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Film screening: Todd Haynes, 'Safe', 1995


Wed 30 Jun 2021, 6:00pm

Where: Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University, Kelburn Parade, Gate 3, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

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Listed by: ann811

Join us on Wednesday 30 June at 6pm for the first in our series of screenings associated with our current exhibition, Crossings. Like the works in the exhibition, these films have been selected for their relevance as we grapple with the effects of the global lockdowns and heightened anxieties of 2020―films that register the polarities of inside and outside, illness and health, public and private.

Todd Haynes’ 1995 film Safe follows Carol White, played by Julianne Moore, a Californian housewife who develops an acute and sudden sensitivity to unknown elements in her environment, a debilitating illness with an unseen cause. Described by The New Yorker in March 2020 as “a tale of two plagues”, the film’s haunting allegory of the AIDS pandemic has gained a new relevance in the time of coronavirus, as The New Yorker observed:

" large part, because the dread at the heart of it – that something invisible and relentless is loose and at prey, and that anyone could become susceptible to it, at which point they would be very much on their own – has never really dispersed. The film’s version of a culture fundamentally incapable of comprehending or countenancing illness and weakness has insured that Safe has stayed not just unsettling but queasily current."

Todd Haynes is an independent filmmaker from Los Angeles, California. Known for films such as Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, 1987, Far From Heaven, 2002 and Carol, 2015, his films are known for his sensitive characterisations of especially female characters, the dysfunctions of modern and contemporary society and the lives of those touched by fame.

Image: Todd Haynes, 'Safe', 1995. Image: Criterion Collection

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