Issue 49: Women in Horror

Les Diaboliques

Women in Horror: Scream queens, she-devils and scare mistresses

To coincide with the celebration of ‘Bloody Women’ at the Bird’s Eye View Festival, we look at women in horror with articles on Ingrid Pitt, Amber Heard, Alien‘s Ripley, Halloween‘s Laurie Strode and emerging UK female horror directors. Clouzot’s noir masterpiece Les diaboliques and intriguing Korean revenge tale Bedevilled are on cinema screens. Filmmaker Jennifer Eiss wonders if women prefer psychological horror, Jessica Fostekew explores horror from a comic perspective and artist Lisa Gornick offers her take in a Comic Strip. Our Reel Sounds column is on Delia Derbyshire’s score for The Legend of Hell House while writer Sarah Pinborough picks Ripley as her horror alter ego. In Short Cuts, we review Birds Eye View’s programme of horror shorts.

To mark the BFI Nic Roeg season we have a feature on the Venice of Don’t Look Now. Also on cinema screens this month are Haruki Murakami adaptation Norwegian Wood and controversial Japanese corruption saga Confessions of a Dog – read the interview with director Gen Takahashi.

New DVDs include Czech 60s political satire Larks on a String and Lucio Fulci’s surreal zombie shocker The Beyond and we have an interview with Clio Barnard about The Arbor. Our Online Movie column looks at paper theatre and folk-punk combo Pete and the Pirates pick their favourite films in the Film Jukebox. In the Blog, we report on the Rotterdam Festival and we have a capsule review of Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

Bloody Women: To coincide with the Birds Eye View Film Festival’s focus on women in horror, Virginie Sélavy leads a discussion with three women filmmakers working in this traditionally male-dominated genre: Melanie Light, director of Switch, Kate Shenton, director of Bon Appetit, and Jennifer Eiss, co-director of Short Lease.

Issue 48: Confessions


Theme: Confessions
-William Peter Blatty’s Exorcist trilogy

Tetsuya Nakashima: Confessions

Film Reviews
Never Let Me Go
Animal Kingdom

DVD Reviews
In Their Sleep
A Blonde in Love
Man Hunt

Comic Strip Review
The Last Lovecraft

Reel Sounds
I Walked with a Zombie

Alter Ego
Mary Horlock

Short Cuts
London Short Film Festival: Music and Video

Film Jukebox
Sic Alps

The Antonioni Project
Shibuya Minoru

The Antonioni Project

Confessions: Tricky revelations, poetic admissions and Catholic guilt

Our February theme was inspired by the brilliant, devilishly twisted revenge tale Confessions – read our interview with director Tetsuya Nakashima, who also made Kamikaze Girls and Memories of Matsuko, and watch the trailer. Also on cinema screens this month, Howl explores Allen Ginsberg’s revolutionary confessional poem. We also have articles on nunsploitation, and on faith and guilt in William Peter Blatty’s Exorcist trilogy, as well as a Reel Sounds column on I Walked with a Zombie.

Other cinema releases include elegant nightmare Never Let Me Go, adapted from Kazuo Ishiguro by Alex Garland, intense Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom and Mohamed Al-Daradji’s Son of Babylon. In the DVDs, we review eerie French psycho-thriller In Their Sleep, Milo&#353 Forman’s 60s Czech New Wave classic A Blonde in Love and Fritz Lang’s 1941 espionage thriller Man Hunt, and we have a Comic Strip Review of The Last Lovecraft.

In Short Cuts, we report on the music programme of the London Short Film Festival while writer Mary Horlock chooses an animated furry creature as her filmic alter ego and lo-fi psych trio Sic Alps tell us about their favourite films in the Jukebox. In the blog, you can read about Diana Thater’s video installation Chernobyl, The Antonioni Project and the Berlinale, including a feature on Shibuya Minoru.

The Antonioni Project: Alex Fitch talks to director Ivo van Hove about his innovative theatrical production The Antonioni Project, which combines elements of cinema and theatre as it blends three screenplays by Michelangelo Antonioni with the latest technological achievements.

