Issue six

This month it’s all greed, corruption and cruelty as we focus on the blacker than black vision of Henri-Georges Clouzot, the misanthropic genius of French cinema, with reviews of the atmospheric crime thriller Quai des orfèvres, the brilliantly pessimistic poison-pen noir Le Corbeau and the teeth-grindingly suspenseful The Wages of Fear (Le Salaire de la peur), which follows four desperate men driving a nitro-glycerine truck down a dangerous South American road.

The Wages of Fear is one of the movies listed in the latest BFI screen guide 100 Road Movies and to guide us around the other 99, we talked to author Jason Wood, a man whose knowledge of cinema is as phenomenal as his enthusiasm and rapid-fire delivery.

Also in the spotlight is Hungarian director György Pálfi whose grotesque shocker Taxidermia is released this month. It is the occasion to take another look at his 2002 debut Hukkle, an original low-key murder mystery of sorts.

In the cinema releases we have controversial Cannes-winner French drama Flanders, hard-hitting Haiti documentary Ghosts of Cité Soleil, twisted home-movie Running Stumbled and Daratt, a revenge tale from Chad. As the BFI hosts a season dedicated to the work of little-known Japanese master Mikio Naruse we review his sophisticated female-centred sixties opus When a Woman Ascends the Stairs.

As the John Travolta-led Hairspray remake is about to invade our screens we have a feature celebrating John Waters’ 1987 original, which more than qualifies as our Rock’n’Roll Movie of the month. And we also review Mongolian charmer The Cave of the Yellow Dog.

If you missed our Alejandro Jodorowsky programme on Resonance FM last month, you can now listen to the podcast. More programmes on Resonance to be announced soon – go to our Events page for more details.

Every month we’ll give you the chance to get your cinephile hands on a film prize – all you have to do to win is spin the Film Roulette! We’re pleased to announce that our June winner is Verena Stackelberg. Well done Verena, you’ve won a DVD of Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, courtesy of the BFI. This month we have a Clouzot box set, including The Wages of Fear, Quai des orfèvres and Le Corbeau, courtesy of Optimum Releasing. So get spinning!

The Electric Sheep Magazine team

Issue five

To coincide with the BFI’s Black Screen Icon poll that celebrates black cinema we look at Melvin Van Peebles’ 1972 incendiary Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song and at Horace Ové’s Pressure, the stirring tale of a youth caught between West Indian and British cultures. We also have an interview with Melvin Van Peebles and his actor and director son Mario, who made a docu-drama about the making of Sweetback in 2005.

Also in the spotlight this month is the great Werner Herzog, who has a recent documentary on general release, The Wild Blue Yonder, and one of his seventies classics Fitzcarraldo re-released on DVD. If you’re in London don’t miss the Werner Herzog season at the ICA!

And we review Lunacy, revered Czech animator Jan Å vankmajer’s latest foray into live action, the delightful Aboriginal tale Ten Canoes and John Cassavetes’ Opening Night, part of a retrospective of the über-indie director’s work at the BFI Southbank.

DVD releases include the latest collection of shorts from the acclaimed digital festival onedotzero while our Rock’n’Roll Movies of the month are a batch of sixties pop films – Catch Me If You Can, Gonks Go Beat and Pop Gear.

Playing with our Film Jukebox this month are Bearsuit, a ‘stop-start boy-girl cutie-killer six-piece with everything from cinematic waltzes to catchy electro disco and hard punk screaming riot grrl noise.’ Take a look at their selection here!

Starting this month we’ll be making regular contributions to I’m Ready for my Close-Up, Resonance FM’s excellent weekly show on cinema and visual culture. Our first broadcast is on June 21 and you’ll be able to hear our interview with the inimitable Alejandro Jodorowsky. You can listen on the radio (104.4) or on line. Go to our Events page to find out about upcoming radio broadcasts.

Every month we’ll give you the chance to get your cinephile hands on a film prize – all you have to do to win is spin the Film Roulette! We’re pleased to announce that our May winner is Richard Todman. Well done Richard, you’ve won a DVD of El Topo, courtesy of Tartan Video. This month we have a DVD of Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, courtesy of the BFI (Please be aware that it’s a Region 2 disc). So get spinning!

