A private nurse for palliative care is convinced that God has a special purpose in store for her. Her new client is a terminally ill choreographer whose cynical bohemianism jars and spars with her own ecstatic asceticism.
31-year old National Film & Television School graduate Rose Glass, who was working five years ago as an usher at the Curzon Mayfair, wowed critics with her hugely acclaimed debut film Saint Maud. Voted no 5 in the Sight & Sound Critics’ Best Films of 2020 Poll, it was also embraced by audiences, securing second place behind Tenet on its opening weekend.
The religious themes of the film can be traced to Glass’ youth: the granddaughter of a vicar, she attended a Catholic convent school. She has wanted to be a director since she was 13, at which age her father gave her a copy of David Lynch’s experimental horror Eraserhead; the early horror movies of David Cronenberg and Darren Aronofsky, which she saw as “my sort of cinema”, are also cited as influences. Despite this, Saint Maud is difficult to classify in terms of film genre; Glass says she wrote and directed it as a “fun, messed-up character study”.
“Disaster seems inevitable, but what makes Saint Maud so nail-bitingly tense is that it’s impossible to guess the form in which it’ll come, especially as we become immersed in Maud’s warped, hallucinatory way of seeing the world.” Alison Willmore, New York Magazine
“I’ve seen Saint Maud twice and each time it found new ways to freak me out. Take the leap of faith.” Phil de Semylen, TimeOut