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1,006 Ratings

Female Human Animal

Directed by Josh Appignanesi
United Kingdom, 2018


A retrospective of surrealist painter Leonora Carrington is the gateway to the fantasies of its curator, novelist Chloe. Inebriated by the mystery of the work and fed up with the world and the men around her, Chloe’s life soon becomes a dark and obsessive psychosexual nightmare.

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Female Human Animal Directed by Josh Appignanesi
In a powerful shot of Aridjis’s face in a foggy bathroom vanity, her feral beauty appears uncannily like Carrington’s own in an early self-portrait. Indeed, the riddle of Aridjis’s absorbing performance lies in its ambiguity of purpose: Has she been cast in a vulnerable character study or a winking metanarrative on sexual mores?
February 11, 2019
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The film’s provocative multiplicity attests to a state of flux in identity, dreams, and sexuality. Attending to modes of irrationality, Appignanesi composes a sincere yet frightful evocation of female psychology and the broad horizon that is the anatomy of desire, comparable to Paul Verhoeven’s work in Elle (2016) and Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon (2016).
November 29, 2018
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The way Aridjis’ father is photographed at the end of the phone is reminiscent of a James Bond villain. It’s a surprising, elegiac film with a thumping soundtrack by Andy Cooke that works by stoking interest in both Carrington and Aridjis, since it does not intellectualise about their lives, but rather creates a fantasy psycho-docudrama. Documentary surreality, if you will.
November 06, 2018
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