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in this issue
We've been busy revamping the website and in addition to the design improvements we have spruced up our Events and Media page to make our podcasts more easily accessible. You will also find information about our screenings there as well as trailers we like - you can watch the first trailer for Chris Morris's jihad comedy Four Lions right now. In the Features section, you will find columns that we used to do exclusively in the print magazine: Alter Ego, where we ask writers to tell us who they would be if they were a film character, and Reel Sounds, a column about film scores. In the Reviews section, we continue the much-loved Comic Strip Reviews we started in the print magazine as well as our Online Movies column, where we look at the internet's filmic treasures. We also have a new Theme page: every month we'll be exploring a cinematic theme or the work of a director through various forms - articles, podcasts, illustrations, etc. We hope you enjoy it!
Winter 2009

Sadly Wallflower Press are no longer able to publish Electric Sheep so this is the last issue of the magazine. It was a fantastic adventure and we thank everyone at Wallflower for their support and enthusiasm.

So get your hands on this historical artefact while you can! Who knows how much it will fetch on Ebay in 10 years' time...

‘I Fought the Law’ - The winter 09 print issue of Electric Sheep looks at what makes a cinematic outlaw: read about the misdeeds of low-life gangsters, gentlemen thieves, deadly females, modern terrorists, cop killers and vigilantes, bikers and banned filmmakers. Also in this issue: interview with John Hillcoat about his adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, the art of Polish posters according to Andrzej Klimowski, Andrew Cartmel discusses The Prisoner and noir comic strips! It is available from the specialist book store Cinéphilia, at selected retailers and cinemas or online from Wallflower Press.
Issue 36

Bewitched ballerinas, dancing vampires and enchanted pumps
This month we explore the dark and supernatural side of ballet on film with articles on Suspiria, The Red Shoes and Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary. Our Reel Sounds column is dedicated to George Antheil’s soundtrack for Le Ballet mécanique and we also have a fabulous illustration by Julia Scheele.

New cinema releases include Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Micmacs and Japanese debut Asyl, which centres on an unusual ‘love hotel’ in Tokyo. We examine how Takeshi Kitano confronts his ‘Beat’ Takeshi persona in the long-awaited Takeshis' to offer an iconoclastic dissection of fame. We discuss our favourite Hitchcock blondes in anticipation of the Blonde Crazy retrospective at Birds Eye View next month and we have a feature on the Himalaya Film and Cultural Festival (coming soon).

In the DVD section, we review Fritz Lang’s unsurpassed classic M and Craig Baldwin’s conspiratorial history of Scientology Mock Up on Mu. We look at Kim Longinotto’s Gaea Girls and Shinjuku Boys, two documentaries on women living on the margins of Japanese society. We have a comic strip review of Asian Horror: The Essential Collection box-set. And as part of our exploration of online movies, we look at David Lynch’s website.

In Short Cuts, we have a report on the 7th London Short Film Festival, which once more offered many memorable moments, while in our Alter Ego column Welcome to Mars author Ken Hollings tells us why he would be Astro Boy if he was a film character. Finally, quirky pop genius Lightspeed Champion picks his favourite films in the Film Jukebox.

Alex Fitch interviews celebrated actress Susannah York about her career, focusing on her performances in war-themed productions and her interest in peace activism. York talks about her narration for the 1987 Channel 4 TV series The Struggles for Poland, writing the wartime drama Falling in Love Again, her iconic role in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? and using her reputation and theatre tours to promote the work of the Movement for the Abolition of War.

Who's your favourite Hitchcock blonde? Electric Sheep writers are currently favouring Tippi Hedren, but look out for forthcoming entries on Kim Novak and Grace Kelly. You can win a pair of tickets to a film of your choice (subject to availability) in the Blonde Crazy retrospective, which runs from March 1-17 at BFI Southbank as part of the Birds Eye View Festival (tickets courtesy of the BFI) by leaving a comment below our feature, telling us who your favourite Hitchcock blonde is and explaining why in no more than 200 words. Closing date for entries: Thursday 25 February.

