The Brothers Quay’s first narrative feature builds upon many of the themes found in their animated shorts. Within Institute Benjamenta, or this dream people call human life (1995), the Quays explore expressive spaces, play with sonic and visual textures, and search for the poetic within banal movement.
Jon Jost has directed dozens of films over an approximately 50-year career. His films span documentary, narrative, experimental, and personal essay, often existing in the spaces between genres, and he has shot a range of formats. Jost is known for his commitment to true independence, choosing to work small and, along with that, focus his… Read more »
Within horror criticism, much has been made of the relationship between female monstrosity and the girl monster’s emerging sexuality. Going back to feminist film scholar Barbara Creed, the girl monster’s transformation has been linked with menstruation and forbidden desire. Films themselves have taken up these themes, including the films I look at in my video.
Sergei Eisenstein’s theories of montage are well known but often oversimplified. In this video, I offer my interpretation of Eisenstein’s film theory, drawing from his 1928 film October: Ten Days that Shook the World to illustrate his ideas about montage. Within Eisenstein’s writings, he repeatedly returns to the importance of conflicting lines of form and movement… Read more »
Alfred Hitchcock began his career in the silent era, first as a title designer and then as an art director, before moving onto directing his first (unreleased and unfinished) feature in 1922. As a young man, Hitchcock had an interest in the movies as an art unto itself, and he was influenced by Russian, German,… Read more »
The witch is a longstanding media archetype, one featured frequently in 20th century Disney films. In this video, I look at the delightfully evil Sanderson Sisters from the 1993 Disney film, Hocus Pocus (dir. Kenny Ortega), connecting the sisters to other Disney villains, the history of the witch, and what it means for women to defy… Read more »