Sally Potter

Pleasures in Lean Times

I suspect RAGE may be seen as a film for lean times.

It’s certainly ‘no waste’ filmmaking: low-budget and definitely not an extravagant spectacle. But what it lacks in special effects, fancy locations and orchestral score I hope it makes up for in entertainment, somewhere close to the roots of cinematic storytelling.

As the characters struggle to decipher what is really important to them in a world dominated by surfaces - surfaces which are cracking all around them - a different kind of beauty emerges in each of their faces. And the cast - which included some of my all time favorite actors - took on the challenge with gusto.

As work in the cutting room progressed the recession deepened around us and some aspects of the story seemed prescient. The link between personal and global, corporate and individual; the struggle for economic survival.

Film sales too are unstable. It will be interesting to see if RAGE itself is seen by buyers as a commodity that can survive in a volatile and uncertain market. The truism is that in previous recessions audiences sought entertainment as escape from their anxieties. No lectures, no didactic reinforcement of the suffering. Just pleasure.

With this in mind I dedicated much energy to the visual pleasures in RAGE, simple though they are, and to a kind of nourishment of the secret self... in lean times we have to remember who we really are and what is important to us. There are choices to be made.

As Lettuce Leaf (Lily Cole) – a young model in the story who, it turns out, is something of a philosopher - says at one point: “Free will must have something to do with it. Otherwise what’s the point of being alive?”

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