Issue 13

This month is a girl special to coincide with International Women’s Day and the Bird’s Eye View Film Festival. While this year’s Bird’s Eye View focuses on women in comedy we thought we’d celebrate the bad girls of cinema – think Bonnie Parker, Foxy Brown and of course Tura Satana as Varla in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! We also have a feature on women and filmmaking written by Club des Femmes co-founder Sarah Wood and a report on the London Short Film Festival’s Femmes Fantastique day in our Short Cuts section. We complete our female-centric coverage with reviews of Irma Vep, a riff on the original catsuited jewel thief from Louis Feuillade’s legendary Les Vampires, and the newly released Water Lilies, a beautiful, delicately sensuous look at the sexual awakening of a group of teenage girls in provincial France. And we asked the ladies from Ladyfest London to tell us about their favourite movies in the Film Jukebox.

In the cinema releases we look at Harmony Korine‘s story of celebrity impersonators Mister Lonely, and interview the enfant terrible of American indie cinema. We also review the latest instalment of George A. Romero’s zombie franchise Diary of the Dead, the Guillermo del Toro-produced subtle horror thriller The Orphanage and Tian Zhuangzhuang’s The Go Master, part of the China in London film season at the ICA.

DVD releases include Luchino Visconti’s classic Rocco and His Brothers, The London Nobody Knows, Geoffrey Fletcher’s 1967 flânerie through a rarely seen, disappearing London, which inspired St Etienne’s Finisterre project, and Alfred Hitchcock’s 1926 The Lodger, a brilliantly realised early silent considered by the master of suspense to be his first real film.

CJ Magnet has The Last Word with his musings on Che Guevara, Christ and the significance of beards.

The Electric Sheep Magazine team

Issue 12

It’s been one year since Electric Sheep came into this world, first as a webzine, then mutating into a print-web hybrid last September. We started off with the aim of celebrating dark, wondrous and magical cinematic worlds, and over the past year we’ve had Jean Painlevé‘s erotic molluscs, Yasuzo Masumura‘s convulsive heroines, René Laloux‘s shape-shifting aliens, Monte Hellman‘s melancholy anti-heroes and Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s anarchic concoctions. Yep, mission accomplished, now let’s have some more.

Carrying on our joyfully revisionist look at cinema, we’ve chosen as the focus of this anniversary issue a filmmaker that we’ve liked for a long time and who is just not getting the attention he deserves: supreme purveyor of cinematic weirdness Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Despite the current trend for all things Japanese and horror, Kurosawa’s films have rarely been shown in the UK and only two of them are available on DVD. Too subtle for horror fans, too creepy for art-house types, Kurosawa’s work seems to be condemned to obscurity simply for resisting categorisation. We hope this spotlight on his work prompts our readers to go and explore an oeuvre of astonishing complexity and frightful beauty.

In the cinema reviews we have Nick Broomfield’s controversial Battle for Haditha, Wong Kar Wai’s disappointing My Blueberry Nights, Paul Thomas Anderson’s oil epic There Will Be Blood, Lars von Trier Office-style comedy The Boss of It All, Japanese bubble-gum oddity Kamikaze Girls as well as Bernardo Bertolucci’s still dazzling The Conformist and classic noir The Killers. And we have a feature on the forthcoming End of the Pier Festival.

In the DVD releases, we find the ramifications of Fritz Lang’s space travel movie Frau im Mond fascinating, take a look at Nagisa Oshima’s rebel teen flick Naked Youth, learn our lesson in the spooky Phantom Carriage and wonder whether to laugh or cry at Der Letzte Mann. We also indulge in psychedelic horror in Experiments in Terror 2, released by underground San Francisco label Other Cinema and talk to the label’s co-founder Noel Lawrence.

In our Short Cuts section we review the risqué treats that The Smoking Cabinet offered last December while CJ Magnet gets somewhat fixated on The Bourne franchise in The Last Word.

Fans of all things mysterious and magickal, Sir Francis Dashwood and the Hellfire Club pick their favourite films in the Jukebox.

The Electric Sheep Magazine team