Adhering to the cheap-and-fast work ethic of his producer Roger Corman, Monte Hellman made some of the most singular American films of the 60s and 70s. Hellman is best-known for his melancholy road movie Two-Lane Blacktop, a film of sterile dreams and missed opportunities in which the open road leads nowhere. The film flopped on its release in 1971 but for the next three decades its reputation propelled it to the top of any self-respecting film lover’s must-see list. Rarely screened, it was a difficult film to catch until its recent UK DVD release. Two-Lane Blacktop was top of our dear friend Burhan Tufail’s list too, but sadly he died shortly before the film screened at the NFT. This issue of the magazine is dedicated to Burhan, whose absence we feel keenly and who would no doubt have played a major role at Electric Sheep had he not left us so suddenly.
As the Raindance Festival closes the 51st London Film Festival opens Ã¢â‚¬â€œ read our preview of what it has to offer. We review David Cronenberg’s eagerly awaited Eastern Promises, which opens the festival, while we talk to British filmmaker Asif Kapadia, whose Far North is one of the highlights of the LFF, and to Canadian director Allan Moyle, whose Weirdsville opened Raindance last month. And in our Short Cuts section the two programmers of the LFF shorts tell us about their selections.
In the cinema releases we review the pleasingly complex German drama The Counterfeiters, and to mark the Sex and Censorship in the Cinema season that runs at the Barbican this month, we take a look at Kenneth Anger’s poetic gay gang rape fantasy Fireworks. Anton Corbijn’s Ian Curtis biopic Control is our rock’n’roll movie of the month.
DVD releases include the first volume of Tartan’s Eisenstein collection, wild Japanese revenge tale Female Convict Scorpion: Beast Stable, Irezumi, Yasuzo Masumura’s ambiguous story of a predatory geisha, the Mamoru Oshii-scripted animÃ© Jin-Roh and Nicholas Ray’s The True Story of Jesse James.
Picking films in our Jukebox this month are Black Time, a shadowy trio from London who play feedback-saturated raw garage tunes. Frontman and film connoisseur Lemmy Caution tells us about the films that have influenced him.
And in our Last Word column, CJ Magnet ponders British cinema’s use of the most contentious word in the English language.
Every month we’ll give you the chance to get your cinephile hands on a film prize Ã¢â‚¬â€œ all you have to do to win is spin the Film Roulette! We’re pleased to announce that our October winners are Ronan Quinn, Pepe and Katie McCristal. Well done, you’ve each won a pair of tickets to a film of the Sex and Censorship season. Being the first person to enter, Ronan Quinn also won a copy of Sex and the Cinema, published by Wallflower Press. On to our November competition: to celebrate the re-release of Dracula on Nov 2, the BFI is offering three pairs of tickets to attend the special Halloween previews in a participating cinema of your choice (see here for the full list of cinemas). To enter the competition, just spin the Film Roulette! The first person to respond not only wins a pair of tickets but also gets a copy of The Lure of the Vampire, published by Wallflower Press. Closing date for entries: Oct 26 for the Halloween screenings, Nov 5 for further screenings. So get spinning!
The next Hectic Peelers film club, organised jointly with Resonance FM, will be on Tuesday 6 November at the Roxy Bar and Screen, London. We’ll be showing Takashi Miike’s twisted horror-comedy-musical The Happiness of the Katakuris (courtesy of Tartan Video). The night starts at 6:30pm, film at 7:30pm, admission is free.
Resonance FM have now re-launched from their new studio so check out their website for a full list of the new programmes. Check out details of forthcoming programmes and podcasts of previous shows here.
The Electric Sheep Magazine team