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Anna Eriksson appeared almost out of nowhere – so to speak: she is the number one star of Finnish music with over half a million records sales to her name – in Venice, at the International Critics' Week in Venice with M. The film, which does not resemble anything we see in today's cinema, caught audiences and critics off guard. Her post-feminist imaginary close to performance art, and also to the most esoteric genre cinema (think of Jean Rollin's most spirited films), has become one of those secrets of gourmet cinephiles passed from hand to hand like conspiracy theorists. With W, Anna Eriksson further relaunches her vision. In a dungeon in the heart of a snowy place that perhaps once was Europe, lies a woman chained on a restraint bed. Who is she? What’s her name? Who are her tormentors? What is the use of the troop of nurses who walk the empty hallways engaged in rituals that are always identical? W creates an expressionist nightmare that also reworks the Japanese imagination of certain pinku eiga. Obsessive and ruthless, elegant and brutal, W highlights the talent of Anna Eriksson who dares to cast her gaze to the most inhospitable regions of contemporary cinema (where probably no male equivalent would dare to go). Populated by ghostly figures, challenging the limits of both representation and bodies, it creates an all-encompassing world where Lars Von Trier and the Rammsteins, the most abstract David Lynch and Nine Inch Nails offer themselves as only points of reference. But these are only indications, to offer some minimal coordinates. The reality is that Anna Eriksson is a name to remember. One of the most original and courageous creators. Uncompromising, with an authentic poetics and completely free of formal or aesthetic compromises. W is the work of a total creator who directed, wrote, edited, mixed and colored her film from top to bottom, without ever forgetting to let her work breathe and throb. W is one of the possibilities of tomorrow's cinema. Fierce and generous at the same time. Cinema that does not give concessions or offer compromises. In the world of W you enter with the awareness that afterwards nothing will be the same as before.
Jonah A. Nazzaro