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The expanding network of online streaming services means there are more ways than ever before for busy/idle/agoraphobic film lovers to see recent releases, but fans of vintage cinema are still rather poorly served. Most outlets offer a small, often arbitrary selection of older standards that are useful for beginners; those in search of more niche classics, however, are still reliant on DVD. Here's where the warren-like world of online archiving comes into play. You'd be amazed how many gems are lurking, albeit in grainy and segmented form, on YouTube, but if that seems too great an affront to cinema, the long-serving, simply named Internet Archive (archive.org/movies) is a better bet.
A non-profit-making Us site run much like an online library, »
- Guy Lodge
Oh the irony… British model Suki Waterhouse attends the British Academy of Film and Television Arts La Jaguar Brittania Awards, and shows up looking like she jumped off the canvas of one of the most famous American paintings of all time. (For those of you wishing you paid more attention in high school art class, "American Gothic" is the painting of the farmer with a pitchfork and his scowling wife) Even though Suki isn't scowling, she should be over that unflattering hair. Not only is it tough for anyone to pull off a severe middle-part and pulled back hair, but if you have thin hair like Suki's, it's practically impossible. And, if you're going to attempt this look, at »
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
London, Oct er 13: A Beyonce fan has shown his love for the singer and her husband Jay Z by photoshopping them into iconic art masterpieces on a Tumblr site.
The 'Carter Family Portrait Gallery' Tumblr page features the 'Single Ladies' hitmaker, Jay Z and daughter Blu Ivy, with the Destiny's Child girls, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, the Beckhams, Rihanna, Oprah Winfrey and the Obamas in a fun twist to the iconic painting 'The Last Supper,' the Daily Star reported.
The page, which is made by one of the creative members of Beyonce's Bey-hive tumblr page, features the 32-year-old singer as Mona Lisa, and American Gothic. »
- Lohit Reddy
This fall, fans celebrate new seasons of shows like "The Walking Dead" "American Horror Story" and other creepy TV shows, fears we learn to love from the comfort of our couches -- and right in time for Halloween. HitFix has cobbled together and voted on our top 10 favorite scary shows. Some would be considered horrors, others are anthologies and original programs that simply sent our scare-hairs on end. Recount with us our favorite shocking moments of television like scenes from "The Twilight Zone," "The X-Files," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "American Gothic," "Twin Peaks," "Unsolved Mysteries" and more. Series like "Amazing Stories" and »
Directed by Jim Mickle
Jim Mickle’s previous film Stake Land, a post-apocalyptic road movie with a vampiric threat, combined the tone of something like The Road with narrative flourishes (invincible hunter known only as Mister, vampires launched from helicopters like dropping bombs) more akin to comic books. The end result: a laboriously dreary film of poorly-defined characters, trite attempts at grandeur through some insipid narration, and an ill-fitting tone. One sequence showed some promise, however; the aforementioned vampire dropping takes place in a long, unbroken tracking shot of an outdoor party in a refugee town, suddenly disrupted by the threat from above, the only moment the lethargic film gets a pulse and actually visualises a frightening concept well. Mickle’s follow-up feature doesn’t contain an overtly frantic sequence like that, but instead the direction, consistency »
- Josh Slater-Williams
It’s hard to believe that Psycho actually qualifies as a franchise, mostly because everything after the immortal original was a steaming pile of cow flop. Three theatrical sequels, one aborted TV pilot, the well-intentioned but ultimately pointless Gus Van Sant thing… it hasn’t been an easy ride for Norman Bates and his mother. Until now. Bates Motel starts out feeling like a terrible gimmick, covering Norman’s (Freddie Highmore) formative years in what initially promises to be a one-trick pony. Instead, the show serves up a meaty cocktail of American Gothic, as Mrs. Bates (Vera Farmiga) buys a quiet hotel with her young son in hopes of escaping a very checkered past. Naturally, things go from bad to worse as the hotel’s old owner shows up, the local sheriff (Nestor Carbonell) pops in to ask awkward questions, and bodies both real and metaphorical start getting dumped in out-of-the-way places. »
- Rob Vaux
We're big fans of one Mr. Jim Mickle in these here parts. His first cinematic effort in the feature length realm, the mutant rat/pandemic horror Mulberry Street, proved justly claustrophobic, while his road trippin vampire apocalypse Stake Land was a fresh take on both the bloodsucker mythology and the American Gothic. He's now bringing us his version of We Are What We Are, once a Spanish language thriller about a family of cannibals (which we also really dug).In We Are What We Are, a seemingly wholesome and benevolent family, the Parkers have always kept to themselves, and for good reason. Behind closed doors, patriarch Frank (Bill Sage, "Boardwalk Empire") rules his family with a rigorous fervor, determined to keep his ancestral customs intact at any...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Surprisingly, his deal calls for him to become a regular in future sequels. In fact, it's said to be a three film deal which means Universal is already seriously planning ahead for an eighth and ninth film in the series.
