Her Smell

Free Admission with Harvard Student ID
Director in Person
$12 Special Event Tickets
Directed by Alex Ross Perry.
With Elisabeth Moss, Angel Christian Roman, Cara Delevingne.
US/Greece, 2019, DCP, color, 134 min.
DCP source: Cinema Conservancy

Perry’s longest and arguably most ambitious film to date takes to another level his long interest in creative angst and the instinctual (mis)communication between old acquaintances, centered now on the raging figure of a grunge star burning all bridges with self-destructive abandon. Elisabeth Moss delivers a raw, unbridled performance as Becky Something, seen first in a post-performance rush turned maelstrom as she tears through backstage dressing rooms, lacerating bandmates, rivals and ex-husband alike while her personal shaman awaits. Four immersive, real-time chapters vividly evoke the exhilaration and inevitable disappointment of fickle rock stardom, tracking the dangerous admixture of adrenaline, fear and aching loneliness that fuels Becky’s performative on-and-offstage selves while moving the film, in lurching steps, towards a possible redemption. Although Her Smell openly evokes Courtney Love in its title and key details, Perry avoids biopic cliché by giving just enough time to supporting characters—bandmates, family and, in a resonant performance, Eric Stoltz as Becky’s harried manager—to craft a fascinating study of the unstable relationship between star and all of those dependent on the fame they both relish and resent.

Part of program

Read more

Uncomfortably Yours.
The Films of Alex Ross Perry

Current and upcoming programs

Read more

The B–Film Low–Budget Hollywood Cinema 1935–1959

Read more

Cinema of Resistance

Read more

Make My Day. The Cinematic Imagination of the Reagan Era

Read more
actor at desk with microphones in front and tv monitor in back

The Shipwrecker

Read more

Cinema of Resistance