Strangers In Good Company [VERIFIED]
Before meeting any of the women, the audience hears their child-like chatter and laughter as they emerge from a deep fog cover into the sunshine. Clearly the women are old, but viewers soon regard them as sisters at recess giggling at the novelty of their unexpected adventure, happy to be in good company. When they reach a dilapidated and deserted house, it offers no amenities: no beds, no electricity, no water, no food. Each woman approaches the situation in a different way, but there is a buoyancy and resourcefulness about them in spite of some possible apprehensions concerning rescue and survival.
Strangers in Good Company
One woman (Mary Meigs) is a lesbian, another a nun, another a survivor of stroke. Some are braver than others, and some have moments in their past that, when alluded to, are profoundly moving. One, we believe, is especially vulnerable and ready to die. Another, Cissy (Cissy Meddings), makes us laugh out loud; stooped and stroke-addled, she is full of life and silliness, while enduring the quiet pain of a partially explained isolation from her son and grandchildren, only the facial expression and eyes letting on. Catherine (Catherine Roche) the nun, who will make the long walk for eventual rescue, brings a serenity to the group, while a good-natured and extremely resourceful Mohawk elder (Alice Diabo) demonstrates both strength in the face of adversity and unhappiness in recollections of her marriage.
In this feature film, 7 elderly women find themselves stranded when their bus breaks down in the wilderness. With only their wits, memories and some roasted frogs' legs to sustain them, this remarkable group of strangers share their life stories and turn a potential crisis into a magical time of humour, spirit and camaraderie. Featuring non-professional actors and unscripted dialogue, this film dissolves the barrier between fiction and reality, weaving a heart-warming tale of friendship and courage.
HOW THE FILM WORKS?By doing away with narrative and motivation, by the disjointed scenes, by the lack of concrete information about the lives of these women outside the circumstances of the film we are constantly brought back to what is depicted on-screen. The closeups, the stillness, the fragmented knowledge we get about each of them and their behaviour in mundane tasks or games, simulate the way people get to know one another in residential study week-ends for example and the viewer is thus led into the company of these strangers. They are not characters who develop or change during the film. They just are. The use of a constructed nature and contemplative shots brings the viewer to the here and now. The photography, lighting , soundtrack and pace give a feeling of serenity that some people might consider spiritual.
This blog has become a community of strangers in good company. Comments left on my posts reveal a silent sisterhood of family caregivers around the world, having many of the same sometimes frustrating and bewildering experiences I write about.
I invite you to tell your story in the comment section of any of these blog posts that resonate with you, and to reply to the comments of others you find here. It is an isolating existence, but we are in good company. When we break the silence, strangers become friends.
Corporations have replaced Nazis as the politically correct villains of the age -- and just in time, because it was getting increasingly difficult to produce Nazis who survived into the 21st century ("Hellboy" had to use a portal in time). "The Manchurian Candidate" used a corporation instead of the Chinese communists, and thrillers like "Resident Evil" give us corporations whose recklessness turns the population into zombies. "In Good Company" is a rare species: a feel-good movie about big business. It's about a corporate culture that tries to be evil and fails.
"In Good Company" so far has been the usual corporate slasher movie, in which good people have bad things happen to them because of the evil and greedy system. Then it takes a curious turn, which I will suggest without describing, in which goodness prevails and unexpected humility surfaces. The movie was directed by Paul Weitz, who with his brother Chris made "American Pie" and the Hugh Grant charmer "About a Boy," and with those upbeat works behind him I didn't expect "In Good Company" to attain the savagery of Neil LaBute's "In the Company of Men," but I was surprised all the same when the sun came out.
If you're looking for flashy, special effects, don't touch this one at the video store. If you're looking for a film to move you, touch you, and leave you forever changed, grab this one and run home to put it in the VCR (couldn't find it on DVD). This movie totally blew me away. The "actresses" are unbelievably real and true to their persons. I love film making like this. The "realness" and the natural beauty of this film will stay with you long after the final scene. Superb casting of these fine women. Beautiful scenery. Wonderful interaction. I can't say enough great things about this wonderful film! I loved it! Rent it when you want to feel good about life...........
'Strangers in Good Company' is an odd sort of film, precisely because of the honesty of its subjects who, other than playing their allotted stereotypical roles in our collective pop culture, are routinely ignored in film or television portrayal. Even the idiotic 'Something's Gotta Give' seemed to have such a hard time with 60 year-old characters and more so, with their relationship. Films like 'Strangers in Good Company,' on the other hand (this one being largely improvised by its cast of elderly female characters stranded in the Canadian countryside when their bus breaks down), and others like 84 Charing Cross Road, or similar films, actually give the audience a very touching, though sometimes sad, portrayal.Here, these women, on their way to one older woman's childhood home, become good friends as they hole up in what looks like an abandoned Canadian country home, roughing it for a few days while they try to find help. In the company of each other, they develop a friendship, and learn a bit about each other's lives as the days pass. Some of them memorable, interesting tales of the women's lives (see the trivia, most of what is told is pulled from their background) and some, very sad recollections and future perceptions such as the woman who's greatest fear was being destitute and left alone with no one to care for her. It is less a story of survival in the countryside and more of a tapestry of lives being told here and there. Some of the improvisation is evident as some of the actresses seem either unsure or uncomfortable with what is going on sometimes. But nonetheless, this low-budget picture actually turned out to be a nice little underrated film about something we don't always get to see or hear.
