Issue 47: Bitterness


Theme: Bitterness
Haneke Bitte
-Bittersweet: The Late Billy Wilder

Darren Aronofsky: Black Swan

Film Reviews
Black Swan
The Ward

DVD Reviews
Deep Red
Bay of Blood
Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment

Comic Strip Review
Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Short Cuts
London Short Film Festival: Leftfield and Luscious

Alter Ego
John Niven

The Cursed Cassette

Tetsuaki Matsue

Bitterness: Fallen women, sour love and toxic memories

Dreamy Belgian neo-giallo Amer leads us to ponder cinematic bitterness this month with articles on Mizoguchi’s Street of Shame, Michael Haneke‘s anatomy of hatred and the bittersweet cinema of late period Billy Wilder while a review of forgotten 60s surreal nightmare Duffer is the occasion to lament the British cinema that might have been. And writer John Niven explains why his bitter cinematic alter ego is Don Logan in Sexy Beast.

In cinemas, Darren Aronofsky’s extravagant ballet melodrama Black Swan is itself not devoid of acrimony and frustration, all wrapped up in gorgeous obsessiveness and sweaty sensuality. Read our interview with Aronofsky.

In other releases, John Carpenter perfects his B-movie recipe with The Ward while new DVDs include beautifully packaged editions of Dario Argento’s Deep Red and Mario Bava’s Bay of Blood, just so we can revisit the films that inspired Amer. We also review British counterculture oddity Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment and British horror hoodie F. and we have a Comic Strip Review of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

In Short Cuts, we have a preview of the Leftfield and Luscious programme showing at the always brilliant London Short Film Festival, which starts on January 7. Watch Paul Cheshire’s The Cursed Cassette, which screened at LSFF’s Music and Video programme.

Tetsuaki Matsue in Conversation at the Zipangu Festival: In the first Electric Sheep podcast of 2011, Alex Fitch presents a Q&A conducted by Jasper Sharp with director Tetsuaki Matsue recorded at the Zipangu festival in November 2010. The director discusses his work in independent documentary cinema, focusing on his two most recent films, Annyong Yumika (2009), a documentary portrait of the adult performer Yumika Hayashi, and Live Tape (2009), the acclaimed one-guitar, one-camera, one-tape and one-take live concert film of Kenta Maeno’s street performance.