Actress (2014) | DVD release
Director: Robert Greene
86min | Doc | US
Robert Greene first ‘nonfiction/melodrama’ about actors playing themselves, explores the creative energy behind the craft in a cinema vérité style profile of the actress Brandy Burre as she tries to kickstart her career after the birth of two children.
Brandy Burre is best known for her long-standing part in the American TV series The Wire but here she plays herself as a young mother who is facing the breakdown of her relationship with her children’s father. It is a moving piece of filmmaking that reveals Burre at her most raw and vulnerable. Being a mother, like acting, is an all-consuming emotional occupation and Burre successfully tries to convince herself (and us) that she is ready to go back to giving her best to her career, at 40, now that the kids are less dependent on her, in order to set herself on the road to financial freedom. Clearly, it’s been a difficult transition but she is fronting up well. Or so it seems.
Burre’s assertiveness is laced with wry humour. Reading through a script, glass of wine at hand, she admits that the stipulation for “partial nudity” is “right up my ally”, clearly indicating that the pressures entailed in the profession are often a bridge too far, but one that must be crossed in order to get work. She also admits to missing the intimacy of a sexual relationship – Tim and her are clearly no longer sleeping together.
Although Greene attempts to instil some more imaginative and stylistic elements in his documentary with the use of inventive devices including slow motion, the films works best when it is probing Burre’s innermost thoughts as her kids play quietly in the background, often making impromptu appearances in this an engaging and thoughtful film. MT
ACTRESS is Available on DVD 14 November to buy as an extra with the release of KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE, as well as incredible extras including: alternative opening, nine deleted scenes and the theatrical trailer. Presented as a double DVD set, Kate Plays Christine is a must have for any fans of genre-bending and experimental film.