You know, improv in a movie can either work beautifully, or fall spectacularly. I am truly astounded at a movie such as "Company Of Strangers" with a company of seniors that have very little or no acting experience just NAILING their marks in this wonderfully simple story about a group of old people (or, as the director has stated, a group of people that happen to be old) whose bus breaks down on their way to the meeting, and take refuge in a on their way to the meeting, and take refuge in a run down country house. While they are waiting for their bus to get fixed, they sit down and talk with each other about each other, their lives , loves and tribulations. AND THAT'S THE WHOLE MOVIE!! Does it work? You bet it does. Each of these characters are just so interesting and so human like. Well, they must be, as the director, Cynthia Roberts just essentially took stories from their lives and weaved it into the story, thus you have the wonderful lesbian story, the tragic story of one of the women losing their son, and how one's calling as a nun affected her later life. These are all wonderful stories, and the ladies reactions to each other's tales just is amazing. This is really a remarkable movie, you probably haven't seen anything like this, so do yourself a favor and do.
You may with good Fortresses, and a good Army so tye up your Enemy in hindring him from Victuals, and by intrenching always so near him, that you may now and then fall upon some of his Quarters, and so hinder him from making any Siege of importance. And when a Conquerour advanceth not forward, he recoileth. But here you must note, that such places as you fortifie are to be well fortified, well manned, and well provided of all necessaries, and that you do not fortifie any place, which will require many men for the Defence of it in a Siege.
Sandye smiles. That Stein quote reminds me of the voyeur in us all... we like tothink we can "know" strangers in intimate ways Mick says, "And here I mean the Eastgate author, the Web author, the author utilizingthe multilinear writing space regardless of platform -- though platform may play a realrole." bernstein says, "Stuart Moulthrop's rejoinder was 'Who reads _Salon_?', LauraMiller's home" MichaelJ says, "Who is reading anything? is a good question. The Laura Miller piecewas an inside job, someone getting back at an editor of the NYTBR for giving Coover abully pulpit." Mick [to bernstein]: and it was a good rejoinder, but it didn't really address thequestion at hand ... and I ask it as a friendly audience. Who *is* readinghypertext? bernstein says, "Different hypertexts have different audiences." bernstein says, "The audience for literary hypertext fiction is quite similar to theaudience" MichaelJ says, "It isn't the right question. Who is reading literary fiction is abetter one. The good hypertexts sell about the same, almost exactly, as good literaryfictions/poems, etc" bernstein says, "for literary paper fiction:" MichaelJ exclaims, "Wow! Synchronicity!!!" bernstein says, "The audience for hypertext philosophy is similar to the audience forpaper philosophy" Mick hears the answer in stereo. bernstein says, "It's also a very bad idea to use headcounts and popularity contestsas a way to avoid judging art; this was Miller's real intent." MichaelJ says, "Seriously, though, that was the most vicious aspect of the Timesput-up job, how it ignores the similarity and pits the one against the other" Mick [to bernstein]: well, that's sort of like saying the audience for _Kairos_ is similarto the audience for _CCC_ or _Rhetoric Review_ ... or more likely, C&C. Mick says, "In fact, I would guess that most of the audience of _Kairos_ reads thepaper journals .. while the reverse is NOT true. Don't you think there might be asimilar demographic breakdown for literary novels/hypertexts" Sandye says, "There still is that 'attempt' to determine effectiveness...headcountsand dollars are easy to tabulate..." Joel [to bernstein and MichaelJ]: With that agreement, that we're working with a similaraudience for hypertext and paper, lemme ask this: do you get the sense thataudiences come to those two forums for different reasons? Do they expect to get adifferent kind of scholarship from paper and from hypertext? I just wonder if theforum produces different expectations (and investments) from one single reader. Joel wonders if that makes sense. Sandye [to Joel]: what does a reader expect when she 'opens' hypertext fiction? bernstein asks, "Sandye: the headcount argument says that Poe and Kate Chopin andBach were all failures....do you want to defend that?" MichaelJ [to Joel]: Makes sense to me. The audience I know best, my students, looks to*and appreciates* the different aspects of these media. To Mick's question, I'd say that,among professionals, yes I think the audiences are bifurcated, but among emergingaudiences (students, web habituees, etc) the split is disappearing Joel [to Sandye]: I'm not sure, but I wonder if that expectation, whatever it is, isdifferent for papertext and hypertext. Sandye [to bernstein]: I'm not saying that headcounts and dollars signs are good, but ahuman tendency.. we like to measure success and these sorts of markers are the easiest tofind and count... Mick says, "I think that Poe/headcount idea is an interesting rejoinder ..." bernstein says, "We like to measure success by dollars and celebrity. But our job isto use our skills to achieve more than that." Mick says, "But in the last 100 years, millions of people have read Poe. So theheadcount idea works ... and that leads me to think ..." MichaelJ [to Sandye]: There's a great irony here about headcounts, where in the mainstreamcorporate/marketing world the ability to target and just-in-time is thought to be the keywhile we are held to a standard that requires a wide audience. Mick says, "[dangerously] that we can't assess the "success" of a hypertextfiction like _Afternoon_ until we're well into the next century." Mick 041b061a72