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.

Issue 46: Freeze

Rare Exports

Theme: Freeze
Rare Exports
The Big Chill: Frozen Emotions in American Independent Cinema
-Freeze Frames and Stasis in La jetée
Attack of the Frozen Things!
Reel Sounds: The Shining

Srdjan Spasojevic: A Serbian Film
Hisayasu Satô

Segundo de Chom&#243n

Film Reviews
A Serbian Film
Until the Light Takes Us
On Tour

DVD Reviews
Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot + Playtime

Comic Strip Review
Boudu Saved from Drowning

Online Movie
Horse Glue

Short Cuts
Aston Gorilla

Alter Ego
Sarah Moss

Review of 2010

Film Jukebox
The Loves

Guerilla Filmmaking and Fleeing Monsters

Freeze: Iced up Santa, freeze frames, Antarctic creatures

Read about the real evil Santa in his ice prison in twisted Finish fairy tale Rare Exports, chilled emotions in American independent cinema, freeze frames and stasis in La jetée, Lovecraftian ice monsters + a Reel Sounds column about The Shining‘s soundtrack.

This month sees the release of the much talked-about A Serbian Film, which was heavily cut by the British censors – read the interview with director Srdjan Spasojevic. Norwegian black metal documentary Until the Light Takes Us also provoked controversy at festival screenings this year. Also out is Mathieu Amalric’s acidic burlesque comedy On Tour and charming British sci-fi romance Monsters.

In the DVDs, we review Jacques Tati’s Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot and Playtime, and we have a Comic Strip Review of Boudu Saved from Drowning. Our Online Movies column looks at the wonderful Horse Glue, Short Cuts focuses on Tom Browne’s football gorilla nightmare Aston Gorilla while in Alter Ego author Sarah Moss is Filippa in Babette’s Feast.

We have an interview with one of pinku eiga‘s Four Devils, Hisayasu Satô, and a feature on Spanish pioneer Segundo de Chom&#243n. You can read festival reports on Zipangu and Cine-City in the Blog while retro popsters The Loves pick their favourite films in the Film Jukebox. For a look back at the year in film, check out our review of 2010.

Guerilla Filmmaking and Fleeing Monsters: In a Q&A recorded live at this year’s Sci-Fi London Oktoberfest and broadcast on Resonance FM, Alex Fitch talks to British director Gareth Edwards about his genre-crossing film Monsters, which features a photo-journalist escorting a spoilt rich girl across Mexico following an alien invasion. Gareth Edwards discusses his use of special effects and the pros and cons of shooting guerrilla-style with a small cast and crew South of the Border.

Issue 45: Women on the Verge


Theme: Women on the Verge
Dream Home
Tears for Sale
Reel Sounds: The Innocents

Apitchatpong Weerasethakul: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Michael Rowe: Leap Year
Hammer and Tongs
Zhao Dayong

Peeping Tom: Staring into Medusa’s Eyes

Film Reviews
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
We Are What We Are

DVD Reviews
Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide

Comic Strip Review:
Big Tits Zombie

Short Cuts
Lewis Klahr

Alter Ego
Rebecca Hunt is Ferris Bueller

7th Chinese Independent Film Festival

Dangerous Women and Foxy Heroes

Women on the Verge: Psychotic spinsters, possessed housewives, troubled temptresses

This month is dominated by fraught females, from the homicidal young professional in Dream Home and the desperate Serbian spinsters of Tears for Sale to Isabelle Adjani’s unhinged demon lover in Possession and the murderous sister in Czech extravaganza Morgiana. Plus our Reel Sounds column focuses on The Innocents‘ soundtrack to a governess’s unravelling.

Possession was banned as a ‘video nasty’ and new documentary Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide provides a timely context for its UK DVD debut. Another notorious film vilified on its release is celebrating its 50th anniversary: Michael Powell’s seminal Peeping Tom.

