“Near-uncategorisable. It punctures the pretentiousness of the art world-- and it's a triumph.” Charlie Phillips, THE OBSERVER
“The most original film of 2018, and possibly the creepiest.” Jason Solomons, BBC RADIO LONDON
“Unnerving, riveting, and mesmerising.... The unity of Appignanesi’s brilliant cinematic vision and Aridjis’ compelling and vulnerable performance makes Female Human Animal resonate.” Hannah Clugston, LITTLE WHITE LIES
“Boldy defies categorisation. Darkly fascinating and surprisingly funny.” Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, METRO
“Like a micro-budget Don’t Look Now crossed with a rogue episode of The South Bank Show, and all the better for that.” Ed Potton, THE TIMES
“Understands its place in cinema history… The aesthetic of uncertainty perfectly underscores the suspense of the film’s action” Kate Webb, The TLS
“An unearthly adventure... Female Human Animal breaks open a genre and emerges as something entirely new." Sabina Stent, THE F-WORD
“Sui Generis… You’ve got to admire Appignanesi’s total disregard for marketability” THE GUARDIAN
“Appignanesi & Aridjis' extraordinary hybrid documentary fuses surrealism and reality.. A remarkable & surprising portrait.” Kaleem Aftab, CINEUROPA
"What a truly remarkable film." Mike Pinnington, THE DOUBLE NEGATIVE
“Deliriously experimental.. Strange and illuminating.” Dave Calhoun, TIME OUT
“Social Surrealism… Moves between scenes of quiet profundity and sincerity into a kind of schlock horror.” Jennifer Higgie, FRIEZE
“Beguiling hybrid… less a profile than a tribute to the feral spirit in which Carrington lived and worked.” RADIO TIMES
"Dazzling… A living work of art that leads us to the conclusion that we must not hand over our our female human animal to some 'half-arsed male'.” DIRTY MOVIES
* * * *
Shot in the real-life contemporary art world, Female Human Animal is a psycho-thriller about a creative woman disenchanted with what modern life has to offer her.
When Tate staged a retrospective of the 20thC surrealist Leonora Carrington, famously the lover of Max Ernst, the novelist Chloe Aridjis, who knew the artist from her native Mexico, was made guest curator of the exhibition.
Set between the real-life curation of the Tate show and something more fantasised, Female Human Animal sees Chloe increasingly disappointed by the men in her world — and increasingly haunted by Carrington’s strange artworks. When an elusive, brooding man seems to offer more, Chloe begins to pursue him, but is she hunter, or hunted? Enabled by Carrington’s own defiantly mysterious mythology, she descends into a world of obsession.
Shot on a rare 1980s video camera with a uniquely lurid colour response, and deftly weaving fact and fiction, Female Human Animal is a darkly romantic fantasia of a woman who goes beyond societal norms.
With the Volksbuhne's Marc Hosemann, Patrick O'Kane and Angus Wright, appearances from arts and literary luminaries like Juliet Jacques, Marina Warner, Adam Thirlwell and Tom McCarthy, and new music from OMD, TEARIST, and Andy Cooke's score, Female Human Animal also pays homage to its guiding feminist spirit, the striking Leonora Carrington.
*Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018*
A feature film by Josh Appignanesi (The New Man, The Infidel, Song of Songs)
Co-devised with and starring Guggenheim-winning novelist Chloe Aridjis (Book of Clouds, Asunder)
Exec produced by Jacqui Davies (Ben Rivers' The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers, Richard Billingham’s RAY& LIZ)
Produced by Sam Dobbyn
Shot at TATE Liverpool
Funded by Arts Council England
Haunted by Leonora Carrington
UK 2018 73Mins