests film.
Like Granik’s first feature, “Winter’s Bone” (which was filmed in the nearby Ozarks and was Citizen Jane’s 2010 Closing Night film), her characters are deeply nuanced, portraying their roles with an exacting yet complex simplicity. “Winter’s Bone” introduced Jennifer Lawrence as a rising young star, cast in the lead as a fearless girl trying to save her family’s home after her father puts it in jeopardy.
“Leave No Trace” also features a new female lead in Thomasin McKenzie, who plays Tom, the daughter of Will (played by Ben Foster). Tom and Will try to navigate the world outside of the simple, secluded one they have created for themselves living off the grid outside of Portland, Oregon; the film is a Pacific Northwest gothic of familial fortitude and growth. Focused on the father and daughter relationship, “Leave No Trace” portrays the strong bond between the two and the external — and internal — forces pushing them apart.
Granik’s ability to create intricate emotional landscapes and creeping environmental ones is a style and voice all her own, one that plays with the chasms between people, filling that space with the anguish and love that can so often seep in. “Leave No Trace” isn’t a film for men or women; it’s a film for human beings looking for connection in a world full of societal expectations and institutional pressures. We hope you can make it to Ragtag Cinema this July to see this portrait of a man and his beloved daughter, directed by a woman but expressing a feeling and beauty most anyone can relate to. Happy belated Father’s Day!