Cinematic Horoscopes: Pisces Season
By: Daisy Stackpole
We feature twelve films each month that relate to the twelve zodiac signs, accompanied by lighthearted astrological advice.
Pisces (February 18 - March 20): La Vie En Rose (2007) directed by Olivier Dahan
Pisces, as the most sensitive and empathic sign of the zodiac, we all might be feeling more emotional vulnerable during your season. However, I encourage you to lean into these intense feelings, as they often lead to intense bouts of creativity, another trademark of the Pisces sign. In order to tap into your full spectrum of emotions and creativity, I recommend you watch Marion Cotillard’s incredible performance of iconic French chanteuse Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose. This film tracks Piaf’s journey from poverty to stardom led by her incredible grit and undeniable powerhouse talent. You will surely empathize with Piaf as she experiences life’s many trials and tribulations, but use your sizeable emotional intelligence to turn this empathy inwards and examine your own pain. Journal, go for a long walk, or dance away your pain and allow this pain to motivate you towards your next creative project. Enjoy your season, Pisces, you deserve it!
Aries (March 20 - April 20): Logan’s Run (1976) directed by Michael Anderson
My dear Aries, your time is approaching, and as we dawn on your season, I encourage you to check out an unlikely pick; cult sci-fi favorite Logan’s Run. Set in a dreamily production designed dystopia where no one lives past the age of 30, Logan (Michael York) is a “Sandman”, a well-respected member of this society that hunts and kills anyone that tries to escape their premature death by “running”. That is, until he encounters the mysterious and enchanting Jessica (Jenny Agutter), and begins to question everything. I will leave the plot there for you to discover, as it is an enthralling and fun film journey. The reason I chose this for you, Aries, is because you are undeniably smart and determined, much like Logan at the beginning of the film, but your stubbornness and belief that you are right can sometimes prevent you from opening your eyes to larger truths. I challenge you to watch this film and question if there are areas in your life in which you are being a follower without realizing it. Maybe it will prompt a break from social media, a reorganization of a group you’re a part of, or even a career change, but it is important to never underestimate your vast powers while still keeping an open mind and remaining a keen observer of the world.
Taurus (April 20 - May 21): Leave No Trace (2018) directed by Debra Granik
Taurus, this month I would like you to watch Debra Granik’s heartbreaking and touching new film, Leave No Trace, in which a father (Ben Foster) and his daughter, Tom, (Thomasin Mackenzie) live off-the-grid in the woods in order to protect the daughter from the pains of the world after he suffered tremendously as a soldier. Their existence is strange, yet somewhat idyllic, until they are discovered by a jogger and Tom is turned into social services. Now, they must acclimate to a socially acceptable life where Tom must attend school and fraternize with her peers, and her father must work. While it does take some time, Tom comes to appreciate the stability and normalcy of her life and routine, but her father cannot seem to adjust back to reality. Taurus, I chose this film for you because you are so headstrong, and often make decisions you think will benefit everyone because they best serve you. I ask you to watch this film and consider your own decisions to see if any of them are not symbiotic to those you love.
Gemini (May 21 - June 21): Ghost World (2001) directed by Terry Zwigoff
Gemini, as much as I love y’all, there is no denying your vast minds are occasionally prone to identity crises and indecision. No character in my mind better exemplifies this than Enid (the amazing Thora Birch) in the cult favorite Ghost World. Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Daniel Clowes, Ghost World chronicles Enid’s caustic wit (another common Gemini trait), misadventures in romance, and fashion phases from “classic punk rock” to “grandma”, as she navigates the real world after graduating from college. This is undoubtedly a feel-good, girl’s-night-in type of film, but I think much can be gained from it for you, Gemini. Follow Enid’s lead as she explores the many facets of her identity while not judging herself too harshly for any of her missteps. Realize that it’s ok to change your hair, your wardrobe, or your mind, as long as you are doing for yourself.
Cancer (June 21 - July 23): Loving Couples (1964) directed by Mai Zetterling
Cancer, this month I present to you an overlooked and remarkably tender film about relationships and family by a pioneer woman in film, Mai Zetterling. Loving Couples is a lush rumination on pregnancy, motherhood, interpersonal relationships, and agency, examined through the lens of three expectant couples at a Scandinavian hospital. The three mothers-to-be all have wildly different backstories and views on what it means to bring a human into the world, and their views become more pronounced in their dealings with their cynical and chauvinist Doctor and their significant others and family members. Certainly a European film, the plot is less essential to the film than the characters and their narratives. This film was provocative and very forward-thinking in its day, and sadly, few films since have blessed the screen with such a thoughtful and honest view of femininity and the challenges women face. I don’t have much homework for you this month, other than to think of your own relationship to femininity and what family means to you.
Leo (July 23 - August 23): The Silences of the Palace (1994) directed by Moufida Tlati
Leo, this month’s film’s themes could not be more appropriate for you: performance and loyalty to family. A stunning Tunisian film, The Silences of the Palace follows Alia (Ghalia Lacroix), a young singer, who returns to the palace of a Prince who has recently died to pay tribute to him through song. However, as the plot unfolds, it is revealed that Alia’s mother, Khedija (Amel Hedhili) worked as a servant for many years at this palace, and as Alia reenters the space, flashbacks of the torture she and her mother endured while there flood her mind. She is torn between her career as an up-and-coming singer in an already oppressive land, and upholding the legacy and honor of her mother and family. Leo, there might be times where you, too, have to make tough decisions in regards to your career and family, both of which are of the utmost importance to you. Allow this beautiful and important film to allow you to meditate on what you would and wouldn’t do for your career, if it meant jeopardizing or harming your loved ones.
