Film: Saint Maud (2019)

Saint Maud presents itself as a story of the darkest depths of loneliness and what this can really do to a person such as our beloved Maud. Sent to be a carer for a dancer and choreographer who is slowly dying from lymphoma, Maud tries to save her, but ultimately this is not the fate her God has decided for her. 

Rose Glass captures the trauma that Maud has faced wonderfully on screen – or at least, as wonderfully as you can capture a true tragedy. As a character, Maud is undeniably lost. She wants to feel love, to feel wanted and ultimately, she wantsto tackle her demons. As Maud went through every motion, it seemed to be Glass’ intention that the audience felt it with her. I did, and Rose Glass created a wonderful piece of art with Saint Maud

If more details had been revealed about Maud’s dark past, the exegesis of the narrative could have been entirely different. Which is what helps to make Saint Maud quite beautiful – the puzzle pieces of Maud’s backstory leave her fate entirely open to various interpretations from its viewers. 

As her directorial debut, Rose Glass has presented us with an incredibly strong female-fronted horror film. I just hope that Glass’ brings us a longer feature next time.


Film: Da 5 Bloods (2020)

‘Love one another.’

Another classic Spike Lee joint, the auteur employs his anguish and his confidence throughout the unfolding of Da 5 Bloods. With bold storytelling, in-depth character studies and constant travelling between the past and the present, Lee paints a picture of real tension as four friends journey back to Vietnam on a hunt for their friends remains – and the treasure that they left there so many years prior. However, Lee’s film is much more than just a treasure hunt that pays homage to the likes of Apocalypse Now and The Treasure of Sierra Madre.

Although Da 5 Bloods sometimes feels as though three different films on the same subject matter have been intertwined with each other, this doesn’t take away from what Spike Lee is trying to portray. In fact, the chaos of this approach seems to add to Spike Lee’s message – and for the most part, it is necessary. The combination of aspect ratios (and 16mm film!), transitions between the present day and our characters memories, the appearance of real footage and images from the war itself all work together almost seamlessly to present the interminable continuum of war.

It is also important to note that the performance of Delroy Lindo, especially during his almost-insane monologues, acts as one that almost perfectly represents the torture of PTSD. The deep personal relationships that are at play here, and what becomes of them by the end of the film, reminds audiences that the war is far from over.