Fortresses: Hidden, black, ancient, high-rise and alternative
This month we are proud to present a 35mm screening of Michael Mann’s rare 1983 film The Keep in collaboration with Cigarette Burns at the Prince Charles in London on 21 February. This is the occasion for a look at fortresses on film, with reviews of The Keep, Akira Kurosawa’s feudal Japan tale The Hidden Fortress and housing project-set shocker Citadel, an interview with Citadel director Ciaran Foy, a feature on alternative fortresses and a Comic Strip Review of Time Bandits. And we also have a Reel Sounds column on the Tangerine Dream soundtrack to Michael Mann’s Thief.
Continue reading Issue 72: Fortresses
Repulsion: The strange attraction of dark emotions, vile acts and messed up characters
To coincide with the BFI’s extended run of Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, we look at the repellent anti-hero of Maniac in our Comic Strip Review, the disgust caused by the hellish David Mamet-scripted Edmond, and vomit in film. Our Reel Sounds column is on the beautiful score to the shockingly disturbing Cannibal Holocaust.
Continue reading Issue 71: Repulsion
Kôji Wakamatsu: Porn, politics and provocation
This month we honour the late Kôji Wakamatsu, great provocateur and ‘godfather of the pink movie’, who mixed sex, violence and politics to explosive effect. We have reviews of Violent Virgin, Running in Madness, Dying in Love, Go, Go Second-Time Virgin, Secret Acts behind Walls, Pool without Water and Caterpillar, as well as a Comic Strip Review of Naked Bullet and a Reel Sounds column on the Ecstasy of the Angels soundtrack. An article taken from Behind the Pink Curtain by Jasper Sharp looks at Wakamatsu’s career and we have an interview with the man himself on his Mishima film, 11.25. The Day He Chose His Own Fate, one of his last to be completed.
Continue reading Issue 70: Koji Wakamatsu
Creatures: Ancient beasts, mystical monsters, sleepwalking murderers
As winter sets in the creatures come out of the dark: The Golem is conjured up, Conrad Veidt is the puppet of a sinister hypnotist in The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, a primitive beast terrorizes Trans-Siberian passengers in 70s Spanish horror movie Horror Express and we have a feature on ‘Female Creatures and Science Experiments Gone Amiss’. In Alter Ego, Sam Hawken is Underworld’s Selene while our Comic Strip Review is on Fritz Lang’s Die Nibelungen.
Continue reading Issue 69: Creatures
Freedom: Skid row outsiders, uninhibited deviants and liberating servitude
As fantastical paean to harsh, wild freedom Beasts of the Southern Wild hits the screens this month, we look at various forms of cinematic freedom, from John Waters’s outrageous black comedy Female Trouble to The Master and the films of Paul Thomas Anderson while our Comic Strip Review is on The Prisoner. And Greg Klymkiw talks about freedom and servitude with the Brothers Quay to mark the American DVD release of Institute Benjamenta.
Continue reading Issue 68: Freedom
Memory: Lost love remembered, ghosts of the living and the dead, bygone cinema
Memory is our autumnal theme this month with reviews of Miguel Gomes’s wonderful tale of past wrong love Tabu and The Swimmer, Frank Perry’s startling 1968 portrayal of a man coming to terms with his life. We have an interview with Guy Maddin about his latest ghostly reverie Keyhole and a feature on Hirokazu Kore-eda, director of After Life and Nobody Knows. Our Comic Strip Review remembers an episode from a BBC TV series from the past, A Ghost Story for Christmas‘ Whistle and I’ll Come to You. In Alter Ego, writer Will Wiles is Grosse Pointe Blank‘s Martin Blank.
Continue reading Issue 67: Memory
Fakes: False child, art forgery, duplicitous moles, unreliable reality
August is full of fakes: in Bart Layton’s jaw-dropping documentary The Imposter, a man impersonates a missing child; James Marsh’s Shadow Dancer is a fictional account of an IRA member turned informer; Orson Welles explores art forgery in F for Fake; Israeli series Prisoners of War deals with released prisoners who may have been â€˜turned’; Powell and Pressburger’s I Know Where I’m Going! creates authenticity through cinema trickery. We have features on myth fabrication in Searching for Sugar Man and fakery in Christopher Nolan’s films. Peter Strickland talks about his giallo homage Berberian Sound Studio while our Comic Review is on The Rutles.
Continue reading Issue 66: Fakes
Mutations: Metal men, werewolf girls, freaks and hybrids
July is all about mutations as the East End Film Festival presents brand new restorations of Shin’ya Tsukamoto’s cyberpunk landmark Tetsuo: Iron Man and its sequel Tetsuo II: Body Hammer. We also a feature on Prometheus and panspermia and reviews of David Cronenberg’s tragic horror movie The Fly, John Fawcett’s Ginger Snaps, in which a misfit teenage girl’s struggles with puberty and fitting in are played out as werewolf transformation, and Peter Greenaway’s The Belly of an Architect, about an obsessed man dying of cancer. In Alter Ego, Tom Pollock is Jurassic Park‘s Dr Henry Wu and our Comic Strip Review is on Italian techno Western The Legend of Kaspar Hauser, starring Vincent Gallo.
Continue reading Issue 65: Mutations
Sion Sono: Social earthquakes, secret cults and strange perversions
The release of Himizu, a powerful manga-adapted teen drama set in post-tsunami Japan, is the occasion to take a closer look at the work of maverick director Sion Sono. We have an interview with Sono and a review of Exte: Hair Extensions, as well as previous reviews of Guilty of Romance, Cold Fish, Love Exposure and Suicide Club.
Continue reading Issue 64: Sion Sono
Treachery: Cheaters, liars, tricksters and traitors
Treachery is this month’s theme: we have reviews of True Love, a thriller that explores the dangerous consequences of lying to your spouse, and Extracted, a cerebral puzzler that explores the truths and lies we tell ourselves, both screening at SCI-FI-LONDON, Vincente Minelli’s take on glamorous betrayal in Hollywood The Bad and the Beautiful, Australian tale of scapegoats in the Boer War Breaker Morant and high-octane Welsh-directed Indonesian martial arts actioner The Raid, which is released this month.
Continue reading Issue 63: Treachery