A year ago, the world was brought to a standstill. There’s no need to explain why, we were all there. Over the last few months, several movies set during the pandemic have entered development – and a few have already been released. But do people really want to watch scenes of social distancing, masks, and toilet roll hoarding right now?
“It made me feel thrillingly horrible,” Rose (Odessa Young) says to Shirley (Elisabeth Moss) about her latest short story ‘The Lottery’ when they first meet. That line sums up Josephine Decker’s newest feature pretty succinctly.
I don’t watch horror movies. I wish I could – my avoidance of the genre doesn’t come from a place of snobbery. Fundamentally, I am just a wuss. However, in the summer of 2019, I went to see Midsommar at the cinema. Why? I can’t really tell you. I would do anything for Florence Pugh, I suppose. Whatever the case, I went to see Midsommar, and I loved it. So what was different about this particular horror flick? Why was Midsommar the exception to the rule?
Chances are, if you’re currently addicted to TikTok — who isn’t? — you’ve seen a bougie house tour on your For You page. You know the sort of thing: expansive roof terraces, exposed brick walls, kitchens you could play football in; all filmed with TikTok’s bling filter on, as if they needed to look any more luxurious. But what about ‘micro-living’ content?
I’ve never been an intuitive cook. At one point, I was not an intuitive eater, either, and both tasks were a challenge. Now, I like food and I like eating, but I’m still not a natural in the kitchen – perhaps a by-product of time spent shying away from what was on my plate.
Nora Ephron’s films, from the ones she wrote to the ones she directed, are all about relationships. As assorted rom-com characters are prone to telling us, a key part of any relationship is communication, but the way we communicate has changed. It’s changed since When Harry Met Sally was released in 1989, and it’s changed even over the course of this year, with virtual interaction replacing a lot of face-to-face socialising.
Postcards in Isolation 12: Georgia O’ Keeffe, Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico / Out Back of Marie’s II, 1930
I saw Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico / Out Back of Marie’s II for the first time at Tate Modern’s Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition in early September 2016. The gallery was busy and bustling so I couldn’t stand in front of it for long, but I tried to absorb as much of it as I could, letting my eyes feast on the colours – the blues and the pinks and the browns.
“What is history? Who makes history, and who’s left out?” filmmaker Barbara Hammer asked in an interview with BOMB Magazine in 2018. In The Watermelon Woman and Shirkers, directors Cheryl Dunye and Sandi Tan endeavour to answer these same questions.