Source: Deadline »
- Garth Franklin
FX’s third installment of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s American Horror Story: Coven will star Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett, along with the returning players of FX's American Gothic series. Season one faced infidelity inside a possessed house. Season two was about insanity within the confines of a creepy Massachusetts' asylum, and this season takes us to Nola for some witchy drama with historical roots. Coven, shot on location in New Orleans, once again stars Jessica Lange as Fiona, describd at the recent TCA's as witch royalty, descended from Salem, Mass. Maybe her Sister Jude accent will be around again. Fiona comes back to Nola from La, and lives with her daughter Cordelia (Sarah Paulson), the headmistress »
- April Neale
The fifth and final day of Frightfest mercifully began a little later than the preceding days, a boon to many now slightly flagging and delirious film fans. Unfortunately, the first film on the main screen was the single worst feature I caught at the festival. Dark Touch (Marina De Van) features a French crew and an Irish cast and one wonders if something drastic was lost in translation. It’s the story of an eleven year old girl called Niamh (Marie Missy Keating) whose parents and baby brother are killed when household objects seemingly begin to attack them of their own accord. She goes to live with family friends but the mysterious occurrences start to happen again.
It’s apparently a film about child abuse but it misjudges its take on this very difficult subject so badly, it’s borderline offensive. It’s also just stupid. If I were »
- Jack Kirby
Written by Blair Erickson
Directed by Blair Erickson, Daniel J. Healy (story)
“We didn’t want things jumping out at you. We wanted you to feel immersed, as if you were inside the scene.” Director Blair Erickson can only be referring to 3D; unlike many lazily post-converted blockbusters, his Banshee Chapter was filmed entirely in stereoscopic 3D, a conscious choice from the outset of the film’s production and a risky experiment for something so low-budget.
The risk hasn’t completely paid off. In Banshee Chapter, journalist Anna Roland’s (Katia Winter) search through the CIA’s Mk-Ultra history calls too much attention to itself precisely because of the unnecessary visual enhancement. A mixture of documentary, found footage, and archive reels, Banshee Chapter sources a variety of different methods but consistently undersells itself due to its third dimension. The appeal to immersion has achieved precisely the opposite effect; on an ordinary, »
- Ed Doyle
You may have been lucky enough to catch Jim Mickle's We Are What We Are at FrightFest over the weekend. For everyone else, here's your first look in this new Us trailer. The film, an English-language remake of Jorge Michel Grau's Mexican original, stars Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner (who were both in Electrick Children and Last Exorcism 2), with elder support from Michael Parks, Bill Sage and Kelly McGillis.As you'll have seen above, the film involves an American gothic family who maintain a ritualistic adherence to cannibalism, until a torrential storm begins to reveal the secrets buried around their property, offering new clues to investigators studying decades of disappearances.Mickle, director of the excellent Stake Land, told FrightFest's Alan Jones, "I didn't want to slavishly repeat anything from the first movie except the crucial cannibal through-line. My We Are What We Are is a reinvention, not a »
Currently gearing up for its theatrical release following a successful festival run that included both Sundance and Cannes, Jim Mickle's remake of Jorge Michel Grau's We Are What We Are has just released its first trailer. And if you wanted a taste of the American gothic tone of this back country cannibal tale, the trailer serves it up in spades. Mickle's one of the best things going in American horror film in recent years and his adaptation of the source material finds more than enough fresh nuance to make it his own. Check the trailer below....
