There few film distributors who engender loyalty quite like A24, a company whose track record has been so consistent and so downright fascinating that we were compelled to rank every single movie they’ve released. Their ever-expanding filmography looks to continue with Woodshock, which certainly looks like it’ll slide right into their library. An unsettling little movie, with fresh talent behind the camera, starring a performer who has proven herself time and time again to be worth watching? Yeah, that’s the exact kind of movie we’ve come to expect from A24 at this point.
The Woodshock trailer is light on plot but heavy on stunning visuals…and on Kirsten Dunst, who has quietly re-emerged as one of the most exciting actresses working at the moment.
Although a certain portion of the filmgoing world will forever associate Dunst with her work in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies, she has spent the past decade or so taking all kinds of chances alongside all kinds of filmmakers. Her work in Melancholia is nothing short of breathtaking and her turn in Fargo season 2 revealed a side of her we had never seen before. She’s proven time and time again that she’s willing to take chances…and oh boy, does Woodshock look like a pretty big chance.
Written and directed by fashion designers Kate Mulleavy and Laura Mulleavy (founders of the Rodarte label), Woodshock follows “Theresa, a haunted young woman spiraling in the wake of profound loss, torn between her fractured emotional state and the reality-altering effects of a potent cannabinoid drug.” If you think the trailer will elaborate further on that, you’d be wrong. It’s mostly bizarre, hypnotic, and frequently unsettling images showcasing Dunst’s descent into despair. It looks like a feast for the eyes, at the very least.
While the Mulleavy are first-time filmmakers, their experience as designers seems to have equipped them with the right chops to create something that looks lovely. The big question right now is whether or nor they can tell a story…or rather, if Woodshock is even interested in telling a story. Because that’s okay, too. This movie looks like a grand aesthetic experiment and sometimes that’s more than enough to justify a film’s existence, provided it offer the right questions for us to chew on.
Here’s the official synopsis:
The exquisite feature film debut of visionary fashion designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy (Rodarte), Woodshock is a hypnotic exploration of isolation, paranoia, and grief that exists in a dream-world all its own. Kirsten Dunst stars as Theresa, a haunted young woman spiraling in the wake of profound loss, torn between her fractured emotional state and the reality-altering effects of a potent cannabinoid drug. Immersive, spellbinding, and sublime, Woodshock transcends genre to become a singularly thrilling cinematic experience that marks the arrival of the Mulleavy siblings as a major new voice in film.
Woodshock is set to open on September 15, 2017.
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