Rough Cut Blog

CarFree premiere

Janine introducing the film at our premiere in the Cinematheque

After a year of work, the documentary I’ve been working on with Janine Tschuncky is finally getting out into the world, showing on-demand here in Winnipeg. We had a screening at the Cinematheque on Saturday January 10 before a receptive audience. Now we have to get down to the work of distribution!

Subverting propaganda:
Keisuke Kinoshita and World War II

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Criterion’s latest Eclipse release opens a window on a previously little-seen world: the Japanese home front during World War 2 as depicted under oppressive regulations during the war. The great Keisuke Kinoshita managed to inject elements of subversive critique into supposedly uplifting calls for national unity and shared sacrifice. Keisuke Kinoshita and World War II is one of the most revelatory releases of the year.

Year End 2014

The first appearance of Judex in Franju's homage to Feuillade: a figure of myth and mystery.

Despite perennial predictions of the demise of movies-on-disk, 2014 offered a rich and varied selection of new and old titles in often impressive editions from many different companies, though not necessarily from major distributors. The cream came from specialty labels like Criterion, the BFI, Arrow, Eureka/Masters of Cinema, Shout! Factory, Olive Films, Kino Lorber, Flicker Alley and Twilight Time.

Oh, the horror!

The Babadook, a classic bogeyman in Jennifer Kent's genuinely creepy first feature

Recent viewing runs the horror gamut from the low-budget exploitation of David Cronenberg’s debut, Shivers, to George Romero’s bid for studio respectability with a pair of adaptations in the late ’80s and early ’90s, to a really creepy Australian first feature, Jennifer Kent’s remarkably assured The Babadook.

The resurrection of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed (1990/2014)

Shuna Sassi (Christine McCorkindale) and Peloquin (Oliver Parker), sympathetic monsters in Clive Barker's Nightbreed (1990)

Clive Barker’s second feature as a director was taken over by studio people who didn’t like the film he was making and ended up a crippled box office failure; Shout Factory has now released a “director’s cut”, more or less restored to Barker’s original intentions, which goes some way – though not all the way – towards making it an interesting horror fantasy.