In a pair of interviews about innovations in filmmaking, Alex Fitch talks to two directors who have embraced new technology: Alex Cox talks about Repo Man, computer generated backgrounds its sequel Repo Chick, interactive cinema and using CGI in the re-release of his Western Straight to Hell. Julian Napier, director of Madame Butterfly 3D, a new film of the Royal Opera House’s production of Puccini’s classic tale, explains how filming the opera using 3D cameras makes the cinema presentation a more immersive experience.
Virginie Sélavy talks to William Fowler, archive curator at the BFI National Archive, about Peter Watkins’s uncompromising pseudo-documentary Punishment Park (1971) in relation to the rest of his work, in particular The War Game (1965), the influence of the 1969 Chicago Seven trial and the 1970 Kent State Shootings on the film, the improvisatory techniques used and the critique of the media’s pretension to present ‘objective truth’.
Peter Watkins’ The War Game will be released in a beautiful new dual format (Blu-ray and DVD) double feature edition along with Culloden (1964) on 28 March 2016 by the BFI. Punishment Park is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Eureka Entertainment.
First broadcast on Resonance FM 104.4 on Friday 20 January 2012.
Electric Sheep and Strange Attractor Present: The Lair of the White Worm + Talk with Flipside programmers
‘It has a lair, it has a worm, the worm is white.’ Roger Ebert
Electric Sheep and Strange Attractor are proud to present a rare outing for this unjustly neglected horror romp from the late Ken Russell as part of Ken Russell Forever, a tribute to the director organised by the good people of Scala Forever to coincide with the release of The Devils on DVD in March that runs from 10 to 20 March 2012.
Tenuously based on a 1911 novel by Bram Stoker – itself inspired by the ancient tale of the Lambton Wyrm, a staple for every book of true monster stories – this shamelessly camp horror comedy is generally considered to be Russell’s last great film.
Our Ken gleefully captures the spirits of Hammer and Carry On, doses them both with LSD and then dangles them over a bottomless pit containing an 80ft phallus while standing at the side pointing and laughing.
Featuring a soon-to-be-all-star cast including Hugh Grant, Peter Capaldi and Amanda Donahoe, gags and gore galore, not to mention sex, folk rock and slapstick, The Lair of the White Worm is a joyful outrage from beginning to end.
Plus talk with BFI archive curators and Flipside programmers Vic Pratt and Will Fowler.
Two great reviews of The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology have been published this month:
In the US magazine Cineaste, Mikita Brottman says: “What these essays all share is a certain sensibility – an informed, intelligent, playful, and slightly offbeat tone that is characteristic of Electric Sheep’s articles, reviews, podcasts and blog. This appealing, 250-page volume is beautifully designed. The essays are illustrated not only with stills from various films, but also with fabulous black-and-white illustrations.”
On the Critics’ Circle website, Laurence Boyce writes: “It’s this eclectic nature of both writing styles and design (the book is excellently laid out with some nicely illustrated pieces and a lovely end essay/poem dedicated to Bill Morrison’s Decasia) that make it such a fun and worthwhile [read]. Passionate yet informed about cinema, it makes one hope that The End does not live up to its name and that another volume is one the way.”
From the gutter to the avant-garde, The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology brings together a mind-bendingly eclectic programme of films, authors, artists and directors, including Bill Morrison’s chemical ghosts, the bad girls of 50s exploitation films, apocalyptic evangelical cinema, the human centipede, Spanish zombies, Japanese nihilists, Henri-Georges Clouzot’s lost masterpiece Inferno and Ingmar Bergman’s visions of the end. A must-read for all film lovers and those who like to wander off the beaten cultural track!
Alex Fitch talks to a pair of directors of innovative short animated films: Oscar-winner (2011 co-director Short Animated Film) Shaun Tan about the adaptation of his acclaimed picture book The Lost Thing and web animator Jonti Picking about his cult animated series Weebl and Bob as well as his adverts for Cadbury’s Creme Eggs (is it that time of year already?) and Anchor Butter.