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.
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.
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.
This scream is a scream of defiance.