The Electric Sheep Magazine team

Issue four

Why has Japanese director Yasuzo Masumura been so completely and utterly ignored in the West? Although credited with sparking off the Japanese New Wave in the 1960s, and recognised as a major influence on directors such as Nagisa Oshima and Shohei Imamura, over here Masumura has remained little more than an obscure curio. The stunning audacity and hysterical beauty of his work certainly deserves a closer look and the release of some of his major films on DVD – for the first time in the UK – provides us with the perfect opportunity. Last month we reviewed Manji, this month we have Red Angel and Blind Beast.

Cinema releases include Norwegian black comedy The Bothersome Man, Nanni Moretti’s Berlusconi satire The Caiman and Ray Lawrence’s follow-up to Lantana, Jindabyne. Our rock’n’roll film of the month is Julien Temple’s documentary on the Clash singer, Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten. Also out is the sharply intelligent Spanish thriller The Night of the Sunflowers – read our interview with the director Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo. And don’t miss sixties revolutionary classic The Battle of Algiers, which is re-released nationwide. Read our interview with Saadi Yacef, who starred in the film and on whose memoirs the script was based.

In London the Barbican’s Roman Polanski season kicks off with his masterful debut Knife in the Water. Also at the Barbican is the rare legendary silent Häxan (Witchcraft Through the Ages), screening with a hammered dulcimer score performed by Geoff Smith. And we review Surrealist silent The Seashell and the Clergyman, which screened at the Union Chapel last month with a soundtrack performed by Minima.

In the DVD section we have Nic Roeg’s perverse erotic thriller Bad Timing and Roger Corman’s Poe adaptation The Masque of the Red Death

Picking their top films in our Jukebox is Airport Girl, a downbeat country-pop combo hailing from the Midlands. Take a look at their selection here!

Every month we’ll give you the chance to get your cinephile hands on a film prize – all you have to do to win is spin the Film Roulette! We’re pleased to announce that our April winner is Abigail Brown. Well done Abigail, you’ve won our big Masumura prize, which includes DVDs of Blind Beast, Red Angel and Manji, courtesy of Yume Pictures. This month we have a DVD of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s legendary surreal Western El Topo, courtesy of Tartan Video. So get spinning!

The Electric Sheep Magazine team

Issue three

Hooray for April! King of mavericks Alejandro Jodorowsky is coming to town and we can barely contain our excitement. The BFI Southbank will be screening three of the master fabulador’s films in anticipation of their DVD release next month and they are all reviewed here: Jodorowsky’s provocative first feature Fando Y Lis, his legendary surreal Western El Topo and the absurdist spiritual quest The Holy Mountain. These films have long been unavailable so this is a rare opportunity to see them on a big screen. We caught up with Jodorowsky during his short visit to the Uk – read the interview here!

In the general releases Danny Boyle tries his hand at sci-fi with Sunshine while Shane Meadows takes on skinhead culture in This is England. Scott Walker 30 Century Man is our Rock’n’Roll movie of the month, charting the elusive singer’s career from sixties pop star to obscure experimentalist. And as part of their ‘Silent Film and Live Music’ series the Barbican are presenting Tod Browning’s outlandishly poetic The Unknown with live accompaniment by DJ Nacho Martin.

DVD of the month is Manji, a wild tale of lesbian love, adultery and deceit from the criminally underrated Japanese director Yasuzo Masumura – look out for our special Masumura issue next month. Also out is Fighting Delinquents, a thoroughly enjoyable early rebellious-youth flick by Seijun Suzuki.

Picking their film faves in our Jukebox this month is Headless, another all-girl London band – yes, we are rather partial to all-girl bands… Take a look at their selection here!

Every month we’ll give you the chance to get your cinephile hands on a film prize – all you have to do to win is spin the Film Roulette! We’re pleased to announce that our March winner is Joao da Silva. Well done Joao, you’ve won a DVD of The Brothers Quay Shorts, courtesy of the BFI. This month we have a big Masumura prize to give away as Yume Pictures have very nicely thrown in Blind Beast and Red Angel as well as Manji. So if you fancy a feast of unhinged sixties Japanese cinema, get spinning!

