April 2022

“ALLES GEHT KAPUTT,” a plaint uttered late in The Girl and the Spider (2021), conjures the controlling theme of this precisionist study in entropy and dissolution. The word kaputt, with its connotations of utter exhaustion or failure, repeats five other times in the film, variously applied to a pair of glasses, a sound system, a pair of shoes, a door, and, most tellingly, a discarded down jacket, its yawning seams shedding a soft rain of feathers as a reminder that everything eventually falls apart. The opening image of an architectural plan for a four-room flat segues, assisted by a subtle sound bridge, to a violent close-up of a power drill shattering asphalt on the sidewalk outside, the blunt juxtaposition imparting the central contention of this overdetermined film—that order and control inevitably succumb to disarray and fragmentation and every object and relationship is

— James Quandt

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