In the months following the release of Steven Spielberg's world-conquering Jurassic Park, British director Stewart Raffill received a deeply unusual phone call. A man with a 'life-sized' animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex and a million dollars wanted to make a movie. No script. No story ideas. And a miniscule time window: three weeks. Against all odds, Raffill made … Continue reading The Wonderful Weirdness of Tammy & the T-Rex
I first went to Exeter Picturehouse in the middle of 2000. I was a moody 17-year-old who had become partially fixated by Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides. I knew Sofia Coppola had made a movie of it and I was desperate to see it. But it was something of an 'indie' movie (I was by no … Continue reading An ode to Exeter Picturehouse
It seems churlish to say, but for a little while there in the '00s, Hollywood horror movies got really... mean. In spite of Kevin Williamson's injection of post-modernist humour, the '90s weren't a vintage decade for the genre, at least, not in the West. This was kind of surprising, especially considering the pre-millennial tension that … Continue reading What About… House of Wax
It was doomed, in a way. Having weathered the Grand Guignol misfire of 1997's Alien Resurrection, and ran the gauntlet of the insipid (non-canon) Alien vs Predator movies of the mid-2000s, xenomorph fans needed something to believe in. Word that the Godfather of Alien himself - Ridley Scott - was returning to the series set … Continue reading What About… Prometheus
Horror cinema's least forgiving subgenre is the found footage movie. Shoestring budgets that often produce huge returns on minimal investments, though the products themselves are often far from satisfying. Often employing non-actors or unknowns in order to sell their fragile realities, a rookie performance can shatter the whole illusion. These flicks live or die on … Continue reading Stay-At-Home Film Festival: Found Footage
Quick personal side note; I lost my job this week amid recession fears. While that sucks, I have been pushing forward with finding a replacement (not the best time!). Still, it's good to take a little time out, so today I set aside as... Giallo Day. Thanks to my own inability to resist a good … Continue reading Stay-At-Home Film Festival: Giallo
The world's ending. Or, well, it can seem like it. Depending on where you are, measures to stymie the spread of COVID-19 are in effect to varying degrees, but we're all feeling the stress of it, the uncertainty. Right now streaming services are helping the self-isolated to pass the time, services brimming with bingeable content … Continue reading Is The Leftovers the show for the moment?
Last year, when the Parasite press tour was still gaining momentum, writer/director Bong Joon-Ho was asked his opinion of the Academy Awards and, in typical joking fashion, he dismissed the ceremony as "local" and, by extension, not seen as particularly important on the world stage. It's delightful to think that director Bong goaded the Oscars into … Continue reading #OscarSoLocal – We Don’t Need Best International Picture Anymore
20 years ago this week, David Lynch's atypical road movie The Straight Story debuted. It seemed like an outlier in his career (at least on the surface). That trademark 'Lynchian' craziness was tempered for the most part. The narrative fitted its title. A Disney financed U certificate film, it charts the true-life exploits of 73-year-old … Continue reading The Straight Story and Slowing Down
Mean Girls hardly invented the high school movie, but in 2004 it came damned close to perfecting it. That certainly seemed to be the consensus at the time and immediately after. Tina Fey's savvy script took the 'Buffyisms' of Sunnydale and accentuated them; saw the jagged edges of Jawbreaker and smoothed them. Based on a … Continue reading How Fetch: Mean Girls at 15
Stray dogs roam the Californian beaches. Among them strays Bonnie (Candice Rialson); a beautiful blonde, on the run from her domineering, violent and resentful brother. Raphael Nussbaum's 1973 grindhouse classic Pets will follow her through a triptych of sexually charged situations, as the film at large explores themes of possession. Spoilers ahead... Newly reissued in the … Continue reading The Sleazoid Life of Pets
This isn't a contrary piece arguing in favour of Jaws 2 being anywhere near comparable to Steven Spielberg's original blockbuster. It's quite in vogue for certain publications to float such edgelord opinions. These articles make for juicy clickbait, but often serve little purpose beyond that. No, Jeannot Szwarc's obligatory 1978 sequel to the monster smash … Continue reading How Jaws 2 Addresses The Vietnam War
Director: Olivier Assayas Stars: Connie Nielsen, Chloë Sevigny, Gina Gershon Having been wooed by Olivier Assayas' recent output (Personal Shopper and particularly Clouds Of Sils Maria) its been gratifying to find the UK's independent labels responding to a desire to work back through his catalogue. Earlier works have been made available on physical media thanks to … Continue reading Time Capsule: Demonlover
HBO's phenomenal miniseries Chernobyl has recently come to a close. A five-part television drama that has garnered universal acclaim from critics and viewers alike, the show rigorously reconstructed the events that caused the 1986 nuclear reactor explosion and the dramatic and costly clean-up operation. It is, simply, essential viewing. It's 9.7 score on imdb (at … Continue reading The Line Between TV And Film Is Disappearing
This will be an unashamedly personal post. I hope you forgive the indulgence. This week I saw Hirokazu Kore-Eda's After Life in the cinema. This was a semi-big deal for me. Ever since catching Kore-Eda's adorable 2015 feature Our Little Sister on streaming service MUBI some years ago, I have been catching up on the … Continue reading After Life: What Would You Choose?