writers's block yaşamıyorum, ama writer's tembelliğini yaşıyorum. ben de blog boş kalmasın diye, vize sınavım için hazırladığım ödevi sizle paylaşmak istedim. bunun bir de final ödevi versiyonu var, onu da haftaya paylaşırım. film aynı zamanda 30. istanbul film festivali kapsamında da gösterime girmişti.
Beginning in medias-res Kelly Reichardt’s latest movie ‘’Meek’s Cutoff’’ depicts a western themed journey ‘’a road story’’ which took place in late 19th century.
Through the movie we are shown the male-dominant Puritan American society’s look on the opposite sex’s position and to the ‘’so called neighbours’’ Indian community. Actually, the plot is based on three different characters; a white, blonde woman; a naked, savage Indian man and an arrogant, streotypical white man. With focusing on those characters, reading the scenario or watching the movie from the Freudian perspective might be possible.
In the middle of the journey a ‘’savage’’ Cayuse Indian suddenly meets those White Americans. Despite the fact that ‘’redman’’ does not give any harm to the people, especially to the women, the explorer of the group Stephen Meek gets suspicious about the outsider, so on this level Meek represents the classic thoght: ‘’Be cautious against –the others- ! ’’ As the idea is always there, somewhere in the mind, probably in the most repressed zone. ‘’The unknown hurts you’’. Yet, sometimes people cannot know where the danger might come from. Just like in this case, people in the wagon at last brings the end of the journey. It is apparent that some not good in following the ultimate motto: ‘’love thy neighbour’’.
However; this repressed idea of Meek or this fear strikes always him back. He with telling fearful stories about Indians and acting like a macho man, satisfies his ego, as somewhere in the mind, something about the past is repressed. That is why he constantly wants to kill the Indian, only for comforting his ego. This may actually refer to the ‘’double of the self’’, becuase we see that both the Indian and Meek try to help to the wagon. Despite this, Emily Tetherow, at last, chooses to belive to the stranger rather than Meek himself, which also gives harm to the Meek, nevertheless with killing Indian, he will make one part of himself again more dominant on the others. (People at first believed him, that he could take them to the final destination in 2 weeks, but it had been 5 weeks and stil they were somewhere in the desert.)
The attitude of him towards the Indians is the same with the female characters especially with the Mrs. Tetherow who, though in vain, wants to help to the Indian. In a way, she deals with the subject in her own way, in a feminine way. Therefor, basically this hurts Meek more. As his method is less helpful.
In short, the female character of the movie Mrs. Tetherow and the Indian man unites and damages Meek’s ego. In other word the role of the female gender and the boundries of her characters blurred, which horrifies men. Whether the belittled female gender would take the role from men’ hand or not. The new woman portrayed here is no longer an object. To some extent this woman might arise the fear of castration in Meek and may be in other male characters, too. In fact on the poster of the movie we see that Mrs. Tetherow holding the gun herself. Basically, it shows that she just has taken the control. ‘’The penis is in her hand à the castration of Meek’’.
On the other hand, mostly Mrs. Tetherow, acts like a super-ego of this little community. She always controls the characters. She is one of the first person among the passengers who said, it could be wrong to kill the Indian. (Even we may think Meek as id, and the others in the wagon as ego).
Indeed, here the director herself destroys the classic view towards the ‘’western movie’’. Female character acts like a man, in a male-dominant industry and this depicted us through a female director’s vision. -It might me too shalow- But this well-done movie might also arise some fears to male directors shooting western movies. Yes, Miss Reicherdt is the new fear object for them.
Another point is that, even though it may be quite normal, Indian guy does not speak any English word, besides does not even try to get in contact with the Americans, neither with gestures and sign language nor with carving something on the rocks. Thus this also hinders us to know his name. He is complete stranger to both us and them, he is an ‘’other’’ for us, as well. He is just an orinary ‘’Indian’’ just like a yellow bush in the desert of the Oregon, no spesific feature or name. He is just like an object. He is effortless even in defending himself, actually he might know that he is a kind of ‘’uncanny’’ figure for them and so he also figures that it could be futile to change someting. As ‘white-man’’ is pretty stirct and obstinate to change his viewpoint, to make the repressed free and to fight with the idea, to make it familiar to himself. The idea is that: ‘’They are, living as savages and they always hurt us’’.
The vast and virgin land may symbolizes the unknown or even dangerous sides of the brain. This is like totally white, which arises horror in people’ mind. They are in the middle of nowhere, everything may happen.
Ultimately, throughout the movie we confront with a journey, a group of Americans going through the Oregon but totally in vain. Destination unknown, mission uncomplished, as I stated beforehands the movie starts in the medias-res and ended just like that. Like ‘’The Road Not Taken’’. Or ends up just like a Hemingway story, with full of ambiguity and ends in the middle, what might happen next is totally unknown! Vast land, whether they are going to West, East, South or North. But the only exaxt thing that remins totaly explict is the characters, their relaitons, their thoughts and the feelings that effected each other.