Thai reverie Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is on UK screens this month – read our interview with director Apitchatpong Weerasethakul. We also review intriguing Mexican cannibal tale We Are What We Are and we talk to Michael Rowe, director of the Mexico-set psycho-sexual drama Leap Year.

In the DVDs, we have a Comic Strip Review of Big Tits Zombie while Hammer and Tongs discuss their work. Short Cuts focuses on collage artist Lewis Klahr while writer Rebecca Hunt’s Alter Ego is Ferris Bueller. The blog has previews, including onedotzero, and reports on Raindance and the 7th Chinese Independent Film Festival – read the interview with director Zhao Dayong.

Dangerous Women and Foxy Heroes: To complement this month’s theme, we present a pair of Q&As recorded at Electric Sheep film club screenings. Alex Fitch talks to Zoe Baxter, the presenter of Resonance FM’s radio show about Asian culture in the UK, and they discuss the epic ‘wuxia’ film Hero, which featured memorable roles for female action heroes Maggie Cheung and Ziyi Zhang. In the main interview, Electric Sheep editor Virginie S&#233lavy talks to Brixton-based filmmaker Rebecca Johnson, director of Top Girl, about the classic ‘blaxploitation’ film Foxy Brown, starring Pam Grier.

Issue 44: Dario Argento


Theme: Dario Argento
The animal ‘trilogy’
Transatlantic Trauma
Reel Sounds: Operatic Terror

Joe Dante

Bruno the Black

Film Reviews
A Town Called Panic
Jackboots on Whitehall

DVD Reviews
Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood

Online Movie
The Alder Woodwasp and Its Insect Enemies

Comic Strip Review:
City Lights

Colonial Report from the Dominion of Canada

Short Cuts
London International Animation Festival

Film Jukebox
Piney Gir

London Film Festival
L’Etrange Festival


Joe Dante and Tobe Hooper – Masters of Horror

Dario Argento: The Lush Colours of Terror

This month, we celebrate the sumptuous world of Dario Argento with an article on his early animal ‘trilogy’, Transatlantic Trauma, a feature on his unhappy foray into Hollywood and a Reel Sounds column on his use of opera.

Animated features are fairly rare but this month sees the release of two on the same day: Hammer and Tongs’ surreal tale A Town Called Panic and Jackboots on Whitehall, an alternative history of the Second World War. Also on UK screens is French 70s terrorist saga Carlos. The Colonial Report from the Dominion of Canada focuses on Kashmiri film Autumn, and we have a review of Raindance highlight Legacy. Watch the trailer for Confessions, Tetsuya Nakashima’s superb new revenge tale, which premieres at FrightFest Halloween All-Nighter.

New DVDs include Takeshi Kitano’s only American film Brother and animé series Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights gets the comic strip treatment and our new Online Movies columnist looks at The Alder Woodwasp and Its Insect Enemies.

We also have the second part of our Joe Dante interview and an article on the recently departed Bruno S, most famous for his role in Herzog’s Kaspar Hauser. In the Short Cuts we report on the London International Animation Festival, and in the blog you can read coverage of the London Film Festival. We have reports on the Venice and Toronto festivals as well as on L’Etrange Festival. In the Film Jukebox, Kansas-born country chanteuse Piney Gir picks 10 bright and colourful films.

Joe Dante and Tobe Hooper – Masters of Horror: To coincide with the start of a month of horror film releases in the cinema and on DVD in the run-up to Halloween, Alex Fitch interviews two veterans of horror cinema, Joe Dante and Tobe Hooper.

Issue 43: Futuristic Cities


Theme: Futuristic Cities
Futuristic Cities on Film
Escape from New York
Reel Sounds: Things to Come
Alter Ego: Ed Hollis is Wall-E

Gaspar No&#233 on Enter the Void
Joe Dante on Splatter
interview Fr&#233d&#233ric Temps on L’Etrange Festival

Film Reviews
The Last Exorcism
My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?
Winter’s Bone
Enter the Void

DVD Reviews

Comic Strip Review:
Pet Shop of Horrors

Colonial Report from the Dominion of Canada
Frank Cole

A Serbian Film Censored
Film4 FrightFest Festival Report
Shinsedai Festival Report

Filming the Last Exorcism

Futuristic Cities: Cinematic visions of metropolises to come

To celebrate the release of Fritz Lang’s restored silent classic Metropolis, we have articles on futuristic cities on film and Escape from New York and a Reel Sounds column on Things to Come while Ed Hollis tells us why he would be Wall-E if he were a film character.

