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For Ellice Stevens, bipolar disorder is a constant, cyclical struggle that leaves her abruptly shifting between her ‘real’, rational self, her mania and her extreme depressive states. In her lowest periods, she’s unable to carry out even the most routine tasks, such as throwing away rubbish or picking up clothes off her floor. The London-based filmmaker Dorothy Allen-Pickard’s short The Mess uses interviews, disorienting figurative imagery and special effects to bring Stevens’s subjective experience of the complex and often debilitating disorder to life.
Ageing and death
‘It’s not beautiful, but it’s interesting’ – an ageing nude model surveys her body
Raw solar-storm footage is the punk-rock antidote to sleek James Webb imagery
Dazzling timelapse shows how microbes spoil our food – and sometimes enrich it
An animator wonders: can you ever depict someone without making them a caricature?
Film and visual culture
With human help, AIs are generating a new aesthetics. The results are trippy
Gender and identity
The joys and complications of raising a baby without gender in a binary world
Like pop music, humpback whale songs spread, mutate, and fall out of fashion
Human rights and justice
The staggering cruelty of Ireland’s Church-run ‘mother and baby homes’
An interstellar voyage explores the ‘paradox’ of twins separated by light years