Day 19: Madeline’s Madeline

This might be the toughest film to write about for the challenge.

Madeline’s Madeline is about Madeline (played by Helena Howard) who does performance art. A lot of the things that led her there are hidden, occasionally hinted at. She is someone who has spent some time in a psych ward, who’s on medication but hasn’t gotten a refill yet.

She is someone who loses herself in herself, it makes sense that she’s built perfectly for performance art.

This is not your conventional film, in every sense of the word. There are strange visual cues, the audio fades in and out, coming from every direction possible.

The film opens with a character informing us that it’s a metaphor, you’re not actually a cat, just being the cat. It’s a metaphor. The character KK tells us this, or tells Madeline this, but in this scenario, there’s no difference at all. It feels like we are both as she gets lost in a character.

By definition, every film needs a point of view, and typically, the point of view is told through the lens of our protagonist. This film fully understands that as we are immersed and became lost with Madeline. We lose sense of reality because so has she.

Helena Howard. Holy shit. What an incredible performance. The way she weaves in and out of emotion is absolutely mesmerizing and masterful. How when she’s told to look depressed, she just stares blankly ahead, it felt like a knife to the gut. It’s so simple for her go to that for her.

The film is an assault of the senses, but in a good way. It keeps you awake, and it is entirely electrifying. This needs to be witnessed to be believed, and soon.

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