The Electric Sheep Magazine team

Issue two

The second issue of Electric Sheep is now ready and we have some rich pickings for you to graze on. First we take a magnifying glass to the weird and wonderful world of visionary animators The Brothers Quay with an interview and a review of their DVD of dazzlingly inventive shorts.

Next we rave about David Lynch’s vertiginous Inland Empire, which sees the eccentric director at his unhinged best. Also out this month is The Family Friend, Paolo Sorrentino’s provocative follow-up to the critically acclaimed The Consequences of Love. And we take a look at Samurai 7, a futuristic anime version of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, showing at the Barbican as part of their Japanimation series.

To kick off our new ‘Rock’n’Roll Movies’ series we have a review of Performance, Nicolas Roeg’s classic study of sixties rock decadence, newly released on DVD. We mark the release of a Guillermo del Toro boxset we have a feature on the Mexican enfant terrible while elsewhere we go all right-on with counterculture documentary Berkeley in the Sixties. And the DVD re-release of Michael Powell’s haunting thriller Peeping Tom is the occasion for an essay exploring the film’s connections with the mythological figure of Medusa.

Last but not least, we’re very excited to have all-girl London band The Schla-la-las launch our brand new Film Jukebox – every month we’ll ask a band to pick their ten all-time favourite films. Take a look at the Schlas’ exuberantly eclectic selection here!

Don’t forget that every month we’ll give you the chance to get your cinephile hands on a film prize – all you have to do to win is spin the Film Roulette! We’re pleased to announce that our February winner is Anna Smith. Well done Anna, you’ve won a DVD of 13 (Tzameti), courtesy of Revolver Entertainment. This month we have a truly special, beautifully packaged DVD of The Brothers Quay Shorts, courtesy of the BFI. So get spinning!.

The Electric Sheep Magazine team

Issue one

In a recent edition of BBC2’s Culture Show film critic Mark Kermode interviewed Paul Verhoeven about his new film Black Book. We’ve all heard of Verhoeven – he’s the man who gave us the mindlessly crude Basic Instinct and Showgirls. Well, according to Kermode, usually one of the more reliable and discerning critics, Verhoeven is an ‘auteur’ whose entire oeuvre is concerned with the theme of identity. To prove his point Kermode selected a clip from Total Recall – yes, you are reading correctly – in which Arnold Shwarzenegger is being addressed by his double from a TV screen. The TV double makes some mind-blowing revelation about how he really is his own self talking from the past, which Arnie greets with a resounding ‘No shit!’ We’ll give you a minute to ponder this remarkable insight… Either Kermode is the most brilliantly subversive TV commentator around or this is just another example of what mainstream media does to intelligent critics – turn them into robotic clones who spout out the same toothless, consensual platitudes.

Well, this is exactly the kind of thing you won’t get on the virtual pages of Electric Sheep. Hell no. Every month we’ll be bringing you uncompromising reviews of the best new films and DVDs, reappraisals of obscure past works, interviews with provocative directors as well as incisive essays. So for our very first issue we have reviews of Bamako, a spirited indictment of globalisation from Mali, the outré French horror film Satan and Los Olvidados, Luís Buñuel’s ferocious portrayal of Mexico City street kids, showing in a new print at the NFT.

On the DVD front we can’t wait to tell you about Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 – a wild gem from Japan featuring one of the meanest, baddest girls in movie history. There is more unhinged Japanese cinema as we review the stylishly delirious Branded to Kill, whose hero gets off on the smell of boiling rice. Elsewhere we have the compelling revenge drama Red Road while we also take a look back at 13 (Tzameti), a startlingly distinctive debut that did not get the attention it deserved when it came out last year.

Occasionally we will discuss arts or music events that we find particularly exciting. This month we’re proud to present a very special interview with Blixa Bargeld, lead singer of German industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten. In the UK the band is particularly famous for the riot-inducing concert that they played at the ICA in 1984. On February 20th a group of artists led by Jo Mitchell will stage a faithful re-enactment of that concert – read what Bargeld has to say about it here.

All that and every month we’ll also give you the chance to get your cinephile hands on a mystery DVD – all you have to do to win is spin the Film Roulette!.

The Electric Sheep Magazine team