Much has been made of the fleshiness of Claire Denis’ 2001 horror film, Trouble Every Day. With its cannibalistic and erotic themes, the film almost demands a tactile analysis. But in my most recent viewing of Trouble Every Day, I was struck by its uncanny sound design. The sound does not call attention to itself… Read more »
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Céline Sciamma, 2019) revolves around a refusal of a woman to be looked at. Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) will not sit for her own portrait, because she knows that portrait is the means to take her into an unwanted marriage with an unknown man. It’s the 18th century, though, and… Read more »
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 »