Horse Opera. 2022. USA. Directed by Moyra Davey. DCP. New York City premiere. 72 min.
Moyra Davey’s newest long-form work, a celebration of New York City nightlife and community, opens this retrospective series following its premiere at the 2022 Front Triennial. The film flits through dance parties at the Loft through a protagonist named Elle, emulating the staccato rhythm of a night on the dancefloor. Between the ecstatic moment of collective release into the music and the ride of the comedown, Davey touches on a more penetrating truth: the ways in which our bodies are marked by time. Juxtaposed with the film’s colorful narration is footage from the artist’s home, namely numerous images of animals (part of a larger drive of Davey’s to channel Peter Hujar’s mesmerizing animal portraits). From close-ups of a bird feeder to the sumptuous physicality of horses filmed at sunrise, Horse Opera vibrates with the power of interconnectedness and surprising affinities.