Moira+I went to the Watershed again this afternoon to see Matt Ross’s “Captain Fantastic” – featuring the excellent Viggo Mortensen in the title role (I thought he was simply brilliant in “The Road”).
Mortensen stars as an idealistic survivalist father (Ben)
raising six children “off grid and away from contemporary civilisation” (as the
Watershed blurb puts it). He lives in remote forest in Washington State where
he home schools them to be “fit in body and mind”. The children do outlandish
things like read books(!), hunt for their food and justify their personal opinions.
A family crisis forces them to re-enter the “normal” world that they’ve been long
separated from. It’s a shock to the system: everyone seems to be overweight
compared with them… and then there are the mobile phones, the violent video
games and the loud music!
All the child actors are rather wonderful and are a
perfect bizarre mix of characters (frankly, I wanted to be Captain Fantastic
too - some hope!).
I thought it was
an absolutely lovely film. It’s poignant and it’s funny… but it also asks hard questions
about society and the way we bring up our families in the hard-nosed, selfish, materialistic
world we inhabit today.
PS: The family
travel around in a lovely, huge, battered bus (appropriately named “Steve”!).
It left me feeling quite envious – I want one (and I’d still only need one
Residents Parking Zone permit to park outside our house!). Obviously, we would spend
most of our time in Leigh Woods and the Forest of Dean…
PPS: It seemed
appropriate to see this film at the same time as I’ve been reading Paul Mason’s
“Postcapitalism” – in which he suggests we might well be about to enter a whole
new world of ‘post capitalism’ – where a technological revolution (something of an alternative
‘knowledge’ revolution) will reshape our lives.
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