Issue 39: Confined Spaces


Confined Spaces: From tanks to locked rooms and futuristic cubes

As the powerful war drama Lebanon, which is entirely set in a tank, is released this month, we look at confined spaces, with articles on bird-watching British thriller The Hide and metaphysical horror film Cube as well as Krzysztof Komeda’s soundtrack for Knife in the Water.

This month’s new movies include Herzog’s demented Bad Lieutenant, charming punk sci-fi tale Fish Story and the documentary American: The Bill Hicks Story. We also review Kafkaesque Estonian drama The Temptation of St Tony and we have an interview with Teddy Chen.

In the DVDs, we look at Paradjanov’s lyrical film poem Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors and Australian cannibal drama Van Diemen’s Land. We have a comic strip review of Dario Argento’s The Card Player and our online movie is Girl Number 9.

We are very excited to present our very first Colonial Report from the Dominion of Canada from Careful producer Greg Klymkiw and we also have a feature on Magic Lanterns. In the Blog, we have a preview of the Terracotta Film Festival, and reviews of the Nippon Connection, American backwater documentary Zoomer, Iceland’s first horror film Reykjavik Whale-Watching Massacre and Joe Dante’s rarely seen pop culture film collage The Movie Orgy.

In the Short Cuts, we look at Georges Pal’s puppet animation while Lali Puna pick their favourite movies in the Film Jukebox. And you can read the winning review of Battle Royale in our April film writing competition.

PODCASTS: Until the End of the World: In the latest Electric Sheep podcast, we’re looking at apocalyptic movies: Virginie Sélavy talks to John Hillcoat, director of the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road in an interview recorded at last year’s London Film Festival, plus Alex Fitch talks to Helen McCarthy, a British expert on manga, anime and Japanese visual culture, in a Q&A recorded before the Electric Sheep screening of Kinji Fukasaku’s Battle Royale at the Prince Charles Cinema.

Issue 38: Momma’s Boys (and Girls)


Momma’s Boys (and Girls): The deviant offspring of excessively loving mothers

To mark the release of the brilliant psycho-sexual drama Dogtooth, we look at momma’s boys (and girls) with articles on White Heat, The Piano Teacher, Psycho and an interview with director Yorgos Lanthimos.

In the new cinema releases, we review Todd Solondz’s follow-up to Happiness, Life during Wartime, Mamoru Oshii’s wonderful The Sky Crawlers, Borgesian fantasy Double Take, Brit kidnap thriller The Disappearance of Alice Creed and Australian teen-lovers-on-the-run tale Samson and Delilah. We also have a feature on Sergei Paradjanov.

In the DVDs, we look at beautiful Czech classic Valley of the Bees and Henri-George Clouzot’s Inferno, we have a fantastic comic strip review of Dr Jeckyll and Sister Hyde and a feature on Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell. We also look at new filmic PS3 game Heavy Rain and at the innovative space cowboy series Stingray Sam and we report on South by South West.

We have interviews with Todd Solondz and Momoko Ando, whose film Kakera is now getting a UK release. In the Short Cuts we have a feature on the much loved Flatpack Festival. In Alter Ego, author Craig Silvey is the Fantastic Mr Fox and in the Film Jukebox psychedelic hard rockers Dead Meadow tell us about their favourite movies. And you can read the winning review of Careful in our film writing competition.

PODCASTS: Body and Souls: In the latest Electric Sheep podcast, we’re looking at two films by female directors that deal with issues of absence and loss. Alex Fitch talks to director Sophie Barthes about her film Cold Souls, a Kaufman-esque science fiction comedy about soul-trafficking starring Paul Giamatti, and to Mirjam Van Veelan about her documentary Megumi, about the kidnap of a Japanese girl – Megumi Yokota – in 1977 by North Korea (with thanks to The Barbican for arranging the interview with Mirjam).

Issue 37: Guy Maddin

The Saddest Music in the World

Guy Maddin: The poetic, macabre and playful visions of a wonderfully twisted mind

March is all about Guy Maddin and we celebrate his genius with articles on Careful and The Saddest Music in the World, a Reel Sounds column on modern silent films and a double bill at the Prince Charles Cinema.

