Story: A love triangle between a blind man, his sinister house keeper, and a happy go lucky cook.
Why You Should See It: If Russell Crowe and Hugo Weaving (Agent Smith from “The Matrix”) are not enough reasons to see this gem, I’ll throw another name. Jocelyn Moorhouse. What? A female director? Women can direct movies?
I know that you know that women can direct films, but embarrassingly, even though we write the YouTube blogs very casually, I don’t think one movie has come up in this series that was directed by a woman (though, I did write one about “The Piano” last year, but the link was removed, so the blog never went up… that sounds defensive, doesn’t it?).
It’s not that I dislike films directed by women, its just that most movies we know, most films that have been ingrained as classics, or movies that we watch over and over again, come via the white male perspective. When I think of “director” I think Orson Welles, Kubrick, Woody Allen, I don’t think Jocelyn Moorhouse, Kathryn Bigelow or Tamineh Milani.
This is a not a political site or a feminist blog, but it is hopefully one in which we discuss stories with critical thought. And if diversity is what rules our world, and movies are the most popular art form, something is critically wrong with how we see our world… because we see mostly movies, mostly through one perspective. And that’s as far as I’ll go with that (for today).
Speaking of seeing… “Proof” is very much a story about sight and perspective. The blind man played by Weaving takes pictures and depends on specific people to describe these pictures to him, people he trusts, such as Russell Crowe, who agrees never to lie to him. He does not trust his housekeeper, who is in love with him. This duality speaks very deeply to me, to being a moviegoer today.
In some ways, we are Weaving, watching films from the eyes of white men, counting on them to be truthful, while we reject any kind of female perspective. I don’t know if “Proof” is a feminist movie, but it certainly makes you consider points of views, the dependency we have on our storytellers. We entrust them too much to fill our minds with perspective. This is a brilliant little movie reminiscent of “Sex, Lies and Videotape.”
Moorhouse displayed acute directing instincts, but alas has not directed a movie even close to the very unique “Proof” again. Her next movie after this was “How to Make an American Quilt” and I noticed she made “The Dresser” which is out now. Like Neil LaButte after her, her voice was sort of vanquished. Like music, “Proof” is like the great first album that was never duplicated again.
But still, Moorhosue made “Proof,” which is more that I can say for 99% of filmmakers today. Like that first great album, it’s a good story that I’ve seen many times and will watch many more times… just as you listen to those albums again and again and again. That point of view is simply something you need in your life. I Can’t Believe It’s On YouTube.
Written by: Norith Soth