6 items from 2013
No, German Angst is not a Uwe Boll biopic, although that would seem pretty damned appropriate. What we have here, kids, is a new anthology film featuring the works of Jorg Buttgereit (Nekromantik, Der Todesking), Andreas Marchall (Tears of Kali, Masks), and Michael Kosakowoski (Zero Killed).
In 1920 Germany became the most influential production location for fantastic films. Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s Nosferatu, Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and The Hands of Orlac, Paul Wegener’s The Golem earned the German cinema the label The Demonic Screen (Lotte H. Eisner). German filmmakers told stories of the underworld beneath urban life, about the invasion of the subconscious. The frontiers between reality and dreams blurred and the fear of dark eros emerged. These masterpieces of German Expressionist cinema are the ancestors of the contemporary fantastic genre. Their influence is still felt in almost every modern film. With the Nazi dictatorship »
- Uncle Creepy
From Nosferatu to Twilight, gothic films have explored what frightens us – and why we are willing victims of our fear. A few days before Halloween, and as the BFI begins a nationwide season, Michael Newton is seduced by horror, sex and satanism
Beyond high castle walls, the wolves howl. The Count intones: "Listen to them! The children of the night! What music they make!" And those words usher you into a faintly ludicrous cosiness, the comfortable darkness of gothic. For gothic properties are altogether snug, as familiar as Halloween costumes – a Boris Karloff mask, the Bela Lugosi cape, an Elsa Lanchester wig. So it is that many of us first come to the form through its parodies; I knew Carry On Screaming! by heart before I saw my first Hammer film. And yet, within the homely restfulness, something genuinely disturbing lurks; an authentic dread. And watching these films again, we »
- Michael Newton
The hit sound film The Jazz Singer (1927), starring Al Jolson and directed by Alan Crosland, fueled the mainstream appetite for newfangled "talkies"... and brought on the death throes of the ol' fashioned silent film. Over the next few years, silent motion picture production around the world slowed, withered, and died. Before this era came to a close, however, the horror genre took root, clawed its way into mainstream popularity, and spawned a wealth of atmospheric and unsettling thrillers. These films built the foundation upon which a century of horror movies would be constructed. The art of film was still in its infancy, and this silent era of experimentation gave rise to some of the most striking and fascinating horror movies ever made. While Germany would soon rise to dominate horror of the silent era, Italy helped get the ball rolling with their first feature length film, Dante's Inferno (1911), directed by Giuseppe de Liguoro. »
- Eric Stanze
From the narrow streets of medieval Prague to the rubbish dumps of Rio De Janeiro, here are five of the best ghettos featured in films
This week's clip joint is from Claire Adas - check out more of her writing on her blog here. If you have an idea for a future clip joint, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Every city has its shantytowns, tenements, projects and favelas; ghettoes in which people are thrown together, joined by race, religion or, most frequently, poverty. Theses spaces form a teeming world of their own within the larger macrocosm of the city, connected but self-contained. Life is stacked upon life in a confined area, making the situation rife for story telling; a perfect stage setting of tension and drama.
The term "ghetto" has expanded somewhat from its original use in the 11th century, when it specifically described the part of a city where Jews could live. »
- Guardian readers
The authors wish to acknowledge with gratitude the venues in which some version of this article previously appeared: Cinema Scope 24 (Fall, 2005), Trafic 62 (Summer, 2006), and the late and twice-lamented The New-York Ghost (Dec. 26, 2006).
In the Place of No Place
Every movie contains its alternates, phantom films conjured variously by excess or dearth: textures and movements that carry on their own play apart from the main line of the narrative, an obtruding performance or scene, an unexplained ellipsis or sudden character reversal, the chunk life of an object seizing the frame in an insert whose plastic beauty transcends its context.
Though the extremes of pure narrative economy (in which each detail exists purely for transmission of plot) or utter dispersal (in which no piece connects to any other) can never exist, we can tentatively use the concepts as limit-cases to differentiate films which make room for their phantoms (or, in the worst case, »
- B. Kite and Bill Krohn
Our daily countdown continues with part 14 out of 30, in our list of the 300 Greatest Films Ever Made. These are numbers 170-161.
169) Topper (1937) Norman McCleod USA
165) The Mummy (1932) Karl Freund USA
163) Gigi (1958) Vincent Minnelli USA
161) The Caine Mutiny (1954) Edward Dmyrky USA
Numbers 160-151 coming next.
film cultureClassicslist300 »
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6 items from 2013
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