Jeff Nichols on Take Shelter: Borderland Film Podcast

Cloudy with a Chance of Impending Doom: Michael Shannon tries to weather the storm in TAKE SHELTER.

Cloudy with a Chance of Impending Doom: Michael Shannon tries to weather the storm in TAKE SHELTER.

Roland Emmerich can bite me. The guy’s been making disaster films since time can remember, yet for all his besetting humans with floods, fires, and earthquakes (and the occasional alien invasion), he’s never managed to make something as resonant, affecting, and powerful as TAKE SHELTER. A film that skirts the line between vivid fantasy and straight drama, it tells the tale of a loving, working-class husband and father (Michael Shannon) suddenly overwhelmed by visions of impending doom and torn between the compulsion to protect his wife (Jessica Chastain) and deaf daughter (Tova Stewart) from the onslaught and the fear that a family history of schizophrenia may be making itself manifest. This is director Jeff Nichols second feature (and his second with Shannon), and in weaving a scenario that balances vivid imagery with nuanced observation — and is highlighted by moving, vulnerable performances from Shannon and Chastain, among others –  the film speaks compellingly not only to the power of familial love, but to a sense of creeping helplessness that’s overtaking American society.

Click on the player to hear my interview with Nichols.

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About the Author

Dan Persons

DAN PERSONS is a New York-based writer who first got bit by the Cinefantastique bug when he encountered the 1979 double issue devoted to the sci-fi classic FORBIDDEN PLANET. He contributed for many years to the magazine, first as a correspondent, then as an editor.

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