May 2016, berlinale forum

Cinema Release: "Queen of Earth"

arsenal distribution is releasing QUEEN OF EARTH by Alex Ross Perry on May 5. The film had its world premiere in the 2015 Forum and screened at numerous international film festival subsequently. It tells of Catherine and Virginia who are best friends. Last year, Virginia wasn’t doing well, while it’s Catherine who’s struggling this year. Virginia’s parents own a lakeside cabin, the perfect place for a week of mutual wound licking. Sun pours in through the windows, framing the cool green of the trees outside. But this isn’t the refuge it seems and it’s not just the music that awakens the menace in the images. The ripples across the lake and the wan sunlight offer little comfort, to say nothing of the picture of a skull lying forgotten in a cupboard. Last year’s events keep crashing in upon the present, things weren’t good then and they aren’t better now. When the two women confide in one another, it’s like two separate monologues, the camera gliding between their strained faces as if they were one and the same. They otherwise stick to wry barbs, each criticizing the other’s privilege as they still cling on to their bond. As salad leaves wilt, men come and go, and tension gives way to hostility, what even remains of this friendship? Dark-ringed eyes alight with rage, a stream of quiet bile, one face cut into another, two true Queens of Earth. (James Lattimer)