The Power of the Dog – 35mm Presentation at HOME

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor

The Power of the Dog at HOME Manchester, Manchester, 15–18 April 2022 - Book now

Jane Campion’s (The Piano, Top of the Lake) award-winning, Oscar contender Power of the Dog has been cause for ecstatic reactions, discussion and debate since it debuted last year. The New Zealand filmmaker’s foreboding take on the old west stands in contrast to the popular conception of what a Western is, and yet fits into a lineage of idiosyncratic, sideways counters to America’s tendency for self-mythologising.

The film follows two brothers, working their inherited ranch on a frontier town in the early 1920s. Phil Burbank (a seldom better Benedict Cumberbatch) is a brooding, grumbling throwback, an intentionally intimidating cattle man who yearns for an earlier era, and idolises his long deceased mentor. His bother George (Jesse Plemons) has a more modern outlook, and earns Phil’s ire by wedding a local restaurant owner Rose (Kirsten Dunst), and inviting her home along with her teenage son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) from a previous marriage.

Adapted from a 1967 novel by Thomas Savage, The Power of the Dog plays with tension; fluctuating in intensity as Phil conducts a campaign of terror against his new housemates — driving Rose to drink, but awakening a new curiosity in Peter. Campion pulls the psychological threads of the material with expert care, with ominous textures added by Ari Wegner’s cinematography, and a Jonny Greenwood score.

The film is returning to HOME this Easter weekend with screenings sure to benefit from the flicker of a new 35mm print. Days and times: Friday 15 April 8pm; Saturday 16 April 5.15pm; Sunday 17 April 1.30pm; Monday 18 April 5.15pm.

The Power of the Dog at HOME Manchester, Manchester

15–18 April 2022