The all-women-directed horror anthology XX premiered today in select theaters and on Amazon Prime and iTunes. Above, you can watch a clip from Annie Clark’s (a.k.a. Grammy award-winning artist St. Vincent) segment, titled “The Birthday Party,” premiered today by Pitchfork. Clark’s short contribution to XX marks the artist’s much-anticipated directorial debut.
“The Birthday Party” appears to mix new-wave suburban horror such as Adult Swim’s infamous Unedited Footage of a Bear with classic ‘60s and ‘70s domestic thrillers like The Stepford Wives and Diary of a Mad Housewife. The white suburban birthday party features the protagonist (Melanie Lynskey), who we can probably assume is a stay-at-home mom, pouring liquor into her plastic birthday cup while the other moms look away disapprovingly and children dance around in slow-motion dressed as a ghost, dolphin, shrimp and even a toilet. Across the table from our liquor-drinking lead is a person dressed in a panda suit, unblinking and immobile. It’s a story that’s been told before many times, but we’re hoping Clark can bring enough of her sharp eye for style and embracement of surrealism to make it feel fresh.
Read about the other women contributing to XX here, find Paste’s review of the film here and find out why stay-at-home moms are prone to addiction here. You can also watch Paste Cloud video from a 2009 St. Vincent performance below.