Nr. 10

From its opening image of ocean waves stuttering slowly behind a sheet of steely rain to its final vista of human detritus turned into cosmic junk, Nr. 10 seems determined above all to enter and exit every scene in medias res.

Nanny

Nanny begins with Aisha (Anna Diop) asleep. Shadows, undulations, and a spreading dampness affect her bedclothes, while a spider makes an entrance just as Aisha wakes with a start.

Birth

The camera floats just a little behind and a little above the figure of a man running through Central Park. In this, Birth’s overture, we seem to observe the running man from the perspective of Death itself—a force as calm, steady, and inescapable as the pale-faced harbinger who appears in the opening scenes of The Seventh Seal.

Woman in the Dunes

The tale of an amateur entomologist (Eiji Okada) lured by seemingly amiable rural folk into a sand pit from which he is unable to escape, Woman in the Dunes would seem to generate its particular strain of terror from our primal fear of sequestration and austerity.

Speak No Evil

The English title of Christian Tafdrup’s third feature initially reads as a strategy to draw horror fans, a pleading form of genre assurance that the film’s anodyne original Danish title, Gæsterne, or The Guests, cannot offer.

What Josiah Saw

The enduring allure of Southern Gothic seems inextricable from the biblical entropy that haunts its storytelling, segregating it from the vagaries of time and culture wars like an oppressively protective porch mama.

It’s What’s Inside That Counts

Cronenberg hallmarks may ripple through Crimes of the Future, but the director’s transcendent return offers fresh flavors of food for thought.

We’re All Going to the World’s Fair

I haven’t seen Jane Schoenbrun’s first feature, a 2018 documentary entitled A Self-Induced Hallucination. The film’s IMDb page offers a teasingly terse synopsis: “It’s about the internet, and it’s quite strange.” Schoenbrun’s fictional follow-up, a chamber horror that is strange, about the internet, and is concerned with self-induced hallucinations, appears to be a sort of companion piece…

The Pink Cloud

Brazilian writer-director Iuli Gerbase’s debut feature begins with the whole of humanity being forced indoors by a pervasive vapor as deadly as it is seemingly innocuous. As days, weeks, months pass with no indication of when the rose-colored threat will recede, prolonged universal quarantine gives rise to a mental-health crisis.

Arrebato (Rapture)

Birthed during the cultural thaw that immediately followed the end of the Franco dictatorship, Basque writer-director and designer Iván Zulueta’s 1979 feature Arrebato (Rapture) erupts like a massive discharge of so much repressed anxiety and desire.