As part of Metrograph’s collaboration with Gagosian, the Swiss painter Louise Bonnet selects films that explore and unsettle the idea of “the body.”

As part of Metrograph’s ongoing collaboration with Gagosian, the Swiss painter Louise Bonnet selects films that explore and unsettle the idea of “the body.” Louise Bonnet Selects: The Body runs from May 19 to May 25, with select encore screenings to follow.

picture of louise bonnet
Louise Bonnet, Credit: Metrograph

“These movies have all given me something that I remember and think about since seeing them and have also made my own body react; to some of them because of sounds, joy, horror, or all of it. These films have somehow challenged the part of my brain that judges and second guesses.”

—Louise Bonnet

The series includes A.I. Artificial Intelligence, All That Jazz, Audition, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, The BroodLe Petit Amour, and Under the Skin. Bonnet and The New Yorker staff critic Naomi Fry In conversation ahead of Saturday, May 20 screening of The Brood.


The seemingly disparate sensibilities of sentimentalist Steven Spielberg and chilly ironist Stanley Kubrick, who left this science fiction Pinocchio story unrealized at the time of his death, here achieve an unexpected harmony. Haley Joel Osment plays a robot child abandoned by his adopted parents to the cruel (if astonishingly realized) outside world, in a film that finds Spielberg at his most challenging and most poignant.

a.i. artificial intelligence, featured in louise bonnet selection
A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE dir. Steven Spielberg, 2001, 146 min, 35mm

“One of the most poetic and haunting allegories about the cinema that I can think of… It’s also the most philosophical film in Kubrick’s canon, the most intelligent in Spielberg’s.”

—Jonathan Rosenbaum, The Chicago Reader

“The first time I saw this movie, I was so angry at what it made me feel, what it plucked in my psyche, but the question that it poses—is your love less real because of what or who you are, and how you happened to come across it?—is such a good one, and I could never forget these intense, unexpected feelings.

I also felt so manipulated by Spielberg, but I realize now that that is the point, and that he was the perfect person to finish directing the film after Kubrick died. I find there is a pulpiness, almost a visual ugliness, that helps, in my case, make more ‘believable’ what is really an epic, looping back around on itself at the end. Now, it is one of my favorite movies.”

—Louise Bonnet


ALL THAT JAZZ dir. Bob Fosse, 1979, 123 min, DCP

“It’s showtime, folks!” Playing the chain-smoking, Dexedrine-and-Alka-Seltzer-popping, serially womanizing workaholic choreographer/filmmaker Joe Gideon, a perpetually black-clad Roy Scheider is the thinly-disguised alter ego of director Fosse, whose musical film à clef dramatizes a bout of manic work in the mid-’70s that nearly killed him.

A gloomy, death-obsessed, self-flagellating work that nevertheless crackles throughout with moments of ecstatic cinematic verve, including the bravura audition scene set to George Benson’s cover of “On Broadway” and the flatline grand finale of “Bye, Bye Life,” cut with flair by editor Alan Heim.

“I find this movie still enthralling even though I must have seen it 100 times. It has workplace and work process minutia, which I always love, it is really funny without taking away any of the weight of the feelings, all the performers are at the peak of their abilities and since their art form is completely unfamiliar, I can’t be distractedly jealous but only be in awe. Surrealism even gets in there out of left field. The absolute feeling of passion it was made with is what really stays with you.”

—Louise Bonnet


Louise Bonnet Selects: The Body, May 19 at Metrograph
AUDITION dir. Takashi Miike, 1999, 115 min, 35mm

Among the great bait-and-switch acts of film history, Miike’s insidious, excruciating Audition begins as a reserved, melancholy, almost Ozu-esque study of a lonely widower (Ryo Ishibashi) and his desperate attempts to find a new romantic partner, then turns into… something very, very different.

Our hero appears to find the answer to his dreams in the form of a retiring ex-ballerina (Eihi Shiina), so sweet that he can overlook that strange laundry bag on her bedroom floor as he pursues his new romance, the shocking outcome of which proves the adage, “If something seems to be too good to be true… it probably is.”


Following up his found-footage breakthrough Trollhunter, Øvredal cemented his place as one of the most impressive genre filmmakers to emerge in recent years with the unpredictable and relentless The Autopsy of Jane Doe.

Louise Bonnet Selects: The Body, May 19 at Metrograph
THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE dir. André Øvredal, 2016, 86 min, DCP

A father-son duo of coroners (Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch) settle in for a typical night’s work investigating the cause of death on an unidentified—and curiously well-preserved—corpse discovered buried in the basement of the home of a family who’ve been brutally murdered, only to discover that this “Jane Doe” is no ordinary corpse… in fact, she might not be a corpse at all.


The bitter divorce between the mentally disturbed Nola (Samantha Eggar) and her ex-, Frank (Art Hindle) was pretty messy, so it should be a good sign that she’s finally getting professional help from the renowned Dr. Hal Raglan (Oliver Reed)—but Frank can’t help but notice that people on Nola’s long list of enemies keep dying at the hands of asexual, dwarfish assassins, and so he starts to wonder what exactly the experimental therapy practiced at Dr. Raglan’s Somafree Institute consists of…

Louise Bonnet Selects: The Body, May 19 at Metrograph
THE BROOD dir. David Cronenberg, 1979, 92 min, DCP

Written while Cronenberg was in the midst of a divorce and custody battle, The Brood is a brutal, bracing airing of anxieties gussied up in grindhouse trappings. Louise Bonnet and The New Yorker staff critic Naomi Fry In Conversation ahead of Saturday, May 20 screening.

“Cronenberg and his use of body horror, makes it very hard for the viewer not to feel in their own bodies what is happening on the screen, the way it’s impossible not to blink if someone pretends to hit you in the face, even though you know they won’t.

I also love that the fascist view of the woman as mother, the romanticizing of childbearing is completely turned around, it is instead rage and revenge and a different kind of power. The setting, the clothes, the look of the movie are also very familiar, being similar to where and when I grew up, making it even more difficult for me to look away.”

—Louise Bonnet


A companion to the concurrently filmed Jane B. par Agnès V.Kung Fu Master! features Jane Birkin as a 40-year-old mother of two who finds herself falling desperately in love with a 14-year-old boy, Julien (Varda’s son Mathieu Demy), an obsessive player of the titular arcade game.

Louise Bonnet Selects: The Body, May 19 at Metrograph
KUNG FU MASTER! dir. Agnes Varda, 1988, 80 min, DCP

Demy is joined in the cast by Birkin’s daughters, Charlotte Gainsbourg and half-sister Lou Doillon, giving the production a fascinating and touching home movie quality. Said Varda of the project: “It’s a film in which all the younger actors are the children of the director and lead actress. It was like a picnic.”


Glazer’s stark, moody sci-fi chiller finds mysterious, buxom Scarlett Johansson stalking the streets and highways of Scotland by night in search of lonely men to take home with her—“home” being a pitch dark, otherworldly chamber where they’re enveloped by its tar pit-trap floors by their seductress, an alien in human form.

Louise Bonnet Selects: The Body, May 19 at Metrograph
UNDER THE SKIN dir. Jonathan Glazer, 2013, 108 min, DCP

A bold combination of neorealist grit—Glazer makes use of concealed cameras and nonprofessional actors—and fantastic subject matter, making for one of the most unique and disquieting genre films of recent years. “Visually stunning and deeply disturbing: very freaky, very scary and very erotic.”—The Guardian

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