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 PainlevÃ©‘s erotic molluscs, Yasuzo Masumura‘s convulsive heroines, RenÃ© 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.
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