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We talk subverted expectations, how an artificial performance makes sense on a character who’s pretending to be something he’s not, the way in which forty years of oppression eats into a person’s soul, rejection of familial expectations and the performance of unspoken fraternal duty, and more, in our discussion of Jane Campion’s fascinating, complex, and beautiful drama, The Power of the Dog.
With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.
This is a bit old now but I thought it was interesting that you guys didn’t mention the possibility that Pete killed his own father who was either was an alcoholic or had already driven Rose to become one in the past (more likely the latter) – to me that is very clear but it’s where the film ending isn’t as revealing as it initially seems. You also didn’t refer to the title and how it relates to the scene where the audience finally learns to see the dog, which only Phil and Pete can see. Maybe there is nothing to say but I think about it every now and again and wonder what it means. Anyway, great episode and great show, I really enjoy it.
The conversation around this film went on for some time amongst friends on Facebook, and I think someone else brought up the possibility that Pete killed his father. Someone even talked about the final shot being like the final shot of Psycho. So there’s definitely more room for interpretation than we gave it, and I think we gave it a fair amount ourselves! I can tell you that I didn’t bring up the title because I didn’t have a handle on it – I did notice when it’s finally given context within the film, at the end, but unless José had a good read on it I think that would have been a bit of a damp squib in discussion. I was really pleased with how the film grabbed people though. Usually amongst our friends on Facebook you can rely on a classic old film generating a big conversation, but not so much with a new release, and The Power of the Dog got everybody talking.
Thank you for your kind words about the podcast! And thank you for your comments!