Virgo (August 23 - September 23): Secretary (2002) directed by Steven Shainberg
Virgo, if there are two things you love in this world, it’s sex and control. This month, I’ve chosen a film for you that offers both, and don’t worry, it’s not 50 Shades. You might have seen the somewhat salacious Secretary before, as had I, but upon a recent viewing, it’s true narrative and themes became much more apparent. For those unfamiliar, Secretary centers around a young, troubled woman named Lee (played expertly by Maggie Gyllenhaal), who has struggled with her mental health and resorts to self-harm in order to feel some sense of control over her body and self. When Lee is released from a psychiatric hospital, she finds employment with an idiosyncratic and secretive lawyer, E. Edward Grey (the confusingly sexy James Spader), as his - you guessed it - secretary. It doesn’t take long for the two to cross professional lines and begin exploring a dominant-submissive sexual relationship. While some lines are definitely blurred, Lee ultimately finds what she has been so desperately searching for within herself through this relationship. Virgo, I urge you to visit or revisit this film and interpret it for yourself. Are the ways in which you’re seeking control healthy? Are there situations in which giving up control might actually give you more of what you’re looking for?
Libra (September 23 - October 23): Marianne and Juliane (1981) directed by Margarethe von Trotta
Libra, we have explored the theme of justice before, but I want to revisit it this month with a twist. Margarethe von Trotta’s Marianne and Juliane, focuses on two sisters (Marianne and Juliane, played by Barbara Sukowa and Jutta Lampe, respectively) who are both passionate about women’s rights, but go about fighting for those rights in radically different ways. Juliane is a journalist who believes that by honestly and diligently reporting on women’s rights issues is the best way to engender lasting change. On the other hand, Marianne is a radical, resorting to violence and extreme protest and demonstration to dismantle the system. I think I will leave the plot there, as the film takes a (somewhat literally) explosive turn from there, but I think there is much to be gained from this film, Libra. Your sign is literally represented by the scales of justice, and fighting for what’s right is of tremendous importance to you, Libra. However, Libra can also suffer from indecisiveness and struggle to act out of fear of hurting others. This film lays out two drastically different forms of revolution, and I ask you to watch it and weigh the options, as you are so talented at doing. Think of the causes you are fighting for, or wish to fight for, and the best steps to action.
Scorpio (October 23 - November 22): Immoral Tales (1973) directed by Walerian Borowczyk
Hey Scorp Squad, let’s face it...we have a reputation of being the sexual maniacs of the zodiac and hey - sometimes you just have to embrace it! We are very much tied to the genitals, and every Scorpio’s deepest desire is to get to know people on the most intimate level. That doesn’t always mean sexually, but for most Scorpios, sexuality is an important part of your identity that you may have had to work through as society often shames women and non-binary folks who explore their sexuality. One film that is not afraid to explore sexuality is Walerian Borowczyk’s Immoral Tales. I’m going to keep it real with y’all; this is basically art house softcore pornography, but upon a recent viewing, I felt solidarity amongst the many different sexual situations shown. The film is essentially a stream of sexy vignettes set across different eras, highlighting various scenarios and power dynamics. This month, I just want you to watch this film and let your freak flag fly. Allow these fantasies to inspire your own, and allow yourself to fully enjoy them, without shame (unless that’s what you’re into).
Sagittarius (November 22 - December 22): Antonia’s Line (1995) directed by Marleen Gorris
Hello Sagittarius! This month I’ve chosen a film I doubt you’ve seen, and that I wish to keep the plot of a secret, as I know you love a bit of mystery. The essential story revolves around a mother, Antonia, and her daughter Danielle (Willeke van Ammelrooy and Els Dottermans, respectively), who are trying to find their place in the world after World War II. The women are both very brazen and independent, with independent thoughts, especially given the time period. This leads them through ups and downs, as any independent thinker, like most Sags, will know. After watching this film, Sagittarius, consider what you are willing to fight for and sacrifice in order to obtain happiness. Your definition of success and contentment is likely not that of the status quo, and this could ultimately lead to disillusionment and disappointment if you are not wary. Allow this film to be a cautionary tale and take stock of your own dreams and plans.
Capricorn (December 22 - January 20): Zama (2017) directed by Lucrecia Martel
We are huge fans of Argentinian auteur Lucrecia Martel here at W&F, and her latest work, Zama, is no exception. The singular as always story takes place in a late 18th century South American colony as a Corregidor named Zama (Daniel Giménez Cacho) dutifully holds his position and awaits better assignment from the Spanish government. Unfortunately, while other officials come and go, Zama is relegated to stay on his dismal, remote post, ultimately realizing that a better position may never come and faced with a decision to abandon his post and his country or to stay, stuck. Capricorn, I chose this film for you this month because as we’ve discussed before, what you do often defines your perception of yourself, and this can be positive or negative. Here is a tale, where in a very dramatic demonstration, we see what can happen when you let your career dictate your life and your personal satisfaction. Reflect on your own career and trajectory and consider if you are making moves to keep yourself safe, or if there is a leap of faith that needs to be taken in order for you to flourish.
Aquarius (January 20 - February 18): Evolution (2015) directed by Lucile Hadžihalilović
Aquarius, you thrive on mystery and mind games. You will feel right at home while watching Lucile Hadžihalilović’s Evolution. The film is set on a stark, remote island populated almost exclusively by mothers and sons. At night, the mothers perform strange rituals and during the day, feed the boys strange “vitamins”. One boy in particular, Nicholas (Max Brebant) begins to get the sense that something is fishy, and that he understands nothing about his own existence. He feels he and the other boys are being lied to by their mothers and that something nefarious is afoot. With the aid of a young, sweet nurse, Stella (Roxane Duran), Nicholas learns the truth and must fight for his agency. Aquarius, there is no homework for you this month, other than to let yourself become fully enraptured in this twisted fairy tale about power, deceit, and mystery.