Lockdown Celluloid: arthouse amid the pandemic

Written by Jonathan Mahon-Heap

Photography Supplied

While you were busy burning sourdough, the big wheels of Hollywood kept turning.

Stars, they’re not like us. Quarantine, like most things, was different for the A-List — while we spent our time politely slipping past one another, saying hello from a distance, like dogs chained to picket fences barking at the sky, the big wheels of Hollywood kept turning. This means that unexpected delights have emerged amid the pandemic, like precious rubies amid the rubble. While you were busy burning sourdough, Pedro Almodóvar, Zendaya, and Jane Campion kept at work, making movies, and today, INDEX unpicks the arthouse standouts shot amid the pandemic.

The Human Voice
Pedro Almodóvar’s English-language debut The Human Voice did rounds on Instagram this week, namely because the promotional shot of Tilda Swinton wearing AirPods had a deeply cleansing energy to it. One year after bestowing the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement on Almodóvar, Swinton is this year receiving the same honour. Shot in Madrid, based on a play by Jean Cocteau, Almodóvar has promised the film to be “a kind of visual experiment.” 

Malcolm & Marie
Director of Emmy-nominated Euphoria, Sam Levinson, lends his unique lens on millennial intimacy to Malcolm and Marie, starring John David Washington and Zendaya. Dubbed a Marriage Story-esque tale of breakdown, the trio shot in secret amid the grounds of Caterpillar House in Carmel, California. Filmed between June 17 and July 2, within the confines of the environmentally conscious ranch, it promises the dizzying camerawork and emotional pyrotechnics for which Levinson has swiftly become known. 

The Power of the Dog
“It’s sort of the end of the world,” Jane Campion mused of her new film’s South Island location, unknowingly giving 2020 a byline in itself. Shot amid Oamaru and Dunedin, The Power of the Dog stars Kirsten Dunst, Benedict Cumberbatch and Thomasin McKenzie, who have seen out lockdown in New Zealand, making merry with our tabloids in the process. Adapted from Tomas Savage’s 1967 novel of the same name, the film has swapped its Cannes Premiere for a 2021 debut on Netflix. Debuting in New Zealand and Australia before the rest of the world, the tale of sexual repression, fraternal jealousy, and rural isolation chimes all too well with the present moment.

human voice

The Human Voice.

malcolm & marie

Malcolm & Marie.

the power of the dog

The Power of the Dog.

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