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Dangerous Spaces: Safe

Dangerous Spaces: Safe Released in 1995, Safe (US/UK) seems in many ways radically different from Todd Haynes’s earlier work. On one level, the film is a forward-moving story about the increasingly debilitating, unidentified illness of a middle-class, suburban homemaker. Devoid of flashbacks or more avant-garde techniques of narrative disruption or interruption, the film’s structure appears deceptively straightforward. Attempting to find a cure for her disease, the central protagonist, Carol White ( Julianne Moore), commences a journey that takes her away from her comfortable domestic environs in Los Angeles to a retreat in the desert of New Mexico, where she submits to various New Age– inspired therapies. Despite its apparently conventional content and form, Safe confounded critics with its polyCopyright © 2004 by Camera Obscura Camera Obscura 57, Volume 19, Number 3 Published by Duke University Press 125 Camera Obscura semic openness to multiple interpretations and its refusal to offer audiences any insight into the central protagonist’s experience or emotional life.1 These responses are symptomatic of the film’s deployment of seemingly contradictory modes of filmmaking. Safe regularly employs a distanced style of cinematography while constructing sequences that deploy editing techniques ordinarily used to suture viewers into the narrative. The effect of this http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Camera Obscura Duke University Press

Dangerous Spaces: Safe

Camera Obscura , Volume 19 (3 57) – Jan 1, 2004

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References (26)

Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2004 by Camera Obscura
ISSN
1529-1510
eISSN
1529-1510
DOI
10.1215/02705346-19-3_57-125
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Released in 1995, Safe (US/UK) seems in many ways radically different from Todd Haynes’s earlier work. On one level, the film is a forward-moving story about the increasingly debilitating, unidentified illness of a middle-class, suburban homemaker. Devoid of flashbacks or more avant-garde techniques of narrative disruption or interruption, the film’s structure appears deceptively straightforward. Attempting to find a cure for her disease, the central protagonist, Carol White ( Julianne Moore), commences a journey that takes her away from her comfortable domestic environs in Los Angeles to a retreat in the desert of New Mexico, where she submits to various New Age– inspired therapies. Despite its apparently conventional content and form, Safe confounded critics with its polyCopyright © 2004 by Camera Obscura Camera Obscura 57, Volume 19, Number 3 Published by Duke University Press 125 Camera Obscura semic openness to multiple interpretations and its refusal to offer audiences any insight into the central protagonist’s experience or emotional life.1 These responses are symptomatic of the film’s deployment of seemingly contradictory modes of filmmaking. Safe regularly employs a distanced style of cinematography while constructing sequences that deploy editing techniques ordinarily used to suture viewers into the narrative. The effect of this

Journal

Camera ObscuraDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2004

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