Electric Sheep Magazine Summer 08

This bitter earth/Can it be so cold’, laments Dinah Washington on the soundtrack of Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep, a film defined as much by its stark monochrome images as by the heart-rending jazz tunes that breathe soul into them. A lost gem for thirty years, Killer of Sheep is re-released in the UK this month and to celebrate the belated recognition of one of American independent cinema’s greats, we look at the influence of jazz on film in the US with articles on Shirley Clarke, John Cassavetes, Jim Jarmusch and Beat cinema among others.

Also in this issue: Edinburgh Film Festival, Flipside: Psychedelia, How Manga Took Over the World, interviews with Charles Burnett and Tom Kalin.

The magazine is no longer in print. Selected back copies are available for reference at Close-Up Video Library.

Issue 14

Time to don your tin foil suit and X-Ray glasses: the Sci-Fi London Film Festival is back for its 7th edition! Read our preview and find out what’s in store – time travel and superheroes for sure but expect strange fantasies and visionary nightmares too. This month also sees the release of Park Chan-wook’s latest, I’m a Cyborg, a sort-of-sci-fi, wonderfully bizarre bonbon of a film. And we have an interview with Park Chan-wook – oh yes, we talked to Mister Vengeance himself.

Back on earth, it’s all politics and fanatics: we have a review of the sharply funny animated film Persepolis, which chronicles recent Iranian history through the eyes of an opinionated young girl, as well as an interview with the film’s brilliantly entertaining director Marjane Satrapi. The murdered Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh’s political thriller The Sixth of May, which focuses on the real-life assassination of right-wing politician Pim Fortuyn, is also out on DVD. And there’s more mind-boggling political conspiracy on offer with Shane O’Sullivan’s documentary RFK Must Die: The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy, showing at The East End Film Festival.

Elsewhere, we have reviews of Michael Haneke’s US remake of his own Funny Games, Belgian shocker Ex-Drummer (our rock’n’roll film of the month), a double shot of exhilarating ‘pinky violence’ with Sex and Fury and Female Yakuza, as well as two unsurpassable classics, Hitchcock’s Sabotage and Antonioni’s La Notte. We also talked to French provocatrice Catherine Breillat, whose latest, The Last Mistress, is released this month. And we report on the Berlinale Film Festival and on the first Midnight Movies night at the Curzon Cinema, and what a hoot that was!

In the Short Cuts, we have a profile of director Sean Conway while CJ Magnet muses on the similarities between Black Orpheus and Braveheart in The Last Word.

The Electric Sheep Magazine team

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

Issue eleven

As we anticipate that we’ll be far too dazed and fuzzy-brained to write anything coherent between now and the New Year, this will be our last issue until February 2008. But fear not, we’ve packed it with enough goodies to make it last until the next one.

In an effort to be seasonal, we’ve made excess the overriding theme of the issue. First, we gorged ourselves on RW Fassbinder’s 15-hour-plus Berlin Alexanderplatz, a fascinating chronicle of the murky, unwholesome world of 1920s Berlin: hard on the stomach and queasiness-inducing at times, but certainly worth the resultant hangover. And for a hair of the dog, there’s always the Fassbinder Volume 1 and 2 DVDs. Then, we looked at ten takes on gluttony, from the stuffing-centric Taxidermia to Oldboy‘s infamous live-octopus-devouring scene via Marco Ferreri’s 1973 gross-out consumption satire La Grande bouffe.

And that’s only for starters. The full à la carte menu includes reviews of Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park, Romanian Cannes winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Joseph L. Mankiewicz’ classic satire on stardom All About Eve, labyrinthine Polish tale The Saragossa Manuscript, Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution, Mexican horror hit KM31 and cerebral French thriller Hotel Harabati.

In the DVD side orders we have Murnau’s delicious Tabu, London noir Night and the City, anti-porn animé Princess, Jerzy Skolimowski’s cult horror movie The Shout, double Japanese act The Duel Project, Satoshi Kon’s Paprika and Sigur Rós’ live DVD Heima.

We talked to Pamela Jahn, curator of Baader’s Angels, a season about women in German terrorism films and to Anders Morgenthaler, director of Princess. We also caught up with the organisers of the London Short Film Festival (formerly Halloween) – we are looking forward to starting the New Year feasting our eyes on their very exciting programme of shorts and live music events.

JANUARY EXTRAS: We have an interview with Anamaria Marinca, leading actress of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, and with George Clark, curator of ‘ICO Essentials: The Secret Masterpieces of Cinema’. We have reviews of No Country for Old Men, Sweeney Todd, Beat Girl. In the DVDs we take a look at eye-popping Korean oddity Teenage Hooker Became Killing Machine and Alex de la Iglesia’s 800 Bullets. And we have a report on the very first Secret Cinema screening.

Citing Suspiria and Rosemary’s Baby among their influences and with one single, Foreo, based on Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie, The Violets were obvious candidates for our Film Jukebox.

CJ Magnet thinks up a ground-breaking new kind of exercise class in the Last Word section and in the Review of the Year we look at the best/worst films of 2007 – post a comment to let us know what you think.

Every month we’ll give you the chance to get your cinephile hands on a film prize – all you have to do to win is spin the Film Roulette! This month we have a big bumper prize courtesy of Tartan Video comprising three DVDs – Taxidermia, Super Size Me and Oldboy – together with a copy of Get Stuffed: The Home Taxidermist’s Handbook. Five runners-up will each get a copy of the book. To enter the competition just spin the Film Roulette! Closing date for entries: Monday 17 December.

The next Hectic Peelers film club, organised jointly with Resonance FM, will be on Tuesday 4 December at the Roxy Bar and Screen, London. We’ll be showing Häxan, an outlandish Scandinavian silent film on witchcraft that was much admired by the surrealists (courtesy of Tartan Video). The night starts at 6:30pm, film at 7:30pm, admission is free. Further details here

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.

Electric Sheep exists in print too! Pick up a free copy of the magazine at selected cinemas, cafes, arts centres and universities. Details of stockists here.

The Electric Sheep Magazine team