In the cinema releases, we review The Last Exorcism, Herzog’s brilliantly skewed police procedural My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?, the harsh and beautiful hillbilly tale Winter’s Bone, Franti&#353ek Vl&#225&#269il’s subtle war tale Adelheid and we interview Gaspar No&#233 about his latest provocation, Enter the Void.

New DVDs include Bong Joon-ho’s fantastic Mother, Richard Fleischer’s take on the Leopold and Loeb murder case Compulsion, starring Orson Welles and we have a comic strip review of Pet Shop of Horrors, courtesy of the Queen Mum. We also have an interview with Joe Dante about his new interactive series Splatter.

We interview Fr&#233d&#233ric Temps, founder and director of the wonderful L’Etrange Festival and Frank Cole is the subject of this month’s Colonial Report from the Dominion of Canada.

In the blog, we have an opinion piece on the much talked about A Serbian Film, as well as reports on the Film4 FrightFest and Shinsedai festivals.

Filming the Last Exorcism: During Film4 FrightFest, Alex Fitch interviewed producer Eli Roth and director Daniel Stamm about their new ‘mockumentary’ horror film The Last Exorcism. Daniel Stamm talks about how using a documentary style to make supernatural movies helps break the fourth wall for the audience to help draw them into events, while Eli Roth talks about how his experience of producing his own movies Cabin Fever and Hostel differs from his more advisory role on this film.

Issue 42: Propaganda

The Eleventh Year

Theme: Propaganda
A Sixth Part of the World
No Politics: The New US War Film
Reel Sounds: Triumph of the Will

Bong Joon-ho on Mother
Sylvain Chomet on The Illusionist
Fran&#231ois Ozon on The Refuge
Peter Whitehead on Terrorism Considered as One of the Fine Arts

Film Reviews
The Human Centipede

DVD Reviews
Pandora and the Flying Dutchman

Comic Strip Review:

Trailers and videos:
trailer for Oddsac

The Films of Vincenzo Natali

Propaganda: Revolutionary Soviets, Nazi bombast, apolitical America

This month’s propaganda theme was prompted by the recent releases of Alexander Dovzhenko’s Earth and Dziga Vertov’s A Sixth Part of the World. We also have a feature on the absence of propaganda in recent American war films and a Reel Sounds column on the soundtrack of Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will.

New cinema releases include the notorious extreme body horror movie The Human Centipede, and we have an interview with Bong Joon-ho, whose extraordinary Mother is out this month. We also interview Sylvain Chomet about The Illusionist and Fran&#231ois Ozon about The Refuge.

In the DVDs, we look at classic Technicolor romance Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, Hammer’s excellent atmospheric thriller Paranoiac and disappointing ninja movie Kamui. We also have a comic strip review of Swiss sci-fi thriller Cargo. And we interview Peter Whitehead on Terrorism Considered as One of the Fine Arts.

In the Blog, we have previews of FrightFest and the London Animation Film Festival. And you can watch the trailer for Oddsac, a film by Animal Collective and Danny Perez.

The Films of Vincenzo Natali: Alex Fitch talks to director Vincenzo Natali about Splice, his previous films with actor David Hewlett, and his forthcoming adaptation of William Gibson’s novel Neuromancer.

