Death and Beyond: In this month’s show, Virginie Sélavy caught up with Death Waltz Records’ Spencer Hickman and legendary composer Fabio Frizzi at this year’s Horror Channel Frightfest to talk about Frizzi’s scores for such classic Italian horror films as The Beyond and Zombi 2 in the light of his upcoming new London live show Chills in the Chapel, a show that includes new orchestrations of his scores for cult films by Lucio Fulci, mixed with explorations of his work outside of his longstanding collaboration with the Italian director. Also in this show, Alex Fitch takes part in a Q&A with director Justin Schein about his film Left on Purpose which documents the life and death of ‘Yippie’ activist Mayer Vishner, recorded at Leeds International Film Festival 2015.
The Electric Sheep Film Show is broadcast every third Wednesday of the month, 5.30-6.30pm at Resonance FM 104.4. Next date: Wednesday 16 November 2016.
This show was first broadcast on Wednesday 19 October 2016.
As part of the Barbican’s ‘Cheap Thrills’ season, our editor Virginie Sélavy examines the unique women directors who worked in the golden age of exploitation cinema, their struggles and successes, and the singular works they created in this one-hour lecture.
Stripped and slashed, sometimes both at the same time: this is the fate usually reserved to women in exploitation films. Generally made by male filmmakers for male viewers, the low-budget sex and violence fare of the 1960s-70s does not exactly come across as female-orientated on first view.
And yet, one of the most prolific pornographers of the period was sexploitation queen Doris Wishman, while legendary shocker Snuff was made by actress and filmmaker Roberta Findlay with her husband in 1971. For all its obsessive focus on the female body, exploitation film offered a way in to maverick women directors who could never hope to break into conservative, monolithic Hollywood.
This was particularly true of Roger Corman’s New World Pictures. Priding itself on being anti-authoritarian and countercultural, New World Pictures were at the same time making exploitative pictures that put female nudity centre stage. This contradiction defined the company’s relationship with its first two female directors, Stephanie Rothman and Barbara Peeters, resulting in fascinating films such as Terminal Island (1973) and i> (1972), where sleaze and feminism uneasily cohabited.
Writer and filmmaker Andrzej Żuławski, who passed away earlier this year, worked in many different genres: war films (The Third Part of the Night), gothic horror (The Devil, Possession), melodrama (The Most Important Thing: Love, My Nights Are More Beautiful Than Your Days, La Fidelite), thrillers (La Femme publique, Cosmos), science fiction (On the Silver Globe), costume dramas (La Note bleue),crime films (L’Amour braque), erotic dramas (Szamanka) – even musicals (Boris Godunov). However, all of Żuławski’s films share the same fundamentally vulgar structure: the love triangle. This class looks at the love triangle fundamental to all of Żuławski’s films and squares it with this remarkable director’s life and loves.
About the instructor:
Daniel Bird is a writer, filmmaker, and one of the world’s leading scholars on Eastern European cult cinema. He has curated numerous retrospectives, overseen film restorations, participated in DVD commentaries and is best known as the biographer of both Walerian Borowczyk and Andrzej Żuławski. Daniel Bird first interviewed Żuławski for Eyeball magazine with Stephen Thrower back in 1997. He organised ‘A Weekend with Andrzej Żuławski’, the first Anglo-phone overview of Żuławski’s films, at the Cine Lumiere in 1998. The following year he visited the set of Żuławski’s La fidelite in Paris and worked with with Anchor Bay Entertainment to release Possession on DVD in the U.S., for which he also moderated a commentary track with the director. Over the years he continued to work with Żuławski, liaising with festivals, distributors and producers on retrospectives, DVD releases and film projects. Last year he made the English subtitles for Żuławski’s Cosmos and produced a restoration of On the Silver Globe.
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.
Running from 5 to 16 October with screenings spread across central London, a brand new temporary venue at Embankment and a number of participating local cinemas, the 60th edition of the BFI London Film Festival opens lightly with Amma Assante’s romantic drama A United Kingdom and closes with a bang with Ben Wheatley’s action comedy thriller Free Fire, starring Cillian Murphy, Brie Larson, Michael Smiley and Armie Hammer in a twisted story about an arms deal going horribly wrong. In between those two opposing sides of the film spectrum, this year’s line-up is packed with a wealth of thrills, chills and oddities.
Our top picks this year include Park Chan-wook’s intriguing and masterfully shot new film The Handmaiden, social-SF drama The Untamed by Mexican filmmaker Amat Escalante, Ulrich Seidl’s latest documentary Safari, along with the French cannibal coming-of-age tale Raw and absurdist Russian fable Zoology, which screened at L’Etrange Festival and TIFF last month.
Other titles seen on the festival circuit include Boo Junfeng’s tense prison thriller Apprentice, Olivier Assayas’s underwhelming ghost drama Personal Shopper, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s latest offering Creepy, Na Hong-jin’s supernatural epic The Wailing, Pablo Larrain’s festival hit Neruda, and Nicole Krebitz’s new film Wild, about a young woman who finds herself drawn to a wolf and gradually breaks free from the conformist society that surrounds her.
We especially look forward to the packed ‘Cult’ strand, which this year includes a trip down memory lane with Peter Braatz’s Blue Velvet Revisited along with a rare screening of Don Coscarelli’s Phantasm: Remastered, next to a number of promising debuts by young filmmakers such as Lorca Finnegan’s Without Name and Liam Gavin’s first feature A Dark Song. There are also new and exciting works by more established filmmakers, including Billy O’Brien’s chilling and darkly humorous study of adolescent alienation I am Not a Serial Killer, and Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski’s brand new slice of retro terror, ‘The Void’.
This year’s archive screenings, which are always worth a look, include Cy Endfield’s superb low budget thriller Hell Drivers (1957) and the BFI National Archive’s latest silent film restoration The Informer (1929), based on Liam O’Flaherty’s novel about betrayal amidst the revolutionary environment of the newly independent Ireland in 1922.
For more information about the programme and how to book tickets visit the LFF website.