4 items from 2016
We Are The Lambeth Boys The London Short Film Festival has announced the full programme for its 14th edition, which will run from January 6 to 15 2017.
Among the festival highlights is a night entitled David Bowie Sound & Vision, a series of screenings at 19 Picturehouse cinemas across the UK. The showcase, featuring Michael Armstrong's The Image, Alan Yentob's The Cracked Actor and Julien Temple's Jazzin' For Blue Jean, aims to tell the story of his career, taking in three decades, from his experimental beginnings of the Sixties to the golden era of the Seventies to his world of domination in the Eighties.
Also dipping into the archives are two evenings celebrating youth culture across the decades - the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies night will feature Karel Reisz's We Are The Lambeth Boys while the Eighties, Nineties, Noughties and beyond includes Heavy Metal Parking Lot by Jeff Krulik and John Heyn along with. »
- Amber Wilkinson
Sound Shock takes a brief look and listen to the music of Michael Holm in 1969’s Mark Of The Devil. Taking its commercial cues from the late Michael Reeves’ masterful, fact-based historical 1968 exploitation film Witchfinder General, director Michael Armstrong (The Image) and producer Adrian Hoven’s even more sensational 1969 British/German horror movie Mark Of…
- Chris Alexander
Before David Bowie became a massive international rock icon, he logged his first movie role in Michael Armstrong's The Image, an obscure, black-and-white short horror film that has just been officially released for the first time online by the Wall Street Journal. Directed by Michael Armstrong, who could go on to helm such cult horror movies as Mark of the Devil and House of the Long Shadows, the film stars then-unknown actor Michael Byrne as an artist whose painting of a young man seemingly comes to life. Bowie was just 20 years old when the film was released and is magnetic as the elegant ghoul who torments his creator. “It got an X-certificate. I think it was the first short that got an X-certificate. For its violence, which in itself was extraordinary,” Armstong told the Wall Street Journal, which was given permission to post the film in its entirety by the David Bowie Archive. »
- Chris Eggertsen
“the first film rated V for violence”
“Positively the most horrifying film ever made”
“Guaranteed to upset your stomach”
This is how you market a film, folks. All of the above (and more) is found on the poster for Michael Armstrong’s Mark of the Devil (1970), a particularly nasty bit of Witchploitation that surprisingly manages to shine a provocative light on religious hysteria and hypocrisy.
This German production was released in North America by Hallmark Releasing (not the greeting card company, but a film distributor that released another bastion of good tidings, Last House on the Left) in April of ’72, and myriad distributors in various parts of Europe early ’70. Reviews were decidedly mixed, but the box office was huge, especially for a grimy exploitative horror film that happily wallows in its own depravity. I’m inclined to agree with audiences here – while not a lot of fun, Mark of the Devil »
- Scott Drebit
4 items from 2016
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