Meshes of the Afternoon

Meshes of the Afternoon ★★★★★

this is so, so many things but it is also totally thee ur-slasher in which dream and reality overlap and become indistinguishable and a Phantom figure projects from within and/or invades into a woman's home/space/body. the phantom is mirror faced, slipping into a specific man who is also herself, eliding the difference, figuring both as the Woman's pseudo-doubles in a space of destabilized identity that is all parts multiplicity, opacity, reflection, and gender confusion. the immediate Threat to the body inside/outside emerges in the knife, the dread of stalking/being stalked. murder/suicide, escape and imprisonment, in bodies in domesticity. the shadowed mirror figure laying the funerary flower, the woman dead by her own hand, which is the hand of the man, and the phantom reflection which, like the film, can never be wholly parsed, but must be felt/sigilized into the brain. it is all figured in dreams which act as overlays onto "reality." the subjective is made practically objective via the literalizing mechanism of film, turning the documentary camera into the medium of raw psychic affect, churned with symbols, but where dread/daze/momentum are primary. prefigures the entire slasher cycle in the way it tells and retells itself in variation, sometimes more, sometimes less self-aware; a genre bigger than any one auteur, and the Flashing Knife as ur-totem almost two decades before Psycho. horror was always for women, always ours.

this might be the best horror film ever made? this is just me applying the same rubric over older films, but it's there. it's there. we kept/keep telling the same story.

we are a cauldron; our fear is a knife.

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