Office Killer (Cindy Sherman, 1997)

Flat and affectless like the time-browned photo taken of your parents after they’ve heaved their frames out of their smoke-choked station wagon during a rest stop break on a cross-state doom haul to grandma’s house, this film attempts to make satirical work out of office dronery, but is never sure if it wants to be a gory American Psycho-tic dig at consumerism (the rag at which the titular copyeditor/killer works is Constant Consumer) or a bleak distaff, bridge-and-tunnel version of Maniac. Fortunately, Sherman’s rewrite of the maternal melodrama is full of claustrophobic framing (people’s faces and bodies are dismembered, bisected, and trisected by furniture and props) and is enlivened by a committed (in both senses of the word) performance by Carol Kane. (Read Dahlia Schweitzer’s amazing piece on the film here.)

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