It’s a little over two years following the culture-shifting reporting that sparked the #MeToo movement, and we’ve finally gotten the first truly great movie about the culture in need of dismantling. Kitty Green’s The Assistant follows a single day in the life of Julia Garner’s Jane, a new employee working for a Harvey Weinstein-like bullying boss. We inhabit her state of mind not through what she says or thinks but rather through what she does – primarily, dreary office tasks. But through the simplest of labor, Green brings to light a number of complex systems of gender, sex and power that undergird all workplace behavior yet remains unspoken.
The film represents a remarkable step forward for Green, who previously made waves for her 2017 documentary film Casting JonBenet. In that film, Green visited the hometown of the slain child pageant queen and used the pretext of a film based on the murder to explore how the event continues to make ripples in the community. She’s our most humanist “true crime” filmmaker, if one can assign her films to any genre at all, because her concern lies less in wrongdoing itself and more in how a community responds to it. In my interview with Kitty Green, we discussed how she found the film’s unique rhythm as well as how her research led her to emphasize the mundane over the sensational. Read More »
(Welcome to The Streamer’s Guide, a new monthly feature recommending at-home viewing options from filmmakers with new movies arriving in theaters this month.)
You may recognize this column name from its appearances surrounding the Sundance, Toronto and New York film festivals over the last two years. Festivals provide an important opportunity to assess filmmakers releasing new works and contextualizing them within their previous projects. They’re often useful for cinephiles and writers looking for growth or an auteurist stamp.
But … why limit it to just festivals? Each month offers a fresh crop of new releases, many of which are culminations or further explorations of elements from those creative teams’ prior work. So we’ve now expanded this feature to encompass each month’s new releases, and believe it or not, there are even things to look at in the barren terrain of January – Hollywood’s traditional graveyard for ominous-looking releases.
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The monstrous behavior of Harvey Weinstein finally met its match a couple years ago when women in Hollywood took a stand against the heinous abuse and sexual harassment that came from one of entertainment’s most infamous producers. It sparked the #MeToo movement and made waves across show business, targeting the manipulative men who had been taking advantage of women and behaving inappropriately for years. Now, a new drama called The Assistant shines even more light on the toxic environment that too many women have had to put up with, and the first trailer has just arrived. Read More »