Issue 41: Outlandish Westerns


Theme: Outlandish Westerns
Italian Westerns: Django, Keoma and A Bullet for the General
Antonio das Mortes
Reel Sounds: The Great Silence
Alter Ego: Patrick Hargadon is The Gunslinger

Claire Denis on White Material
Catherine Breillat on Bluebeard

Film Reviews
Down Terrace

DVD Reviews
Profound Desires of the Gods

Comic Strip Review:

Colonial Report from the Dominion of Canada:
Le combat dans l’île

Short Cuts:
Edinburgh Film Festival’s shorts

Istanbul Film Festival
Secret Cinema: Blade Runner
Edinburgh Film Festival

Film Jukebox:
Cours Lapin

Trailers and videos:
The Brothers McLeod’s Sticks


Outlandish Westerns: a wild bunch of demented gunslingers, mystic outlaws and revolutionary bandidos

To celebrate the release of a box-set including Django, Keoma and A Bullet for the General, we have an article on Italian Westerns. We also look at Glauber Rocha’s take on the holy bandit, Antonio das Mortes, and admire Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack to Corbucci’s The Great Silence while writer Patrick Hargadon imagines being Yul Brynner as The Gunslinger in Futureworld.

We interview Claire Denis who revisits Africa in White Material, and Catherine Breillat who reworks the classic fairy tale Bluebeard. Other cinema releases include Christopher Nolan’s dream thriller Inception, Splice by Cube director Vincenzo Natali, French musical genius biopic Gainsbourg, and original British gangster movie Down Terrace. Watch the Splice trailer and the Brothers McLeod’s new animated film.

In the new DVDs, we review Imamura’s stunning epic Profound Desires of the Gods and George A Romero’s vampire satire Martin gets the comic strip treatment. This month’s Colonial Report from the Dominion of Canada looks at Alain Cavalier’s neo-noir Le combat dans l’île.

In the Short Cuts, we review the Edinburgh Film Festival’s shorts programmes, including Maska, the new film by the Brothers Quay. In the Jukebox, Danish film score composers Cours Lapin, who mix chanson française and twisted fairy tales, tell us about their favourite films. In the blog, we have reviews of the Istanbul Film Festival, the latest Secret Cinema event and the Edinburgh Film Festival.

PODCAST: alt.cowboy: Alex Fitch talks to BFI programmer Emma Smart about gay themes in Westerns after a screening of Midnight Cowboy and to Ian Rakoff about the crossover between Western-themed comics and movies before a screening of For a Few Dollars More.

Issue 40: Jim Thompson

Serie Noire

Jim Thompson: Mean men, hellish women, savage minds and corrupted souls

With Michael Winterbottom’s take on Jim Thompson’s The Killer inside Me out this month we explore the films based on the hardest of hard-boiled novelists, including The Grifters, After Dark, My Sweet, The Getaway and a Reel Sounds column on Série noire. In Alter Ego, writer Ryan David Jahn wonders about being Jim Thompson.

Other cinema releases include Coppola’s Tetro and faux horror documentary Resurrecting the Streetwalker. In the DVDs, we take a look at Guy Hamilton’s notorious 60s beatnik movie The Party’s Over, Jan Nemec’s Diamonds of the Night, Johnnie To’s Vengeance and Thai horror anthology Phobia. We review the Vice Guide to Mexican Narco Cinema in our Online Movies and we have a Kurosawa comic strip.

We interview the Brothers Quay about Institute Benjamenta, and we present the first Colonial Report from the Dominion of Canada, which deals with The Golden Age of American Television, as well as articles on Fassbinder’s sci-fi tale World on a Wire and two Lucio Fulci releases.

In the blog, we have a report on the Terracotta Festival and a preview of new BBC show Pulse. In the Film Jukebox, uke-wielding indiepopsters Allo’ Darlin’ pick Abba-centric movies. Read the winning review of Midnight Cowboy in our film writing competition.

PODCAST: The Polish New Wave?: Alex Fitch talks to Andrzej &#379u?awski about his struggles in getting his esoteric sci-fi epic On the Silver Globe released and the travails involved in making his horror films The Third Part of the Night (1971) and Possession (1981) under the eyes of a communist regime. Alex Fitch also talks to Polish poster designer Andrzej Klimowski and his wife Danusia Schejbal about working on the fringes of Polish filmmaking in the late 1970s.