12 items from 2012
The third and final day of the Fantasy Film Weekend started and although I was tired there was plenty to look forward to. The first film would be Red Sonja, which was an easy one to start off with. I knew that the highlight of the day would of course be The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm and the Masks screen talk with Andreas Marschall. It was nice to know that the end was near of course as tiredness was starting to become normality and my brain needed some serious rest.
Red Sonja is a film that can no way be called good, but it has it arguably has its place in cult history. Not many films would pair up Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brigitte Nielsen in a Conan the Barbarian setting but this is obviously what they were looking for. Conan is of course superior but to »
Fantastic Films Weekend, Bradford
This horror and sci-fi festival would rather sift through the cultural debris for classic trash than scrabble for the latest offerings. There's a rare chance to see 1970's notorious rabid-hippy bloodbath I Drink Your Blood in its fullest grindhouse glory, for example, or neglected Dario Argento horror Four Flies On Grey Velvet (1971). Still too highbrow? Then how about 80s heroines like Grace Jones's Vamp or Brigitte Nielsen's Red Sonja? And a Troma triple bill? How low can you go?
National Media Museum, Fri to 17 Jun
Anthony Burgess And Cinema, Manchester
It's the 50th anniversary of the publication of A Clockwork Orange, and this celebration of Burgess's great dystopian (Mancunian?) novel spreads the net a little wider than simply Stanley Kubrick's legendary movie. There's a fine "making of" documentary, and a one-hour intro to the film on 29 Jun, plus Andy Warhol's lesser known (and altogether lesser, »
- Steve Rose
The National Media Museum in Bradford is, from 15th – 17th June 2012, set to play host to the 11th Fantastic Films Weekend, giving horror, fantasy and sci-fi fans in the North their annual fix of thrills and spills.
This year the festival will focus on schlock, women in horror and sci-fi, and feature a festival first – a Cinerama screening of The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm. Other highlights will include an evening of giallo treats new and old, family fun with Coraline 3D and live make-up demos, and a Hammer strand packed with rare and premiere Hammer screenings.
Special guests will include Renée Glynne who worked for many years as continuity/script supervisor for Hammer before going freelance. Her work includes The Nanny, Legend of the Golden Vampire and The Quatermass Xperiment, the HD premiere of which will be screened following her screentalk. She will be in conversation with Hammer archivist, »
One of the most polarizing films amongst his fans, The Stendhal Syndrome is Dario Argento’s first film shot in Italy after his foray in the United States with Trauma and Two Evil Eyes. Argento loosely adapts Graziella Magherini’s novel of the same name into a psychological thriller that is unlike anything else in his canon.
Asia Argento stars as Anna Manni, a police officer in Rome who is sent to Florence to investigate a series of rape/murders that have baffled the authorities. Following a tip, she goes to the Uffizi gallery in Florence where she succumbs to the titular syndrome, and hallucinates herself into a painting before passing out and hitting her head.
