8 items from 2015
Inspired by the Richard Lester retrospective at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, August 7-13.When the great Omar Sharif died recently, the BBC's coverage of the sad event included clips from Lawrence of Arabia and Dr. Zhivago, of course, and then cut to Richard Lester's Juggernaut just as the voice-over commented on the declining quality of Sharif's later films, causing me to splutter into my cocoa and pen angry letters to Auntie Beeb in my mind, for Juggernaut is a fantastic example of seventies British cinema. It's what I remember seventies Britain being like. The Christmas scene in Ken Russell's Tommy has the same effect on me, but that's because I was a kid in the seventies.Brown and orange color schemes, older men with long hair, and grim political discussions that went over my head but seemed to portend explosive doom: that was the United Kingdom in Ad 1974. In Juggernaut, »
- David Cairns
Updating 1960s television shows and films has often proved a fraught endeavour. Pop culture of that era is so familiar, and so often invoked, that any film-maker revisiting it risks seeming crass and unoriginal. Is there anything left to be said about Swinging London or Michael Caine in Alfie, The Italian Job and The Ipcress File? After Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999), what mileage is there in spoofing Sixties spy movies, most of which were made with tongue firmly in cheek anyway? Whether it is James Fox in a wig in Performance, David Hemmings with his zoom lens in Blow-Up (1966), or even Carl Boehm as the duffel-coated serial killer in Peeping Tom (1960), characters and images from many Sixties British movies are so familiar that they are beyond parody. »
Arrow Films & Video have announced its line-up of new Blu-ray releases for October 2015, and once again there are some gems in the list. Chief amongst them are Clive Barker’s first three Hellraiser films in a limited-edition “Scarlet Box”, and a remastered box-set of films directed by acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Kiju Yoshida.
You can check out the full list of films and their special features below, as well as the release dates of the Blu-ray’s with some available in both the UK and Us.
Stephen King was once quoted as saying: “I have seen the future of horror… his name is Clive Barker.” That future became reality when, in 1987, Barker unleashed his directorial debut Hellraiser – launching a hit franchise and creating an instant horror icon in the formidable figure of Pinhead. Barker’s original Hellraiser, based on his novella The Hellbound Heart, follows Kirsty »
- Scott J. Davis
We look at the films that slipped through Hollywood's net, from biblical epics to a time travelling Gladiator sequel...
This article contains a spoiler for Gladiator.
If you're one of those frustrated over the quality of many of the blockbusters that make it to the inside of a multiplex, then ponder the following. For each of these were supposed to be major projects, that for one reason or another, stalled on their way to the big screen. Some still may make it. But for many others, the journey is over. Here are the big blockbusters that never were...
The late Michael Crichton scored another residential on the bestseller list with his impressive thriller, Airframe. It was published in 1996, just after films of Crichton works such as Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure and the immortal Congo had proven to be hits of various sizes.
So: a hit book, another techno thriller, »
My first foray into Italian horror was Lucio Fulci’s Zombie (1980), seen as a delightfully repulsed 10 year old. However, Dario Argento’s Deep Red (Profondo Rosso if you’re Italian) was the first Italian horror film that actually intrigued me; same age, but very different feelings. The repulsion was there, that base fear, but set within a framework of beautifully rendered images. I didn’t know much about art, but it felt like that’s what I was watching.
Released in March of 1975, Deep Red was the latest thriller from Argento in the giallo style; an Italian term which has generally become known to mean a gruesome, lurid detective story; so called due to the fact that the original Italian pulp novels a lot of these stories pay homage to were written on yellow, or giallo, paper. Argento was already making a name for himself worldwide with previous efforts in »
- Scott Drebit
When Platoon won four Oscars in 1987, it marked not only a new chapter in Oliver Stone's career as a filmmaker, but also the end of a decade-long battle. Since the 1970s, Stone had been struggling to make his harrowing account of the horrors he'd seen firsthand as a soldier in the Vietnam conflict, but was famously turned down by every major studio in Hollywood.
Platoon, and Stone, finally found sanctuary at a small independent studio with a grand-sounding name: the Hemdale Film Corporation. It was Hemdale, and its co-founder John Daly, that had taken a chance on Stone, and when Platoon came out in 1986, the gamble proved to be a shrewd one: its $6m investment was covered by the first month's ticket sales, and the film »
The Conversation is a new feature at Sound on Sight bringing together Drew Morton and Landon Palmer in a passionate debate about cinema new and old. For their third piece, they will discuss Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up.
The cultural impact of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up would be very difficult to overemphasize. Upon release, Andrew Sarris referred to the film as “a mod masterpiece” and ‘Playboy’ critic Arthur Knight went so far as comparing the film to Hiroshima mon amour, Rome Open City, and Citizen Kane in its potential influence on filmmaking. The film was also a massive hit worldwide and the tenth highest grossing film in the United States in 1966 – a memento of a brief window in time in which an art film by an Italian auteur could also do boffo box office. And, having been denied a seal by the Production Code Administration, Blow Up »
- Drew Morton
From toilet-based scares to nasty encounters in the shower, here's a selection of 17 memorable moments of terror in the bathroom...
Nb: the following contains potential spoilers and scenes which may be considered Nsfw.
The scariest moments in horror are often the most intimate - this is why knives are a far nastier, button-pushing instrument of death than the gun. As the Joker famously put it in The Dark Knight, “You can savour all those little emotions...”
Intimacy may be the key to understanding why, in horror films, so many dreadful things tend to happen in bathrooms. The bathroom is often where we go to be by ourselves - either to answer the call of nature, brush our teeth, or simply relax in the bath after a hectic day at work. Equally, the water closet also sees us at our most vulnerable: naked, or at least with our trousers down, and »
8 items from 2015
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