Recent Viewing: April and May, part three

Among other recent disks, Ben Wheatley’s A Field In England and Frank Perry’s The Swimmer use realistic performance and imagery to dig below material reality to strange symbolic and psychological depths, while the Estonian documentary Disco and Atomic War transforms the social and political facts of the Cold War into something strange and very funny.

Styles of Horror, part two

Recent disks offer a range of horror movies displaying commercial and artier approaches to the genre from Vincent Price vehicles from American-International to Roger Vadim’s visually rich LeFanu adaptation …et mourir de plaisir and Bill Gunn’s key Black Cinema offering from 1973, Ganja & Hess.

Ghosts of Television Past, part one

The English love ghost stories. There are the classics, of course – Hamlet and Macbeth, for instance – but after the advent of Gothic literature in the late 1700s, spirits, whether harmful or helpful, became less distant, increasingly incorporated into contemporary life. From penny dreadfuls to Dickens, ghosts impinged on the lives of characters not […]

The Lure of Paradise

If I had watched Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise trilogy a few weeks earlier, these three films would have made it into my year-end post as one of 2013’s highlights. I first encountered Seidl’s work (the documentary Animal Love and drama Dog Days) around the same time I came across Michael Haneke (The Piano Teacher and Time […]

Blasts from the past

Blast from the past: a 28-year-old term paper

Gerry Anderson 1929-2012

Book Review: House of Psychotic Women by Kier-La Janisse

DVD of the Week: Vampire Circus (1972)