// Presented as part of Filmatique's The Future is Female (Directors) Series //
Spotlight on Red Road
Exclusive Essay: Surveillance and the High-Rise in Red Road
Andrea Arnold / 2006, Cannes, BFI London, FNC - Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, Göteborg, Miami, Philadelphia, Reykjavik, Rotterdam, Sundance, Toronto / 113'
Jackie lives alone, monitoring CCTV cameras in a high-rise housing complex in Glasgow's northern periphery. She engages from time to time in an affair with a married man, but her life is otherwise uneventful. Then one day a figure appears on Jackie's monitor that she's seen before; she learns this man, Clyde, has been recently released from prison on parole. Before long Jackie begins stalking Clyde, entangling herself in a perilous web of past histories and traumas.
Tense, elusive, and steeped in an atmosphere of escalating paranoia, Red Road delves into the psychology of a woman with an unresolved past as a conduit to our contemporary surveillance age. Andrea Arnold's first film premiered at Cannes, where it won the Jury Prize; BFI London, where it won the Sutherland Trophy; Philadelphia, where it won Best First Time Director; Göteborg, where it won the International Debut Award; Miami, where it won the Grand Jury Prize; and Reykjavik, where it won the FIPRESCI Prize. Red Road was also nominated for four London Critics Circle Film Awards, winning British Newcomer of the Year, and five British Independent Film Awards, winning Best Actor and Best Actress.
"[A] tough and superbly intelligent surveillance thriller, with real and believable characters brought to life by very good actors… Red Road draws on the paranoia and unease of Coppola's The Conversation and Michael Haneke's video-inspired nightmares, and in its dreamlike sense of detail and mood it shows the poetic priorities of Lynne Ramsay's Ratcatcher or Lucrecia Martel's The Holy Girl"
- Peter Bradshaw, Film Review, The Guardian