Thriller movie chills writing students

Peijia Zhang , Editor-in-Chief

A movie called  “Winter’s Bone” played on a projection screen Thursday night cast cool light on four students and a professor in 211 Biddle.

“Winter’s Bone,” released in 2010, was the second movie played in the semester’s Movies for Writers events held by professional writing professor Michael Cox.

This year’s movies were selected based on the theme “Red States,” featuring movies set and made in highly conservative states, according to Cox.

One may easily find the coarse rural scenes in Missouri in the movie relatable, if not the characters’ Southern accent.

Nebraska, Missouri and Ohio are three conservative states featured in the first three movies. The other two states are Florida and Texas.

Adapted from Daniel Woodrell’s novel “Winter’s Bone,” the movie portrays a 17-year-old girl’s heroic quest to find her father, or she and her family faced eviction from their house.

Her father, a drug dealer who had disappeared, also left her with a sick mother and two younger siblings.

Cox said it was the most emotionally intense and melancholy movie in this semester’s Movies for Writers class, partly because of its realistic style.

“You really get pulled into it (the movie). Their (the characters’) lives are so palpable.”

After the movie ended, Cox led an informal discussion about the movie.

Junior communication and creative writing student Wyatt Deutsch said it was a good movie loaded with different meanings.

The cinematography was also beautiful, according to Deutsch.

Senior Jacob Williamson-Rea said he had read many of Woodrell’s works, including his poetry.

“I don’t know why, (but) people (seem to) like that gritty realism stuff.”

Cox said poverty, gender and relationships with close and further family members are some of the themes he derived from the movie.

He also said actress Jennifer Lawrence – 19 years old at the time – portrayed the teenage protagonist’s complicated emotions well in the movie.

“She (was) not Jennifer Lawrence (who later became an award-winning actress) yet, but she (was) getting there.”

Both Cox and Deutsch said the slow tempo of the dialogues seemed representative of people from that area.

Junior creative writing student Montana Mang said she did not know about the events until she received an email from Cox.

“I personally go because I like talking about the stories portrayed through the films,” she said.

Cox said he started Movies for Writers by playing five movies per year in the spring semesters about 10 years ago for a relatively small number of students.

“I like keeping the number of attendees small… it needs to be a student I have or have had in a writing class who is serious about writing, writes well and loves story telling.

“But it has never been about the numbers (of attendees); it has been about love for well-made (and) well-written cinema.”