Much of what I saw in 2018 reflected a related range of anxieties—about difference, catastrophe, isolation, belonging. Maybe that’s every year. Likely it’s too soon to tell. But among the things I saw, in a year of personal and political upheaval and ambivalence, these are the moments that solicited my attention most memorably.
Mandy is a visionary catalogue of the ways in which we attempt to survive, embrace, or succumb to the pain of living with death, and what happens when we lose the one thing that holds our world together.
Disobedience is a film as fluent in its rendering of the burden of orthodoxy as it is well-versed in the holy liberation of letting go.
In both The Haunting of Hill House and Annihilation, landscapes are the loci of the characters’ malfunctions. Hill House and Area X, respectively, give their characters a place to focus their energy—and then use that energy, that sense of comfort, to undo them.
Jinn’s exploration of Black Muslim girlhood stems from a long tradition of Black women exploring and constructing their own selves.
To watch the show’s four seasons is to watch broad types and tropes become subtler episode by episode, making us slowly question what, and who, the real object of the joke is.
This is where humiliation lives: in the gap between the self we want to be and the self we actually are.
As much as The Miseducation of Cameron Post is about finding salvation within one’s self, it is also about finding hope and protection in the arms of a chosen family.
It's hard to know whether The Mule will be Clint Eastwood’s final film, either in front of or behind the camera—but it sure feels like it.
On the one hand, everything we do may be meaningless. Oblivion may be the only truth. But on the other, maybe it’s exactly this ultimate despair that makes our all our everyday actions essential.
A mid-winter love affair feels decadent but also rather necessary, and Cold War rewards like a hot chocolate spiked with brandy: warming, bracing, to be savored.
This scream is a scream of defiance.