Greta ★★★

"Alfred Hitchcock was obsessed with women’s handbags. Name any Alfred Hitchcock film and you’d find him lingering on the image of a satchel, a purse, a clutch, a secret. Alfred Hitchcock found these items alluring, a kind of sissy, force-femme situation where he wanted nothing more than to open a purse and find the woman therein, and there was a central desire that ran through those lingering images that felt more like asking for castration than fleeing from it. He’s a contradictory filmmaker, because he is both obsessed and repulsed by women, but that central theory is what makes him interesting, because he stands in for any man, but more specifically a kind of man with menstrual envy. David Lynch works similarly. In his book Room to Dream he discusses a searing childhood memory of a seeing a naked woman for the first time, and he was terrified of her. He’d later re-purpose this very image in Blue Velvet, an image film critic Roger Ebert lambasted Lynch for over and over again. For David Lynch this nude woman, who was bleeding from the mouth, had an alien like presence in his own words. Boys and girls were built differently. How do you reconcile this? What can possibly be inside of a purse? When you unzip, unlatch or open this leather secret what could be learned? What is the mystery of women? Great male auteur’s have been asking this destabilizing (for them) question for as long as cinema has existed. Greta is the latest film to do so, but does it do so well?"

Full Review here: