On the 40th anniversary of the moon landings, Alex Fitch talks to two television pioneers who were inspired by the events of July 16, 1969.
Alex Fitch talks to Gerry Anderson about how the space race and technological innovations of the 1960s inspired such shows as Supercar and Thunderbirds. Anderson also talks about his stint in the RAF as an aircraft controller, responding to the fashions in genre with Four Feathers Falls and Fireball XL5 and mixing animation styles in lesser known series such as Lavender Castle and The Secret Service.
Sir Patrick Moore and Apollo 11, photo by Paul Grover
Sir Patrick Moore covered the events of the Apollo 11 mission live on TV and discusses the events of that day with Alex Fitch as well as the highlights of his six decades presenting The Sky at Night.
(N.B. The interview with Sir Patrick is available to download now at Sci-Fi London)
I’M READY FOR MY CLOSE-UP
To herald the arrival of London Gay Pride weekend, Virginie Sélavy talks to infamous experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger about his career, from his ground-breaking Magick Lantern Cycle to his recent return to the medium after a 20-year break.
Listen to the podcast: In the first of two podcasts exploring the current state of gay cinema, Alex Fitch looks at this year’s London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and at the short film collection Boys on Film 2: In Too Deep + Virginie Sélavy’s interview with Kenneth Anger. (Part 1 of 2)
To coincide with the release of updates of the Terminator franchise and Blood: The last Vampire, Alex Fitch talks to actress Linda Hamilton about her career, working with Arnold Schwarzenegger and becoming a feminist icon. Alex also talks to anime expert Helen McCarthy about the various incarnations of Blood: The Last Vampire, the Japanese version of Buffy which has moved from TV animation to manga, video games and now live action cinema.
In Park Chan-wook’s extraordinary visual assault, a man is kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years without knowing why. When he is finally released from this Kafka-esque nightmare, he is hell-bent on revenge and seeks to uncover his tormentor’s identity. What follows is a twisted cat and mouse game that takes the protagonist and the audience through extremes of emotion, exploring the dark energy of vengeance. Exhilarating, horrifying, blackly humorous and heart-wrenching in equal measure, this is an unmissable masterpiece of cinematic cruelty. Oldboy was Park’s breakthrough movie in the UK, cementing his reputation as one of the most original and challenging directors currently making movies in the Far East.
Next screening: WEDNESDAY 5 AUGUST – Carnival of Souls
Substitute is the theme of the summer 09 issue of Electric Sheep, with articles on the fraught relationship between Takeshi Kitano and ‘Beat’ Takeshi, the various cinematic incarnations of Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley, interchanging identities in Joseph Losey’s films, the dangers of false impersonation in Danish neo-noir Just Another Love Story, the paradoxes of black and white twins in offbeat lost classic Suture, not to mention cross-dressing criminals, androids and body snatchers.
The magazine is no longer available and we are no longer published by Wallflower Press.
Also in this issue: interview with Marc Caro, profile of whiz-kid animator David OReilly, comic strip review of Hardware, and The Phantom Band’s favourite films!
Enfant terrible Takashi Miike’s most notorious work remains genuinely shocking. The story of a middle-aged man who, following his son’s advice, holds auditions to find a new wife is the pretext for an exploration of fantasy, desire, cruelty and obsession that is as visually beautiful as it is gruesomely disturbing.
Alex Fitch talks to screenwriter Charlie Kaufman about his new film Synecdoche, New York, the challenges of directing his own script, working with Spike Jones and Michel Gondry on his previous screenplays Being John Malkovich and Human Nature and issues of post-modernism and magical realism in his work. Alex Fitch also talks to Electric Sheep editor Virginie Sélavy about Synecdoche, New York, looking at Kaufman’s depictions of the internal workings of the human mind in that film and in earlier scripts such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.(Originally broadcast 21 May 2009 on Resonance 104.4 FM)
Billed as ‘a terrifying love story’, this controversial, unjustly overlooked film by Nicolas Roeg is a dazzling, provocative and ferocious dissection of a couple’s disintegration, starring Theresa Russell and Art Garfunkel. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see this stunning film by the director of Performance and Don’t look Now on the big screen!
I’M READY FOR MY CLOSE-UP
Alex Fitch talks to the directors of two new films that take as their starting point a character walking through a landscape and twist it into unexpected directions. Bent Hamer is the director of the gentle Norwegian comedy O’Horten, which tells the tale of a recently retired train driver who gets embroiled in a series of misadventures of the kind Victor Meldrew would be proud of – including having to wear red stilettos after losing his shoes in a locker room and ending up in a car driven by a blind man. Alex Fitch also talks to Christine Molloy, one half of the filmmaking duo Desperate Optimists, about their debut feature Helen, which concerns a young woman who helps the police with their inquiry into a girl’s disappearance and starts identifying with her.
Helen is released in selected UK cinemas on May 1 O’Horten is released in selected UK cinemas on May 8
Alex Fitch and Virginie Selavy will be interviewing Marc Caro, co-director of The City of Lost Children about his work on stage after a screening of the film at the Apollo Piccadilly on Lower Regent Street at 9pm on Friday 1 May.
On Saturday 2 May at 4:15pm at the same location, Alex Fitch is chairing a panel with Marc Caro, Richard Jobson, director of A Woman in Winter, Cory McAbee (The American Astronaut) and Gerald McMorrow (Franklyn) called The problem of Sci-Fi and Fantasy Filmmaking.