It's not unusual to find two movies on the same subject at the same festival, but rarely are they so different as what happened at this past Sundance. That was when two movies hit the festival on the subject of Christine Chubbock, the Florida news reporter who committed suicide live on air in 1974. One was the Rebecca Hall-led Christine (reviewed by Mae here), which was your standard biopic. But then there was the meta-film Kate Plays Christine, in which actress Kate Lyn Sheil (who will be seen this week in Equals) gets a little too emotionally invested in portraying Chubbock.
Here's the movie's synopsis: What does it mean to tell somebody else’s story? In this ingenious blend of documentary and psychological thriller, Robert Greene (ACTRESS) follows Kate Lyn Sheil (House of Cards, LISTEN UP PHILIP) through her creative process as she prepares for her next, tragic role: Christine Chubbuck, a Florida newscaster who committed suicide live on-air in 1974. As Kate investigates (and ultimately becomes obsessed with) Chubbuck’s story, she discovers that little is actually known about the real woman (even though her story was the inspiration for the classic Hollywood film NETWORK).
Through their collaboration, Robert, Kate and cinematographer Sean Price Williams (HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT) raise questions surrounding the sometimes unstable boundaries between performance, the authentic self and the storytelling impulse. KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE is as much about unraveling a mystery as it is a document of the creative process.
This is one I unfortunately missed but will definitely check out when it arrives on August 24th. Watch the trailer below courtesy of Vulture.