The Cinematic Universe of Andrea Arnold


A video essay explores the acclaimed filmmaker’s exquisite usage of atmosphere.

When asked which female director he would most like to see direct a Star Wars film, Gareth Edwards said “I’d be first in line for Andrea Arnold.” Although it’s highely unlikely Arnold would ever trade in her gritty, uncompromising indie career for one directing tentpoles, the pairing makes sense: no one is quite as skilled and effective when it comes to building a unique, lived-in atmosphere as she is.

The English filmmaker broke onto the scene in 2003 with her Oscar-winning short Wasp, before following up with the widely acclaimed lo-fi indies Red Road and Fish Tank, the latter winning the Grand Prix at Cannes. In recent years, she has directed an adaptation of Wuthering Heights, as well as the new A24 cult classic American Honey.

This informative video essay courtesy of Fandor does a great job of giving you the skinny on Arnold’s style and composition, and how it compliments her characters and storytelling. We’re very lucky to be witnessing the blossoming career of such a humane and fearless storyteller in a day and age where art needs empathy more than anything.

21. Filmmaker. Writer for Film School Rejects. Featured on MTV, Indiewire & The A.V. Club.