Christa Boarini is always at a film festival somewhere. This worked out for me because I met her at a festival where she had two movies. I had just seen The Old Ways, which she produced, and was fangirling at her as we were being seated for the short she directed, Brackish. Since then, whenever Boarini is in my newsfeed, it’s because another one of her projects is doing something big at a huge festival somewhere in the world. I have no idea how she stays so busy while being so cool. However, it’s one of the reasons that she has become one of my favorite working filmmakers.
I’m always telling someone to watch The Old Ways on Netflix, so I thought about Boarini when it was time to figure out which of my favorites to bother next for these lists. Spoiler alert: Boarini’s taste in films is as awesome and dark as the films she makes. In no particular order, here are the five favorite movies of this badass filmmaker you should know.
Where You Can Watch: Netflix
Julia Ducournau is a wild girl. I’ve only seen two of her movies so far, but I know she doesn’t come to play. I’m happy Christa chose Raw because we moved on from this movie too quickly as a society. We need more young women cannibals on screen. It’s so much easier to pass the Bechdel test when the men are food. Completely related, I might get that put onto a t-shirt. This movie was a bloody good time and the special brand of WTF that only Ducournau can give us. If you got on her bandwagon with Titane, then you owe it to yourself to circle back for this treasure.
Where You Can Watch: Prime Video
I have two theatre degrees, so I am always ready to see horror movies set in an art school. That’s where the evil and the drama live. While the original Suspiria was iconic, this one was a moment too. As someone known for being indifferent to remakes, I have to say this one hit. Also, Tilda Swinton plays about half the characters, so that’s an exciting perk. This remake is almost an hour longer than the original. However, it lets us see them dance some girls right to hell. As a Gemini, I feel this is high art! I’m putting on my leg warmers and stretching as I write this. Gonna go see if I can get this routine down for…research.
The Cell (2000)
Where You Can Watch: VOD
The Cell was iconic. The special effects were sick, and this movie got so dark so fast! Between this and The Fall (2006), I thought Tarsem Singh was the king of cinema as a child. His aesthetic is my happy place. I didn’t have the full understanding that this was a sci-fi psychological thriller as a kid. I just knew it was creepy and weird as I tried to make it my personality. I remember how truly disturbing Vincent D’Onofrio was in this film even though I haven’t seen it in forever. This is also one of the best movies on Jennifer Lopez’s resume. Seeing this on Christa’s list makes me want to rent it and feel alive again.
Where You Can Watch: Showtime
This movie has one of the darkest openings of any film in this millennium. It then goes on to give us those “Hell to the no!” moments that are on brand for A24. This daytime nightmare is long, but it was also most of us peasants’ introduction to Florence Pugh. It also allowed us to take our thirst for William Jackson Harper from the small screen to the big screen as he plays a character who needs a better friend circle. The more I think about Christa’s short, Brackish, the more I see this movie being her vibe. Watch both, then crown yourself Flower Queen.
Bones and All (2022)
Where You Can Watch: VOD
This movie is a mood. It might be the closest this generation ever gets to capturing the vibe of Ganja & Hess. I almost didn’t see it because I don’t do romance, but when I learned there would be cannibals I cleared my schedule. Taylor Russell plays a fine young people eater who I immediately became a stan account for. She’s joined by Timothée Chalamet in what is possibly the most depressing, bloody, moody, and gorgeously shot romantic horror movie of my lifetime. I ran out and snatched the book because I gobbled this story up, bones and all. Highly recommend paying the VOD price if you have not seen it yet.
Not only did Boarini choose five women-led movies, but they were all released this millennium and have very specific aesthetics that make my forgotten inner art kid happy. Boarini just took two movies to Fantasia’s Frontières Market. So, keep an eye out for both Confection and Firecrackers At Midnight. You should follow Christa Boarini on Instagram to keep up with her films and festival appearances.
You can also check out her site at https://www.christaboarini.com/ to see upcoming projects.