Psycho Goreman (Steven Kostanski 2020)

It will seem petty to disparage Psycho Goreman, a lovable and wacky teen movie with an overwhelming central performance from Nita-Josee Hanna. However, the genre merging horror, sci-fi, screwball comedy is deplorable. The film rejoices in the motif of enslavement. It normalizes it, and even…


Nomadland (Chloé Zhao 2020) & Once Upon a River (Haroula Rose 2019)

As the dust settles on the accolades bestowed to Chloé Zhao and Frances McDormand for Nomadland, I am curious to consider how the movie questions if independence is possible in societies systemically inflected by perfectionism. To assess this…


I only encountered German artist Joseph Beuys towards the end of his life in 1985. It was the opening of his exhibition Plight at London’s Antony D’Offay gallery. Outside it felt like the UK was at war. On one side, the Conservatives, led by Margaret Thatcher, worked to disempower the…


Ilya Naishuller violent thriller movie Nobody with Katherine Angel’s Tomorrow Sex will be Good Again

A woman in a red dress and a man perform on a stage before a sleazy backdrop.

Katherine Angel’s slim book-length essay Tomorrow Sex will be Good Again has attracted the attention of various commentators looking for means to rethink today’s conundrums of sex, coercion, and power. The book’s context is Angel’s…


Two women kiss passionately in the sea

Now, the widespread vogue for fossils is waning, former youthful prodigy paleontologist Mary Anning’s shop in Lyme Regis is an icy low-key place. In Francis Lee’s movie, Mary, played with stoicism by Kate Winslet, is embittered in mid-life and in need of change. Living is a battle against cloying mud…


It is not every week that a fig-leaf metaphor is used in diverse contexts on the same day. It struck me as disturbing. Why did it surprisingly pop into more than one head?

‘One country, two systems’ is now merely a fig leaf covering for the Chinese Communist Party’s expanding…


A number on the street made no announcement. You were admitted, buzzed, through a steel door into a grey quadrangle. You turned left into a courtyard perpendicular to the quad. On the far side was the way in. Inside you were elevated, a few concrete steps above a large space…


In London, three exhibitions look obliquely at women’s agency in relation to the spiritual in ways that reveal as much of the present’s constraints as the hindrances of the past. Each exposes a different dilemma of visibility, stigma, and stereotype across historical eras. With unusual cultural slants, the exhibitions expose…


In pink, the back of a head, a KluKlux Klan mask and a sofa, somewhat awkwardly pained, floating on a flat white background.

The young artist Philippe Goldstein decided it was preferable to hide his Jewish identity. He adopted the name Philip Guston. …


Milos, a young man standing without trousers but wearing an official cap in a dim room

It cannot have been easy for Jiří Menzel (1938–2020); he produced the masterpiece Closely Watched Trains as his debut feature. The movie poses that question, how do you move on? The characters are like insects trapped in amber because they were standing too long in the wrong place. The movie…

Andrewstooke

Andrew Stooke is a nonaffiliated artist, writer, and researcher based in Shanghai and London.

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