In the new cinema releases, we look at Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Iranian musical subversives in No One Knows about Persian Cats and Argentine woman-in-prison drama Lion’s Den. You can also read a feature on Tom Harper’s The Scouting Book for Boys and an interview with Peter Greenaway for Nightwatching. And we have an article on Mexican 70s horror movie Alucarda, which we are proud to be presenting at the Flatpack Festival on March 26.

In DVD releases, we have a comic strip review of metaphysical comedy Cold Souls and an interview with Antonio Campos for his brilliant debut Afterschool. In our blog section, you can read our final dispatches from the Berlinale, which include a review of Banksy’s Exit through the GIft Shop, and reports on the International Rotterdam Film Festival and the PhotoFilm season.

In Short Cuts, we have a feature on Monuments, which screened at Rotterdam last month while mythogeographer Phil Smith is Mick Travis in our Alter Ego column and Josiah Wolf tells us about the films that have marked him in the Film Jukebox. And you can read the winner’s entry in our Kiss Me Deadly writing competition.

PODCASTS: Listen back to Alex Fitch’s interview with Peter Greenaway for Nightwatching, a dramatisation of the theory that Rembrandt included clues to a murder mystery within the imagery of his masterpiece, The Nightwatch. In the podcast, Greenaway discusses the crossover between filmmaking and fine art and the master painter Rembrandt’s position as a pioneer of both.

Issue 36: Bloody Ballet

The Red Shoes

Bloody Ballet: Bewitched ballerinas, dancing vampires and enchanted pumps

This month we explore the dark and supernatural side of ballet on film with articles on Suspiria, The Red Shoes and Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary.

New cinema releases include Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Micmacs and Japanese debut Asyl, which centres on an unusual ‘love hotel’ in Tokyo. We examine how Takeshi Kitano confronts his ‘Beat’ Takeshi persona in the long-awaited Takeshis’ to offer an iconoclastic dissection of fame. We also have a profile of veteran cinematographer Wolf Suschitzky. In our blog, we discuss our favourite Hitchcock blondes in anticipation of the Blonde Crazy retrospective at Birds Eye View next month and we have reports on the Berlinale and the Himalaya Film and Cultural Festival.

In the DVD section, we review Fritz Lang’s unsurpassed classic M and Craig Baldwin’s conspiratorial history of Scientology Mock Up on Mu. We look at Kim Longinotto’s Gaea Girls and Shinjuku Boys, two documentaries on women living on the margins of Japanese society. We have a comic strip review of Asian Horror: The Essential Collection box-set. And as part of our exploration of online movies, we look at David Lynch’s website.

In Short Cuts, we have a report on the 7th London Short Film Festival, which once more offered many memorable moments, while in our Alter Ego column Welcome to Mars author Ken Hollings tells us why he would be Astro Boy if he was a film character. Finally, quirky pop genius Lightspeed Champion picks his favourite films in the Film Jukebox.

PODCASTS: Alex Fitch interviews celebrated actress Susannah York about her career, focusing on her performances in war-themed productions and her interest in peace activism.

Issue 35


The cinematic year is off to a promising start with some excellent new releases. First off is Breathless, an explosive, unforgettable South Korean drama about the unlikely love story between a gangster and a school girl – an absolute must-see. Also worthy of attention are John Hillcoat’s stunningly bleak adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Jacques Audiard’s accomplished gangster saga A Prophet, as well as Mexican new wave gem I’m Gonna Explode, a fresh take on the young lovers on the run storyline. We have an interview with Stuart Hazeldine, director of cerebral thriller Exam while the testosterone-overloaded British gangster drama 44 Inch Chest is also out this month.

In the DVD releases we look at Peter Watkins’s 1967 musical/political conspiracy film Privilege starring Manfred Mann’s Paul Jones, and jaw-dropping 70s Japanese bubblegum horror movie House. We also have an interview with Park Chan-wook about his latest film Thirst, released on DVD this month.

Following on from the Sheffied Doc/Fest in November 09, we have an interview with Kazuo Hara about his landmark 1974 documentary Extreme Private Eros. We also talked to Michel Negroponte who explained how he got personally involved in I’m Dangerous with Love, a documentary in which he explores the ‘ibogaine underground’ – drug addicts using a West African hallucinogen as unofficial detox treatment.