“The Stendhal Syndrome” is an actual medical condition named for the French writer Stendhal where people are afflicted with headaches, dizziness, hallucinations and fainting spells after being exposed to great works of art. After recovering from this episode, »
- Derek Botelho
Last week’s installment of Foreign Objects took a look at the third film in Dario Argento’s so-called “animal trilogy,” Four Flies on Grey Velvet. Why start with the third film and not the first? No reason. But today we’re continuing with the theme and covering the second film, The Cat o’ Nine Tails. Don’t worry about continuity though as the three movies are in no way related. A burglary at a local genetics institute catches the eye ear of a blind retiree, and when people associated with the incident start dropping dead he teams up with a reporter to try to crack the case. The duo discovers an elaborate chain of events surrounding the lab’s recent discovery of a genetic marker that may indicate criminal tendencies and a drug that may cure it. Is someone killing to protect the discovery… or are they killing to hide the fact that they’re a »
- Rob Hunter
I’ve spoken before about the highs of Dario Argento’s early career and how it sits in direct contrast to the abysmally depressing filmmaker he’s become in the last two decades. But his filmography doesn’t have a timeline clearly separating the good from the bad. His best work remains the five features he made from 1975 to 1985 with everything before and after that period being a major mixed bag. And that includes 1971′s Four Flies on Grey Velvet. A rock drummer finds himself stalked by a masked killer out to frame him and make his life miserable, but who’s doing it and why? And more importantly, how will it affect the sales of his upcoming album? “I’ve made a decision. Sticking it out here is better than going to prison.” Roberto (Michael Brandon) is a professional drummer with a budding music career and a lovely wife named Nina (Mimsy Farmer) waiting for him »
- Rob Hunter
Dario Argento's Four Flies on Grey Velvet is a film with a strange hold over horror film fans built mainly upon the fact that for a very long time it has been very difficult to get a hold of. It wasn't until the last two or three years that the film finally arrived on DVD, and even then, it was not in the greatest condition. Recently, whatever legal entanglements that have hamstrung this film's journey to home video have begun to clear and both the UK's Shameless Screen Entertainment and Germany's Koch Media have announced Blu-ray editions of the film to hit the European market. First out of the gate is Shameless with their 40th anniversary Blu-ray edition, and I must say, it is pretty »
A newspaper reporter and a blind puzzle expert team up to try and solve a string of murders.
Dario Argento's sophomore effort has proven something of an elusive beast over the years, never gaining the positive recognition lavished on the likes of his massively influential debut The Bird With The Crystal Plumage or breakout hit Deep Red. As the middle part of his Animal Trilogy, it's neither as satisfying as its predecessor or as viciously outlandish as the recently-reissued Four Flies On Grey Velvet. It is, however, a »
- David Graham
★★★★☆ The third film in Dario Argento's patchy 'animals trilogy', Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971) is one of the filmmaker's most stylistically satisfying films. Following his astonishing debut The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) and the weak Cat o' Nine Tails (1971), the film has been unavailable for many years due to disagreements with Paramount, with Shameless Entertainment now presenting a near-immaculate restoration to mark the film's 40th anniversary.
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Director Nicholas Wending Refn's film is more defined by what it doesn't do than by what it does. The plot – wafer thin and corny as hell – is the sort of thing normally dressed up by one-liners, explosions and rapid-cut editing to disguise just how laughably trite it is.
On paper, this could be yet another Hollywood action movie, but Refn is slow and serious where others are fast and furious. The minimal story of a stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver and becomes a hero to the woman he loves is pared down even more into something that aims for the stark simplicity of Michael Mann's debut movie, Thief, and Walter Hill's The Driver, two classics which make up the bulk of Drive's DNA. Ryan Gosling tersely plays the driver (and that's how he's credited, not with a name but with a profession) as a black hole. »
- Phelim O'Neill
[Many people, including myself, have been dying to find out if this release would be region free, and word has come down from mission control at Cult Labs (link below) that Four Flies on Grey Velvet Will be an All Region disc! Get yer wallets out, people!]Several months ago we shared the announcement from Shameless Screen Entertainment that Dario Argento's long unavailable Four Flies on Grey Velvet was coming to Blu-ray and DVD. Today's announcement gives more details on that release, including some very welcome news regarding some of the films rarer footage. It seems that about 40 seconds of the film has been missing from various versions of the film, but Shameless have acquired this footage and are going to be including it in »
Dario Argento's second giallo, The Cat O'Nine Tails, suffers only mildly from the sophomore slump after the dizzying debut of The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. Argento, himself, ranks it among his least favorites, and the least of the "animal trilogy", which also included Four Flies on Grey Velvet. I have to say, Cat is a bit more straight forward than his other films, but it has its strengths and is a worthy addition to the giallo genre. Arrow Video have provided a special edition worthy of the film with several worthwhile extra features and a very solid A/V presentation. This disc is at least the equal of the Blue Underground Us disc, if not better for the inclusion of new bonus material.Italian master of »
12 items from 2012
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