Issue 60: Femmes Fatales


Femmes Fatales: Deadly dames and murderous man-eaters

To mark the restoration of Otto Preminger’s magnificent Laura, we celebrate femmes fatales, including Peggy Cummins’s gutsy bank robber in Gun Crazy and Barbara Stanwyck’s sassy social climber in Baby Face. We have a feature on the female action hero and a Comic Strip on David Lynch’s temptresses while Reel Sounds is enthused by a wild jazz scene in Phantom Lady and in Alter Ego Katy Darby is Bridget Gregory in The Last Seduction.

New cinema releases include the intelligent, creepy cult victim tale Martha Marcy May Marlene, the excellent James Ellroy-scripted LA crime thriller Rampart, Polanski’s ferociously funny middle-class satire Carnage, and Cronenberg’s disappointing A Dangerous Method. And we have a feature on doyenne of lesbian cinema Barbara Hammer, who is the subject of a retrospective at Tate Modern.

In the DVDs, we look back at 80s classic Repo Man and we have an interview with Alex Cox. We also review 70s Vietnam vet vigilante drama Rolling Thunder and Bulgarian neo-noir Zift, and to give context to the latter’s interest in bodily waste, we have an article on toilet scenes in the movies.

In Short Cuts, we review the screening of Swedish feminist porn shorts Dirty Diaries at the London Short Film Festival while Cine Lit peruses Auteur books on 60s British cinema. In the Film Jukebox, soulful, dreamy chamber popsters The Tindersticks pick their favourite films.

Making Film Interactive: Interviews with Alex Cox and Julian Napier: In a pair of interviews about innovations in filmmaking, Alex Fitch talks to two directors who have embraced new technology: Alex Cox talks about Repo Man, computer generated backgrounds its sequel Repo Chick, interactive cinema and using CGI in the re-release of his Western Straight to Hell. Julian Napier, director of Madame Butterfly 3D, a new film of the Royal Opera House’s production of Puccini’s classic tale, explains how filming the opera using 3D cameras makes the cinema presentation a more immersive experience.

Issue 59: Fake Documentaries

Punishment Park

Theme: Fake Documentaries
Punishment Park
I’m Still Here
The Curse
Troll Hunter

Monte Hellman

Film Reviews
Margin Call
Cross of Love

DVD Review
Two-Lane Blacktop

Everybody Dies
George Hardy by Dan Sartain

Comic Strip Review
The Blair Witch Project

Reel Sounds
Alternative 3

Short Cuts
London Short Film Festival Preview

Alter Ego
Tom Benn

Film Jukebox
Barry Adamson

Cult Animation

Fake Documentaries: Political satire, media manipulation, horror trickery

We start off the year with the real truths behind fake documentaries to mark the Blu-ray release of Peter Watkins’s incendiary Punishment Park. We also have articles on the Joaquin Phoenix hoax I’m Still Here, Danish political satire AFR, the infamous BBC live ghost-hunting show simulation Ghostwatch, Kôji Shiraishi’s pseudo-documentary on supernatural phenomena The Curse, and a comic strip on The Blair Witch Project, plus Norwegian monster mockumentary Troll Hunter is out on DVD. Our Reel Sounds column is on Brian Eno’s soundtrack for SF hoax Alternative 3.

At the cinema, we review Jean Vigo’s poetic gem L’atalante, Steve McQueen’s much anticipated study of sex addiction Shame, Tatsumi, an animated film on the life and work of the eponymous manga artist, and financial thriller Margin Call.

In the DVDs we look at legendary road movie Two-Lane Blacktop and we have an interview with director Monte Hellman about his latest film, Road to Nowhere.

We also review Teuvo Tulio’s flamboyant melodrama Cross of Love, and we have a feature on films in which everybody dies and guitar-slinger Dan Sartain interviews George Hardy, star of Troll 2. In Short Cuts we preview the London Short Film Festival. Musician Barry Adamson of Magazine and the Bad Seeds fame picks his favourites in the Film Jukebox while writer Tom Benn is Blade Runner‘s Roy Batty in Alter Ego.

Cult Animation: Alex Fitch talks to a pair of directors of innovative short animated films: Oscar-winner (2011 co-director Short Animated Film) Shaun Tan about the adaptation of his acclaimed picture book The Lost Thing and web animator Jonti Picking about his cult animated series Weebl and Bob as well as his adverts for Cadbury’s Creme Eggs (is it that time of year already?) and Anchor Butter.