Personal Shopper (TIFF Review)

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An avant-garde ghost tale of unreciprocated love and processing tragedy while at our most vulnerable. Seen through the impenetrable eyes of our tormenting technologies, Personal Shopper is a richly introspective rumination on grief, self-gratification and our unfulfilled desires. Kristen Stewart commits herself to a painfully complex role, stripping herself bare both emotionally and physically. Women’s bodies in the film tosses between both a fetishizing and antiseptic look from both the camera and audience. This airtight world quickly unwinds itself through a subjective backdrop, producing a sense of separation on our voyeuristic visual desires and provoking on our fantasies. The movie speaks to an invisible guest, a spectator, looking and objectifying women through a supernatural diegesis, as it exhibits a bold and erotic statement on the control and possession of distressed women. Assayas knows how to meticulously elicit and arouse his audience through a series of wholly original filmmaking techniques, probing our sense of imagination and wonder through its supernatural themes and mechanics of telecommunication. A lot to decipher here, and I am growing more excited and willing to revisit the more I think about it. [B+]

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