Click here to read this year’s edition of the 25 New Faces of Film.
“A unique collision of private and public fantasy took place in the 1960s, and may have to wait some years to be repeated, if ever,” J. G. Ballard said in an interview contained within the 1983 reissue of his experimental novel, The Atrocity Exhibition. In Ballard’s view, the decade’s political and cultural jolts, coupled with the rise of mass media, produced what he called in another interview “a peculiar psychological climate…” a “landscape around us that was almost like a gigantic novel; we were living more and more inside a strange, enormous work of fiction.” Eloise, the 18-year-old heroine of […]
“It is all about an urge, a powerful and overwhelming urge, to fulfill myself, to fulfill this life that is inside me, to fulfill it in every way, leaving nothing untapped. That is what it is all about: the excesses, the anxiety, the restlessness, the pain, carrying around in me this irrepressible need to fulfill myself in every way possible.”—Kathleen Collins If I were to attempt to choose one word to sum up Kathleen Collins’s work it would be interiority. The idea of leaving nothing untapped or laying it all bare is prevalent across her plays, screenplays, short stories and […]
It’s 1963: High-minded Welsh musician John Cale participates in a concert of Erik Satie’s Vexations—per the composer’s intent, 840 piano performances of the same piece, totaling 18 hours—alongside experimental luminaries like John Cage, La Monte Young and Tony Conrad. Later that year, Cale appears on the CBS game show I’ve Got a Secret, where guests are grilled by a panel that tries to determine what their particular secret might be. Cale’s performance of the Satie piece is eventually established as his in front of a slightly disbelieving host and audience. The not-so-politely implicit question: Why would anyone do something so […]
It was December 1964, and Stanley Kubrick had a problem: No one wanted his new movie. The 36-year-old director had spent months writing a treatment for a science fiction film titled Journey Beyond the Stars with renowned novelist Arthur C. Clarke. When he started to pitch it, however, he found that no movie company wanted to produce it, with only MGM showing a vague interest. Considering his near legendary status nowadays, it may come as a surprise to learn that in the early 1960s, despite his growing reputation, Kubrick did not yet have movie moguls at his beck and call. […]
Starting in 2012, the saga of mother/daughter scammers Justina and Ana Belén was low-key Spanish news fodder. Their scheme followed a buy-first, pay-never model, using a variety of excuses to dodge their bills. They came to legal attention when they attempted to dodge a hotel bill in Gijón, Spain, by threatening to accuse the proprietor of sexual harassment; a year later, in 2013, they were again arrested in the same city for racking up thousands of euros in unpaid dinners. In 2017, Argentinian-born artist Amalia Ulman received a photo of the Beléns from her mother, Ale, who still lives in […]
Following her breakout film, the high school cannibal romp Raw (2016), filmmaker Julia Ducournau doubles down on her predilections for freely reconstructed human flesh. The Palme d’Or–winning Titane strays even further from traditional narrative logic, emerging as a baroque investigation of the power of bodies to morph in response to the desires and violence of both people and machines. Taking its title from the metal plate installed in a young girl’s head after her father (Bertrand Bonello, in a fun bit of casting) crashes their car amid her aggressive fury, it is, yes, the movie where a woman fucks a […]
In August 2021, Elon Musk announced that his company is prototyping a humanoid robot called the “Tesla Bot.” He shared the stage with an ecstatically dancing figure that was obviously a human in a robot costume. Musk assured the audience that eventually the robot “will be real” and will derive from the AI system used in Tesla vehicles. The cars are already “semi-sentient robots on wheels,” Musk said, in yet another of his grandiose claims intended to disguise their minimal autonomous driving capabilities. It all appeared like a desperate attempt to siphon some of the nervous excitement that Boston Dynamics […]