To coincide with our special screening of The Phantom of the Opera (1925), we have 3 copies of the DVD to give away, courtesy of Eureka Entertainment. Starring the great Lon Chaney as the horribly disfigured Erik who leads a secret and lonely existence beneath the Paris Opera before falling in love with a beautiful young singer, it is a darkly poetic film that superbly brings out the terrible humanity of the monster. For your chance to win a copy, spin the Film Roulette and type your answer to the following question in the body of the email: What was Lon Chaney’s nickname? Closing date for entries: Friday 26 February.
Wednesday 10 February @ Prince Charles Cinema, 8pm: Kiss Me Deadly

Here’s your antidote to forthcoming Valentine soppiness: promising ‘red-blood kisses’ and ‘white-hot thrills’, Kiss Me Deadly is a noir classic that has lost none of its power to shock and surprise. Private investigator Mike Hammer, a thuggish, macho anti-hero, is drawn into a bottomless pit of conspiracy and corruption after picking up a mysterious and beautiful hitch-hiker. Exposing the black soul of America in the atomic age, this is as hard-boiled as it gets.

Price: £6.50/£4.00 Prince Charles members (2010 prices)
Certificate 12
Dir: Robert Aldrich, USA 1955

Film students and aspiring film writers are invited to enter our film writing competition: write a 200-word review of Kiss Me Deadly and send it to, marked 'Film writing competition' in the subject line. Jason Wood, director of programming at Curzon Cinemas, film journalist and author of 100 American Independent Films and 100 Road Movies among others, will select the best review. Deadline: Thursday 25 February. The selected review will be published on the Electric Sheep website. This is a regular feature of the Electric Sheep Film Club. Read November's winning review of Repulsion.

Some new films you may want to know about

  • Oil City Confidential - Dr Feelgood's story as told by Julien Temple - nationwide

  • Tony - Dalston serial killer movie that didn't quite convince us - London and key cities

  • Anonyma: A Woman in Berlin - German film based on the anonymous diaries of a Berlin woman who becomes the mistress of a Russian officer to ensure her protection - ICA (London)

  • Ponyo - Hayao Miyazaki's latest - Vue West End (London) and nationwide

  • Takeshis' - Takeshi Kitano's long-awaited 2005 film, first in his series of 'auto-destruct' works - Be warned, Zatoichi it ain't... - Curzon Renoir

  • A Closed Book - It sounded good on paper: mind games directed by Raoul Ruiz and written by Gilbert Adair - but the reality is more like an 80s daytime TV mystery - Vue West End (London) and nationwide

  • The Headless Woman - Slow Argentine drama by Lucrecia Martel (director of La Cienaga and La Nina Santa) - key cities

  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - Always fun this one - BFI Southbank and key cities

  • Micmacs - Jean-Pierre Amelie Jeunet's latest bonbon - nationwide

  • She, a Chinese - Tale of young Chinese woman who travels to the UK by novelist and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo (A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers) - ICA

Tarkovsky and silent Czech Kreutzer Sonata

star February 16, 8pm - CLOSE-UP SCREENING: Solaris - Bethnal Green Working Men's Club, London

Close Up on Andrei Tarkovsky: Andrei Tarkovsky belongs to that handful of filmmakers (Dreyer, Bresson, Vigo, Tati) who, with a small, concentrated body of work, created a universe. Though he made only seven features, thwarted by Soviet censors and then by cancer, each honoured his ambition to crash through the surface of ordinary life and find a larger spiritual meaning: to heal modern art’s secular fragmentation by infusing it with metaphysical dimension. This season will present his seven feature films from his debut feature film Ivan’s Childhood to his final masterpiece The Sacrifice. The season continues throughout March, every Tuesday at the Bethnal Green Working Men's Club.

More details on the Close-Up website.

star February 20, 5pm - THE DUST NEVER SETTLES - Roxy Bar and Screen, London

First screening of documentary made by Electric Sheep contributor Jess Dickenson. The Dust Never Settles was filmed during a 14-month, 50,000 km road tour of Australia. Placing fascinating and humorous encounters with unconventional individuals inhabiting some of the country’s most remote areas against a transient wilderness of unimaginable magnitude, the film transcends conventions of traditional documentary/travelogue. The Dust Never Settles is a unique vision of contemporary Australia and a rare document of the endlessly diverse landscape and culture of a continent.

