Trains, toys, and Kyle Chandler’s furrowed brow — that’s what you get when you watch “Carol” without women.
In honor of International Women’s Day, women around the world are striking from unpaid and paid labor in an act of solidarity highlighting women’s contributions to the workforce. In honor of the strike, dubbed “Day Without a Woman,” this oddly moving video essay presents every scene in Todd Haynes’ 2015 masterpiece, “Carol,” that does not feature a woman.
From the opening credits to Kyle Chandler and the other guys in the movie, “Carol” without women plays like six minutes of a discarded idea for a Terrence Malick film. Without the film’s two leads, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, the film doesn’t deliver much. “Carol,” which was written by Phyllis Nagy and based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith, is an elegant period romance about a forbidden affair between an aspiring photographer and an older divorcee. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards in 2016.
Surprisingly, the new cut uncovers some underlying motifs: The sound of a creaking train track juxtaposed with a toy train set, or repeated calming view of the American landscape as seen through the window of a moving car. The video essay is an inverted riff on the “Every Word Spoken” series, which cuts together every spoken line by a person of color in major films. While one highlights lack of representation, the other celebrates “Carol” for putting women at the center of their own stories.
Watch it on Jezebel.