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
65% of new television shows are cancelled within their first year. With a failure rate that high, it can be dangerous for viewers to get attached to new programming. Genre television series are no exception; there were multiple horror and sci-fi themed shows cancelled this year alone. For every success story like American Horror Story, there are countless series that aren’t given a fair chance because their ratings debut is too low, or the show isn’t resonating with the target advertising demographic. Even shows that do enjoy a longer lifespan don’t always get to answer all of our questions, or explore all of the story arcs that the writers would like. A great recourse in those situations is to create a film version of the series. Sometimes the movie version works in tandem with the series broadcast schedule, while other times it gives the show’s creators a »
- Tyler Doupe
After the recent release of Man of Steel and Iron Man 3, I’ve been getting back into my comic collections, and digging through the works of my favourite comic book writer, the crazy, creative occultist Alan Moore.
Born in England in the 50s, Moore has been writing books and comics since the 1970s and has had a huge influence on the medium with his works on Batman, Superman and the revered Watchmen (but you probably knew that already).
It occurred to me that, with more and more people turning to comic books off the back of the successful film adaptations of the last few years, it might be useful to guide beginners towards some of the better quality stuff out there.
So here are my five essential books by Alan Moore. They might not necessarily be his best stuff, or his most popular, »
- Flickering Myth
From the press release:
Are you ready for a spine-chilling global avalanche of Indian zombies, Israeli oldboys, vengeance-crazed Vikings, Swedish mesmerists, Irish telekinesis, Argentine undead, Aussie bone-crushers, murderous Mormons and Chilean assassins?
Film4 FrightFest 2013, returning for its 4teenth year, has unveiled its biggest line-up in history. From Thurs 22 August to Monday 26 August, the UK’s leading event for genre fans will be at the Empire Cinema in London’s Leicester Square to present 51 films on three screens. Empire 1 will house the main event while the Discovery strands will play in Empires 2 & 4. The new FrightFest Xtra strand, also in Screen 2, will allow fans to catch up with sold-out performances of the most popular attractions.
This year there are eleven countries representing five continents with a record-breaking thirty-three UK or European premieres and ten world premieres.
The world premieres include our opening night attraction The Dead 2: India from the Ford Brothers, »
The following is an excerpt from "Film Craft: Screenwriting,"edited by Tim Grierson. The book is now available from Focal Press. The excerpt below was made available by the book's publisher. Stephen Gaghan’s writing career started quite promisingly, publishing a short story in The Iowa Review before he was even 26. He also impressed the writing staff of "The Simpsons" with a spec episode entitled “Family Wheel of Jeopardy,” as well as producer and talent agent Bernie Brillstein with a collection of "Saturday Night Live" sketches he’d written. But a career in television writing in the 1990s— including stints at "New York Undercover," "The Practice," "American Gothic," and "NYPD Blue" (where he shared an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series)—soon gave way to screenwriting. His first produced film credit was "Rules of Engagement" (2000), which starred Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones, but he received much acclaim for his next film, »
- Stephen Gaghan
This darkly humorous, deeply demented 1964 curiosity is a genuine cult phenomenon, one with a reputation that grows by the year. By the time it came out in 1968, hardly anyone cared. However, it's subsequently found an audience, so today we can enjoy it on a rather well-assembled Blu-ray.
It's usually classed as a horror film or a B-movie but this slice of American gothic doesn't fit neatly into either category. It concerns the Merrye family, a clan so inbred they have a rare malady named after them. Merrye syndrome affects one branch of this rotten family tree, causing regression ("A progressive deterioration of the mental faculty … a rotting of the brain, so to speak") to set in as they reach adolescence. Kept sequestered in a dilapidated house, three afflicted youngsters are protected by custodian Bruno »
- Phelim O'Neill
Three horror vets join Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's remake of the 1976 slasher film The Town That Dreaded Sundown. The film is based on the true story of a serial killer that stalked a small Texas town in 1946. At least five people were killed and the perpetrator was never caught. Addison Timlin (Derailed, Zero Hour) has already been cast as the headliner. Joining her are Veronica Cartwright, Gary Cole, and Joshua Leonard.
Cartwright will play Timlin's grandmother, who raises her after her parents are killed in a car accident. In a career spanning over 50 years, Cartwright has had many roles in genre films, including The Birds, Alien, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Candyman: Farewell to Flesh.
- Alyse Wax
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