Assembly Required suggests it is high time to strap on a colorful mask and play with someone you don’t know — or don’t know well enough.
Eileen G’Sell is a poet and critic with regular contributions to Hyperallergic, Reverse Shot, The Hopkins Review, and The Riverfront Times, among other publications. In 2019 she was nominated for the Rabkin Prize in arts journalism. She teaches at Washington University in St. Louis. More on her writing can be found here.
A Body Horror Tale With an Avian Twist
Hanna Bergholm’s stunningly original debut film Hatching embraces the experience of female adolescence as the monster that it is, and then gives that monster literal wings.
The Breezy Bisexuality of Anaïs in Love
Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet’s directorial debut offers a twist of zest to the tired tale of a vivacious young woman pursuing romance with an older man.
In The Girl and the Spider, Voyeurism Is Both Comical and Creepy
Everybody seems to be infatuated with everyone else in the film, locking eyes with an intensity that could shame a tantra guru.
A Poignant Family Portrait in the Trappings of Sci-Fi
After Yang merges director Kogonada’s fastidious attention to form with a rare empathy for the insecurity of the human condition, especially within the nuclear unit.
Playground Looks at the Psychological and Physical Carnage of Childhood
Laura Wandel’s debut film examines the psychological — and physical — carnage wrought between children when grown-ups look the other way.
The Figural Ghosts of Oliver Lee Jackson’s Expressive Abstraction
Jackson’s two-dimensional surfaces lead us into a maze of shapes and visual gestures, yet tease us into recognizing the figures hidden within.
The Worst Person in the World Is Among the Best Portraits of Modern Womanhood
Part of the glory of the film is that its heroine’s choices, however unexpected, are taken seriously.
On Camouflage and Control in The Velvet Queen
Rather than celebrate intrepid man capturing, and controlling, the magic of “nature,” the film focuses more on how nature watches us.
Bruno Dumont’s France Is a Cogent, if Convoluted, Critique of Celebrity Culture
This may not be a great film, but its narrative and tonal weaknesses throw into relief just how strong Léa Seydoux is as its thumping heart.
C’mon C’mon and Mike Mills’s Vision of Masculine Vulnerability
In the films of Mike Mills, sensitive male characters reckon with who they are when who they are doesn’t seem to measure up.
The Automotive-Erotic Body Horror of Titane
What’s more natural, the film seems to ask — the “body parts” under the hood of a car or those pulsing beneath a woman’s navel?