In the Short Cuts, we have an article on the London Short Film Festival Rich Pickings event, which explores the Lolita figure through a mixture of short films, music videos and discussions. We review the latest instalment of the Tateshots series of film podcasts, which explores the links between music and art through interviews with musicians such as Billy Childish and Lydia Lunch. Canadian punks Fucked Up are our guests in the Film Jukebox and their frontman Pink Eyes tells us about his 10 favourite films. And finally here’s our pick of the best and worst films of 2009.

PODCASTS: Alex Fitch talks to writer, editor and raconteur Ian Rakoff about his experiences working on The Prisoner.

Issue 34

Silent Night, Deadly Night

Seasonal fun starts with the release of 80s shocker Silent Night, Deadly Night, uncut for the first time in the UK: killer Santa, heaps of gore and nudity, a dollop of sexual and religious guilt, it’s got it all. Being in the mood for terror, we take the opportunity of a new Blu-ray release to revisit The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and admire its ground-breaking soundtrack. Fans of spurting blood will be impressed by the geysers coming out of treacherous samurais dispatched by the hero of Lone Wolf and Cub. Although famous for its violence, the ultra-stylish 70s Japanese series has a lot more to offer than spectacular fight scenes. And we also look at Enzo Castellari’s macaroni war film Eagles over London – fun for the whole cult fan family. For a different kind of festive entertainment, watch out for British classic The Queen of Spades, a dark, dreamlike tale of bargains with the devil released as a special Boxing Day treat around the UK.

Out at the cinema this month is Jim Jarmusch’s latest, The Limits of Control. Jarmusch has become synonymous with American independent film, and our review of a revised edition of 100 American Independent Films is the occasion to look at the changes that have affected this sector in recent years. Things may be difficult, but the stunning Redland, which showed at Raindance in October, is proof that independent filmmakers are still able to produce work of remarkable quality – read our interview with director Asiel Norton and writer/producer Magdalena Zyzak.

Continuing our coverage of Raindance’s Japanese women directors strand, we have an interview with the unique Sachi Hamano, one of the first female filmmakers in Japan and the director of over 300 pink films. We also talk to Apitchapong Weerasethakul about his video installation Primitive, which was presented at AND in September. And as omnibus film Germany 09 screens at the 12th Festival of German Films, we have an interview with two of the co-directors, Tow Tykwer and Fatih Akin.

In the Short Cuts section, we explore the uncompromising world of animator Max Hattler while the Prisoner-inspired duo Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling pick their favourite movies in the Film Jukebox.

Issue 33

If you only see one film this month, make it Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon, a masterful, richly enigmatic evocation of the ‘Nazi generation’ as children. Lighter entertainment comes courtesy of whimsical comedy Bunny and the Bull, directed by Mighty Boosh‘s Paul King, and outrageous Japanese porn farce Lalapipo. The Korean Film Festival is at the Barbican and there is a Bong Joon-ho retrospective at the BFI Southbank, which includes screenings of his latest, Mother, as well as The Host and Memories of Murder.

Also in UK cinemas in November are Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno, a documentary investigating the gorgeous-looking crime thriller the French master could not complete, and low-fi indie romance Paper Heart, for which we have capsule reviews as part of our round-up of the 53rd London Film Festival – read about unknown gems as well as films you can look forward to see on UK screens in the near future. We Live in Public, a documentary about internet pioneer Joshua Harris that also screened at the LFF, is out this month and we have an interview with director Ondi Timoner.

In the DVD section, we look at two very different French works, the acclaimed documentary on France under German occupation during the Second World War The Sorrow and the Pity, and extreme horror thriller Inside and its connection to the Paris riots of 2005. We also review a documentary on the All Tomorrow’s Parties music festival.

We have an interview with Momoko Ando, the young director of the wonderful Kakera – A Piece of our Lives, conducted during the Raindance Film Festival last month. You can read the winning review in our Rollerball film writing competition, which we run every month in connection with the Electric Sheep Film Club at the Prince Charles. And our Film Jukebox this month features the very unusual Non-Commissioned Officers, who formed a band to promote a film – or was it the other way around?

The Electric Sheep Magazine team

Electric Sheep Magazine Winter 09

‘I Fought the Law’ – The winter 09 issue of Electric Sheep looks at what makes a cinematic outlaw: read about the misdeeds of low-life gangsters, gentlemen thieves, deadly females, modern terrorists, cop killers and vigilantes, bikers and banned filmmakers.

