Her filmography is preoccupied with perception: of people, places, generations, and cultures. Her films argue that our ability to patiently observe is often all that stands in the way of personal enlightenment and cross-cultural connection.
The specter of ephemerality hangs over the exquisitely beautiful and moving The Taste of Things, a movie that is simultaneously about food in every possible sense and also not at all, one that treats the acts of cooking and eating with reverence while recognizing in them an entry point to something more profound.
Our imaginations forge our borders as surely as our borders forge us. Virginia Woolf demanded a room of her own, but Charlotte Brontë's lady in the attic might've had something altogether different to say about that. For ultimately we are the ones who affix meaning to place.
I am always trying to understand the individual, the hands, the face, the person I am following and how they felt about what was happening to them. I think that takes it out of a place of violence for violence’s sake. It takes it out of a place of spectacle, and it brings it into the intimacy of a human interaction, violence being one of them.
Pictures of Ghosts is as much a meditation on a home, a city, and a stretch of modern history—and how, over time, all three have evolved—as it is a memory-filled tour of a vanished world of movie theaters and other traces of film culture, tinged with a sense of loss.
Years in Review
Reverse Shot's annual awards and accolades, including Biggest Small Movie, Smallest Big Movie, Most Deflating Trend, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Goulash, Best Reality Break, Best Scene-Stealer, Most Myopic Biopic, Best Comeback Comedy, and more!
On paper, these characters may sound primed for coarse caricature, these scenarios potentially played for broad laughs. But Avilés tunes her film to a minor key, elegantly and arrestingly whipping up a fine frenzy of mayhem, mundanities, merriment, and doom.
Lyrical turnarounds like “Drive boy dive boy / Dirty numb angel boy / In the doorway boy / She was a lipstick boy”—in this surreal context, the sounds of human confusion are not so far away from how a glitching machine might speak. Homer’s version, a synthetic soliloquy.
At many points, the story is deemphasized in favor of aesthetic and philosophical experimentation. In these sequences, rain, and the vivid soundscape it creates, work together with long shots, extended takes, and slow pacing to demonstrate the convergence of mortal and sacred realms.
Many of the best and most radical films came from major auteurs experimenting with new forms, whether that is Hong Sang-soo, Pedro Costa, or Wang Bing. Plus: Lois Patiño, James Benning, Deborah Stratman, Steve McQueen, Eduardo Williams, Joshua Gen Solondz, and more.
A brutally effective journey into hell on earth, The Settlers reckons with the violent birth of modern-day Chile at the hands of Spanish colonizers all too willing to treat the people indigenous to the land as an obstacle to be cleared away like timber in the name of “progress.”