More details on the Roxy Bar and Screen website.

Feb 28: SILENT FILM & LIVE MUSIC SERIES: The Kreutzer Sonata – Barbican, London

The Kreutzer Sonata (Kreutzerova sonáta) (PG) (Czechoslovakia 1927 Dir. Gustav Machatý 95 min) with live accompaniment by acclaimed Czech percussionist Pavel Fajt and pianist Roman Holy. The Kreutzer Sonata, a rare Czech adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s story, tells the tale of a man driven to rage and revenge when he hears his pianist wife and her lover playing Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata.

More details on the Barbican website.
Women in Japanese cinema + Peter Brook

star Feb 9-March 21 - GIRLS ON FILM - various UK venues

Following last year’s ‘Reality Fiction’, this year's Japan Foundation touring film programme looks at contemporary Japanese cinema made for, about, and by women. Women have continuously been at the centre of Japanese cinema, with notable examples being films by Kenji Mizoguchi and Mikio Naruse, and even the animation works of Hayao Miyazaki. This year’s Japanese season reflects the marked increase in the number of women working in the Japanese film industry. At the ICA from Feb 9-17, then touring across the UK until March 21.

Highlight: Asyl, which centres on an unusual ‘love hotel’ in Tokyo.

More details on the Japan Foundation website.


This season of films explores the memorable and challenging work Peter Brook has created for the cinema. One of Europe’s most innovative and respected theatre directors, Peter Brook has also worked as a filmmaker since the 1950s, creating highly acclaimed films such as Lord of the Flies and Marat/Sade. The Directorspective opens on 4 February with a screening of Meetings with Remarkable Men, introduced by Peter Brook, and it also includes Brook’s first film, The Beggar’s Opera. This Directorspective complements Brook’s production of 11 and 12 in the Barbican Theatre from Friday 5 to Saturday 27 February 2010.

More details on the Barbican website.
FrightFest in Glasgow and YARN

star Feb 26-27: FRIGHTFEST AT GLASGOW FILM FESTIVAL - various venues, Glasgow

FrightFest returns to the Glasgow Film Festival for 5th year and we like the sound of Belgian giallo homage Amer (Bitter), and to stay with the genre, the re-mastered, uncut version of the classic Lucio Fulci movie, A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin. Also definitely worth checking out is the new film by Vincenzo Cube Natali, Splice. And if we were in Glasgow we wouldn’t miss the first Icelandic exploitation film, Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre…

More details on the FrightFest website.

Feb 20-24 - YARN - Various venues, London

YARN celebrates story and storytelling through film, theatre, music and literature. It runs 20 – 24 Feb 2010 at The Book Club and The Queen of Hoxton in East London. Events include:

Paper Cinema presents The Lost World (Sunday 21st Feb @ The Book Club)
The cereal-box maestros return with another piece of magical ‘live animation’. Using a basic camcorder and a pile of cut-out illustrations they whisk the viewer across the world – in this case to Venezuela – for a retelling of Arthur Conan Doyle’s tale of intrepid explorers and blood-thirsty dinosaurs. With Live music by Kieron Maguire.

Four Stories High (Tuesday 23rd Feb @ The Queen of Hoxton)
YARN have taken Homer’s Odyssey and divided it into twelve equal measures, split across the four pillars of modern storytelling – film, theatre, literature and music. Novelists, thespians, auteurs and musicians across the city have been developing their own unique ‘odyssey twelfth’, but what will happen when they try and put it all back together again in story order? Fractional Homers include Harriet Fleuriot, The Android Angel, The Room, Alex Preston and The Strumpettes.

More details on the YARN website.

straight 8

Straight 8 2010 is calling for entries now, it’s the same rule as always: you get one roll of super 8, no editing, and if it’s selected you get to see your film for the first time at cannes or at one of their other screenings throughout 2010 – Benicassim, Rushes Soho Shorts, Raindance. Deadline is April 6.

The straight 8 2010 launch party screening is at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton at 9pm, Thursday 18 February. Tickets £1 from

If you need inspiration, watch Springlove, one of our favourite straight 8 films of 2008.

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