Jack McCann has everything he wants in life. When he was born he didnt however, he had to fight for it and trek through harsh, frozen terrain to get something. That something was a load on the Klondike range and it brought him riches and power. So much so that he has now settled in the Caribbean for a life of excess and warmth. The problem is that his daughter has a lover and Jack cant help thinking he is under attack.
This film about role reversal and trangression is a very intellegent exploration of the desires of hubris and its eventual destructive bent. It has a simply immense performance by Hackman, as the gruff and rough McCann. He plays the role with pent up sexual desire, rage and physical menace to perfection. The films play on states and being is also devine. By the exploration of the immaterial and physical, Paternal love and oedipul desire and the living and dead, you have a film with considerable range and depth but be warned that clarity and Roeg do not go hand in hand.
You have to do the work here and I would expect nothing less. This is no fault of the film, it is the level of Roeg as the artist to leave us the problem of unscrambling meaning and subtext. Russell is the main focus of this and here relationship with men is uncomfortable and charged. Her relationship can be read in ever more sadistic and uncomfortably mysoginistic ways but I decline this. Also the matter of press comments relating to the emptyness of the piece. In its charge that all that we see happen and alls that is brought up is if you have everything, then what more can you desire… is a little empty handed as the film is asking more and telling much, much more…
Extras are a little thin on the ground but the audio track, Q and A and the booklet add layers to a very layered film.
- High-definition digital transfer
- Subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- Audio recording of Q&A with Nicolas Roeg at the world premiere
- Exclusive new interviews with producer Jeremy Thomas, writer Paul Mayersberg and editor Tony Lawson
- Isolated music & effects track
- Theatrical trailer
- PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by Daniel Bird, a reprinted interview with Roeg, an excerpt from Roeg’s autobiography and Robert W. Service’s poem The Spell of the Yukon