It was my good fortune this week to stumble upon a short film that I had been completely unaware of before now (which says a lot more about me than about the film, I assure you) and in turn became a hugely enjoyable viewing experience. The Tinwife came to my attention essentially due to plans for an upcoming interview with actress Anna Seibel who appeared in a movie that I am proud to have previously helped in a very tiny way to promote, Patient 62 – the review for which can be found RIGHT HERE.
It was while I was doing some (ahem) legendary intense 5D research I found out (ok, I was told by someone who actually knows about this stuff) that Anna had also recently appeared in another Sci-fi production. Of course I quickly realised that she would no doubt be keen to talk about that film too in the interview and so decided that I would contact the filmmakers to ask for a special viewing of The Tinwife – besides which, if nothing else it would save me from looking like a complete fool (as opposed to the near-complete fool that I usually am) when she would talk about The Tinwife and I would have to do my ‘nod and smile’ impression having not heard of it, let alone seen it.
The interview with Anna should be taking place in the next week or so and will appear on the 5D YouTube channel. If you are interested in any way then check out some of the delights of various interviewees politely putting up with my shambolic interviewing technique (I must remember that the interviews are not all about me). You can see a recent video of my chat with actor William Kircher (The Hobbit, Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter) RIGHT HERE – Also, if you’d like to subscribe to the channel I would love you and your futureborn for all eternity.
Anyhoo – back to the actual point of this article, because every once in a while there is actually a point to what I do on here. Thanks to the kind and quick response of the film’s director and screenwriter, Travis Neufeld, I was sent a super-secret online screener of The Tinwife – and boy did it provide something for me and Anna Seibel to talk about……..
In a 1950’s future-world, a human woman (Wendy, played by Anna Mazurik) finds herself mistakenly arrested and imprisoned in an internment facility for defective and unwanted android housewives. Inside one of the holding cells, she meets a group of “Tinwives”, including the rebellious Juliet (Anna Seibel), and becomes witness to the horrific nature of the society in which she lives.
The Tinwife is quite simply is a beautiful example of retro science-fiction short filmmaking. The result is a deeply authentic 1950’s representation of both the era itself in terms of fashion and music, but also in terms of what predictions that particular era had for the future – you know that type of thing I mean; flying cars, highways in the sky, immaculate architecture, automation and technology throughout the house and of course, we would all have our own personal android servants.
The filmmakers have taken these futuristic projections and served them up with a dark and deeply oppressive twist that suggest it satisfies the true desires of men, namely in using technology not to free us from oppression, but to use it to instead remake women into subservient beings and disposable commodities. This world portrayed here is no utopia for women.
It could be argued that this perfectly encapsulates the real freedom of women in the 1950’s, the apparent sexual revolution merely a façade of the barriers they actually faced both at home and (if they were allowed to work) in their jobs.
However what The Tinwife also does is tap into more contemporary views about women and the genuine misogyny that still exists in society today. One only has to hear the views of a certain President or the current allegations of a certain Hollywood producer and his treatment of women as sex objects to see that this philosophy is still ingrained in many of us.
The people behind The Tinwife well and truly wear their stylistic hearts on their collective sleeves. By all accounts “the film is greatly inspired by the films and television of the 1950’s (read: anything Hitchcock and Rod Serling). In creating the film, their aim was to bring a mix of both contemporary and 1950’s cinematic sensibilities to life through the overall style of the film, writing, production design, and score. Altogether, the film is meant to simultaneously feel old and new – existing somewhere in-between a clash of past and future in both form and subject.” Do you want to know something? They bloody well succeed.
A special mention needs to be given to the stand-out performances of Anna Mazurik (Wendy) and Anna Seibel (Juliet). All too often the sterling work of independent filmmakers is let down by the quality of acting, but not here.
Mazurik is excellent as the initially bemused, then horrified, and finally resigned housewife who finds herself in a nightmare, while Seibel is equally fabulous as the ‘rebellious 50’s rocker’. I really don’t want to give too much more away, but their and the rest of the female ensemble provide and emotional punch in an end scene that I haven’t experienced in quite some time.
The Tinwife – Official Selections
– Cinequest Film & VR Festival – World Premiere – March 2017
– Imagine Film Festival – International Premiere – April 2017
– Woods Hole Film Festival – July 2017
– Film Score and Scruffy City Music and Film Festival – July 2017
– HollyShorts – Aug 2017
– Dragon Con – Sept 2017
– Louisville International Festival of Film – Sept 2017
– FilmQuest – Sept 2017
– Ottawa Spookshow and Fantastic Fest – Sept 2017
– Fargo Fantastic Film Festival – Sept 2017
– Fimucite – Sept 2017
– SciFi Film Festival – Oct 2017
– Chilliwack Film Festival – Nov 2017
– Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival 2017
The Tinwife – Awards
– Best Short Screenplay – Cinequest Short Screenplay Competition
– Best Short Script – Manhattan Short Film Festival Screenplay Competition
– First Place Science Fiction – Dragon Con
– Best Original Soundtrack Short Film – Film Score
– (Nomination) Best Sci-fi Short – FilmQuest
– (Nomination) Best Original Score – Short Film – FilmQuest
– (Nomination) Best Original Score – Short Film – Fimucite