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281 Ratings

Butter on the Latch

Directed by Josephine Decker
United States, 2013
  • English
  • No subtitles


At a balkan folk festival deep in a California forest, Sarah reunites with her old friend Isolde for a trip of stories and sensations, as they embrace the lush natural surroundings. But when Sarah meets and decides to seduce a handsome male camper, reality and myth become hopelessly entangled.

Our take

Intrepid filmmaker and performance artist Josephine Decker dazzled the Berlinale with this sinister and rewardingly disorienting thriller. A free-form head trip and truly independent debut, Butter on the Latch takes us on a semi-mythical journey through the woods and into the throes of friendship.

Butter on the Latch Directed by Josephine Decker
Lots of indies strive for weirdness, but unusual ways of seeing—both in terms of literal camera placement and the more ephemeral quality of “perspective”—come to Decker naturally. Butter on the Latch is nightmarish in the truest sense; its freakiest moments seem to have been filmed with eyes wide shut.
October 18, 2018
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Decker makes intense, visionary films. Her two features, Butter on the Latch and Thou Wast Mild and Lovely, are lyrical, but this is not a calm, contemplative, conventionally “poetic” cinema. Instead, it is full of disorientation and surprise — narrative, formal, stylistic. Every single element of film form seems to get a playful workout in her hands.
April 08, 2016
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Borrowing from, but hardly beholden to, horror and the psychological thriller, Butter on the Latch can sometimes feel like the European film experiments of the 1920s, many of which owed their fascination with the relationship between reality and fantasy to 19th-century Romanticism, gothic horror, Freudian psychoanalysis and wartime post-traumatic stress.
March 23, 2014
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