“Rider” offers a painful portrait of masculinity in a crisis.
Writer and director ChloeZhao’s new film tells the true story of a lakota cowboy recovering from a serious cowboy race. Critic Justin zhang said the rider had “deep bones”.
TERRY GROSS, host:
This is fresh air. I’m terry gross. I just saw a film called “The Rider” very, very good film, is a native American people ride a horse and ride a horse coach, he is from a painful jeans run to recover accidentally, it could no longer ride again. You don’t know the actors. They are not professional actors. They all play with their slightly fancied versions.
We’re going to be the star of the film, brady gendero, who was badly hurt in a rodeo, and the screenwriter and director of the film, miss zhao. Zhao, a chinese-born American film producer, made the film and her 2015 film “song my brothers teach me” on the songling Indian reservation in south Dakota. Before we meet, let’s listen to the movie critic Justin zhang’s comments on the knight.
JUSTIN CHANG: “The Rider” is a stunning contemporary western lyric that praises The endless beauty of The prairies, The spectacular sunsets and The young men on horseback. But zhao wei, the film producer, has not drowned out the Hollywood glamour of American cowboy mythology. She broke it down into its primitive, painful nature. She lives on the Pine Ridge Indian reserve in south Dakota, letting young lakota men wear Chaps and Stetsons and have coveted rodeo performances.
When she met the lakota blood of brady gendero, zhao was directing her first series, “sing my brother”. Jandreau became a rodeo legend until April 2016, when a serious cycling accident led to his head injury almost fatal. Soon after, zhao began filming him and his friends and family, putting together a story about the tough physical and emotional recovery of the cowboy. The result is a seamless collaboration between narrative and documentary stories, each of which has a profound truth even in the case of dramatic effects.
With the opening of the film, Blackburn was renamed here, just after being discharged from the hospital and stripped of the surgical bandage. He had a steel plate on his head and a long wound on his scalp. He also had an amazing spasm that caused his right hand to tighten uncontrollably. But he had no intention of listening to his doctor, and he warned him not to ride again. That morning, when his father Wayne appeared, he was practicing a virtual wild horse outside his trailer house.
(film expansion “knight”)
TIM JANDREAU :(just like Wayne Blackburn) what are you doing? You should go to the hospital. I saw Tanner at the bar. He said you escaped, didn’t he?
BRADY JANDREAU :(like BRADY Blackburn) tell you I’ll see.
T. JANDREAU :(just like Wayne Blackburn) the doctor says you should stay there. Hug me.
B. JANDREAU :(like Blackburn) why don’t you come in and sober up?
T. JANDREAU :(as Wayne Blackburn) wake up? Let me see your rope. Check yourself out like your uncle roddy. (laughter.) Shall I go? Can’t you rope?
CHANG: this is the real life Jandreau father Tim, you can hear his rude delivery conflict – clumsy, bo affe emotions, scolded his son didn’t listen to command impulse, and laughed at his damaged goods. This helps the older Jandreau, who has the cunning charm of a movie star, to pass on the gift to his son. Brady Jandreau may be playing his own fictional version, but few professionally trained actors can pull off a heartbreaking gravitational pull, and he can only catch a glimpse of it. No less than his horse, he is a very magnetic camera subject.
Brady’s sister, Lilly Jandreau, helped him and helped him recover. She has asperger’s syndrome, and their mutual protection provides some of the warmest moments in the movie. Then there was brady’s good friend, riescott, a former bull rider who was paralyzed by real-life accidents and unable to speak. Although the movie didn’t tell us, we took on another horse riding accident. Either way, Scott remains an optimist, using sign language to tell brady to throw away the dirt from the wound, rather than give it up.
Zhao did not reduce her actress disability or milking mood easily. Working with photographer Joshua James Richards, she captured the sense of everyday life in the community, almost unbearable pain. She has transformed a simple personal struggle into a macho image of masculinity in a crisis. Brady tried to move on, finding work in a supermarket, and almost pawning his saddle at some point. But when we saw him leading a horse around his fence, riding it, talking to it and praying, we saw a man doing what he obviously was born to do. How do you go on when the only dream you know is taken away?
Zhao gained the sense of liberation that riders must feel, even if only for eight seconds. But she also expresses other options for other communities that have traditionally been incorporated into ceremonies. Sometimes she would make these broad plains claustrophobic. The “knight” may be a movie about someone trying to get back to the horse, but there is a subtle metaphor at work too. Throughout the film, we saw brady repeatedly use his good hand to help the injured man and pry open his tight grip. This is a heartbreaking image of heartbreak, a sign of the pain and necessity of giving up.
MAO: Justin zhang is a film critic for the Los Angeles times. The cavaliers opened in New York and Los Angeles on Friday and will continue to open in other cities in the coming weeks.