Also in this issue: interview with John Hillcoat about his adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, the art of Polish posters according to Andrzej Klimowski, Andrew Cartmel discusses The Prisoner and noir comic strips!

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

Issue 32

Be ready to spend most of the month in dark rooms as October is offering a bumper crop of excellent films. Top of the list is Sion Sono’s extraordinary love and guilt epic Love Exposure, which premiered at the Raindance Festival. Equally as good in a very different style, Johnny Mad Dog is a gut-wrenching portrayal of wild child soldiers in an unnamed African country – we talk to director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire. Elsewhere, the grande dame of the nouvelle vague Agnès Varda tells us why she chose to revisit her life in cinema in her latest film, The Beaches of Agnès, while Marc Price of the ‘made-for-£45′ Colin reveals the secrets of low-budget zombie filmmaking. Park Chan-wook returns with stylish vampire love triangle Thirst, Shane Meadows offers the hilarious roadie mockumentary Le Donk & Scor-Zay-Zee, and newcomer Peter Strickland’s debut Katalin Varga, made in Romania, is an unusual take on the rape and revenge film.

Also out this month are compelling circular horror thriller Triangle, and smart zombie film Pontypool, which premiered at FrightFest in August. Mamoru Oshii’s animé masterpiece Ghost in the Shell is released in a CGI-enhanced version – this is the occasion for a discussion of the current trend of ‘retrofitting’ old sci-fi films with modern CGI animation. In the DVD section, we applaud the release of Georges Franju’s striking debut feature La Tête contre les murs, and re-assess the social critique offered by British avant-garde film Herostratus.

We report back from the last Secret Cinema event and from the AND festival, which offered a variety of visual delights to the intellectually curious. And in our Short Cuts section we review the outstanding Siggraph Asia programme that screened at the London International Animation Festival in September.

The Electric Sheep Magazine team

Issue 31

‘Ther’s tha devil movin’ in my blood’. The autumn 09 print issue of Electric Sheep looks at religious extremes on film from Christic masochism to satanic cruelty. The extraordinary White Lightnin’ explores the Old Testament world of demented mountain dancer Jesco White while Klaus Kinski disastrously reinterprets the New Testament in Jesus Christ Saviour – and subversives Alejandro Jodorowsky and Kenneth Anger dynamite divine myths. Plus: Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Raindance 09, political animation, and louche mariachi rockabilly Dan Sartain picks his top films! [The magazine contains exclusive articles and interviews not available on the website.] The new issue is available from the specialist book store Cinéphilia, at selected retailers and cinemas or online from Wallflower Press.

This month sees the release of the exceptional White Lightnin’. You can read a short review online, but the interview with director Dominic Murphy is only available in the autumn 09 issue of the print magazine. Also out at the cinema this month is another unmissable film in an entirely different genre: Big River Man is a documentary about Slovenian champion Martin Strel’s attempt to swim the Amazon. Hilarious and tragic at the same time, with definite Herzogian undertones, it is one of the most enjoyable and affecting films of the year so far.

A crop of excellent festivals will be offering unique cinematic experiences throughout the month. Abandon Normal Devices is a new festival that seeks to challenge preconceptions about the moving image, taking place in Liverpool. AND will preview Pontypool, one of the smartest and wittiest zombie movies we’ve seen in a long time. Now in its 12th year, the digital festival onedotzero will also be showcasing new forms of moving images, including shorts, animation, music videos and audio-visual performances, starting in London before going on tour. And to mark the opening of the 17th Raindance Film Festival on September 30, we have a review of Kakera – A Piece of Our Lives, which will be screening as part of the festival’s focus on Japanese women directors.

In the DVD reviews we have wonderful, long-lost giallo Footprints, beautiful, melancholy Japanese teen-centred chiller Goth: Love of Death, little-known Charles Bronson gem Rider on the Rain, Peter Sellers’s first film outing Penny Points to Paradise and a short extract from the discussion of Jane Arden’s Separation, which appears in full in the autumn 09 issue of the magazine.

Finally, we have an interview with Steven Severin and Danny Plotnick about their work in music and film, conducted at the Revelation Perth International Film Festival by our Australian correspondent, while in the Short Cuts we have a piece on a Don Hertzfeldt event organised in June by the London International Animation Festival, which is in full swing right now.

The Electric Sheep Magazine team