James Bond – Kill Command: In this month’s show, Electric Sheep Assistant editor Alex Fitch talks to the director, Steven Gomez, and cinematographer, Simon Dennis, of Kill Command, an excellent new British sci-fi thriller about robots and drones in an army training exercise going on a murderous rampage. Also in this show, University of Reading Professor of Television and Film Jonathan Bignall discusses the influences and connections that 1950s television had on the production of the early James Bond films and novels.
Kill Command will be available on demand on Sky Movies in summer 2016.
The Electric Sheep Film Show is broadcast every third Wednesday of the month, 8-9pm at Resonance FM 104.4. Next date: Wednesday 15 June 2016.
This show was first broadcast on Wednesday 18 May 2016.
With 20 filmmakers set to compete for the Palme d’Or this year, the 69th edition of the Cannes Film Festival looks like it’s going to be as intriguing, fun and unpredictable as ever.
Opening on Wednesday 11 May with Woody Allen’s latest offering Café Society, the Competition line-up takes on a darker tone with exciting new films by the likes of Jim Jarmusch, Nicolas Winging Refn, Jeff Nicholl, Park Chan-wook and Brillante Mendoza to name but a few.
Following up his brilliant Only God Forgives which screened in Cannes in 2013, we especially look forward to Nicolas Winding Refn’s new film The Neon Demon, which the Danish director has described as ‘a horror film about vicious beauty’. Back in Competition for an eighth time, Jim Jarmusch will premiere his bus-driver drama Paterson, and also present his Iggy Pop documentary Gimme Danger in a special screening slot.
After premiering his sci-fi thriller Midnight Special at the Berlinale in February, Jeff Nicholl has already completed his next film. Loving stars his long-term collaborator Michael Shannon alongside Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as the inter-racial couple Mildred and Richard Loving, who were jailed in Virginia in 1958 for breaking state laws by getting married.
Set in colonial Korea in the 1930s, Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden is based on Sarah Waters’s novel Fingersmith. Other literary adaptations include Xavier Dolan’s star-studded Only The End of The World, an adaptation of Jean-Luc Lagarce’s play about a terminally ill writer who returns home after a long absence, and Paul Verhoeven’s Elle, based on a thriller by Philippe Djian and starring Isabelle Huppert as a businesswoman who is attacked at her home one night and decides to stalk her assailant back.
Olivier Assayas’s second English-language feature Personal Shopper has been described as ‘a ghost story set in the fashion world’ and plays alongside other promising titles such as Na Hong-jin’s The Wailing, a highly anticipated Korean blockbuster about a detective and a shaman, Scottish director David Mackenzie’s Hell or High Waterand Sierra-Nevada, the latest film from Romanian filmmaker Cristi Puiu.
In comparison, this year’s Un Certain Regard strand looks slightly weaker than usual, but there are two Japanese titles to look out for, Koju Fukada’s Harmonium and Hirokazu Kore-eda’s After The Stormas well as Singapore filmmaker Boo Jungeng’s Apprentice, described as a morbid prison drama that explores the relationship between the prison’s chief and a young correctional officer. Promising a vampire romance along the lines of Let the Right One In, Michael O’Shea’s debut feature The Transfiguration also looks worth checking out.
In the Directors’ Fortnight, Alejandro Jodorowsky will present Endless Poetry the second film of a trilogy that began with The Dance of Reality, while Pablo Larraín reunites with Gael García Bernal for political thriller Neruda.
Unfortunately, Ben Wheatley’s latest offering Free Fire didn’t seem to have made the selection, but there is still enough on offer to make this 69th edition a really exciting one.
In the 1990s, Wave Productions in New Jersey established itself as perhaps the leading distributor of shot-on-video horror movies. Its catalogue was expansive because of a very simple if ingenious marketing premise: Customers scripted and paid for their own movies.
From the outset, customers wanted sexy girls in horrible situations. Yet, Wave had reservations about nudity and violence, underplaying or rejecting entirely anything it considered extreme. Not all the companies that followed were as conscientious. Fetish custom studios now operate internationally, patronised by individuals with a hankering to see a favourite model hiccup in white socks, or else, more likely, be executed and play dead.
This lecture traces the history of the custom shoot, from its clumsy beginnings in video horror to the present facsimile death scenes, often enhanced by digital effects and sometimes featuring explicit sex. These short films closely mimic the motifs of the mythological ‘snuff’ film, in as much as the customer suggests a scenario, the preferred mode of death (gunshot, strangulation, hanging, etc.) and the victim (plucked from a studio’s own roster of performers). Thus the custom shoot occupies a unique space in the collective mind-set, one created and never occupied by the ‘reality’ of snuff films.
About the instructor:
David Kerekes is a co-founder of the publishing house Headpress. He is co-author of the books Killing for Culture (1994), revised and updated as Killing for Culture: From Edison to Isis — A New History of Death on Film (2016), and See No Evil: Banned Films and Video Controversy (2001). He is the author of Sex Murder Art: The Films of Jörg Buttgereit (1994) and has written extensively on popular culture. His meditation on southern Italian Diaspora and folklore, Mezzogiorno, was published in 2012.
About the Miskatonic Institute:
Named for the fictional university in H.P. Lovecraft’s literary mythos, The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is a non-profit, community-based organization that started in Canada, founded by Kier-La Janisse in March of 2010. The school currently has branches in Montreal and London, with Miskatonic London operating under the co-direction of Kier-La Janisse and Electric Sheep Founder/Editor Virginie Sélavy.
All classes take place at the historic Horse Hospital, the heart of the city’s underground culture. Season ticket is £35 and will be available shortly. Individual class tickets are £10 advance / £11 on the door / £8 concessions and will be available 30 days in advance of each class.
For full details of the next courses please check the Miskatonic website. For all enquiries, please email Miskatonic.london[at]gmail.com.