Film Review: Johnathan Glazer’s (2020) Strasbourg 1518

Tony Robert Cochran

Johnathan Glazer’s (2020) short film Strasbourg 1518 is a kinetic embodiment of experience under the necessary but life-altering COVID19-pandemic lock-downs. It is a perpetually perfect choreographed cathartic and exhausting ride through contemporary ritual, repetition and regeneration. There is a rich history to the film–about a dancing mania in the town of Strasbourg in the year 1518; however, its focus is clearly on the present.

As a wave of lock-downs rippled across the globe in early 2020, more than 3.9 billion people, representing over half of the world’s human population, had been “asked or ordered to stay at home by their governments to prevent the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.” The film starts with a middle-aged white woman woman clasping her face with her hands, twirling; the news has broke: stay at home. Remain-in-place. She absorbs the shock, then begins – after a few circular shoulder…

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