The Laughing Woman (1969) - News Poster

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Arbitrary Cinema: The Laughing Woman (1969)

Join me in the confines of my house on the hill, where every week I’ll be sharing with you a seemingly random review of a movie that’s come across my horror-nerd radar in the middle of the night. So come join my on the couch. It may give you some insight into the way our referential minds connect films, it may introduce you to something you never knew existed, or it may give you a rash that requires a 7-day ointment treatment. Or, maybe none of that matters in the end–because this is Arbitrary Cinema..

The Laughing Woman (1969)

It’s no secret that the horror film is often accused of being misogynistic. There are examples in nearly every sub-genre that certainly can validate that argument. The scantily-clad women murdered at the gloved hands of a killer in Giallos, the big breasted nympho victims of the Slashers, the
See full article at Icons of Fright »

The Noteworthy: 13 May 2015

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Above: the trailer for Miguel Gomes's new films, Arabian Nights, premiering soon in Cannes.For those lucky enough to attend the Venice Biennale, aside from a chance to see an exhibit by Albert Serra, curator Okwui Enwezor's show All the World's Futures includes work by Chris Marker, including Crush Art, Untitled 06, above. We'll be in Cannes and therefore miss the Museum of Modern Art's essential "Japan Speaks Out! Early Japanese Talkies" series, but Nick Pinkerton at Artforum has it covered."Actors appeared on the screen as if molded out of a liquid silver set aflame": Femina Ridens has a lovely report from the first ever Nitrate Picture Show.Above: the trailer, with English subtitles, for Johnnie To's new musical, titled Office.A tantalizing but also frustrating tease for Quentin Tarantino's upcoming The Hateful Eight arrives in the form of some behind the scenes and publicity images.
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Movie Poster of the Week: The films of Radley Metzger

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I first came to know of Radley Metzger through his posters, which bears out what the 85-year-old erstwhile king of high-class erotica told me recently, that “my respect for poster design came from my realization that more people would see my posters—for a longer period—than would see my films.” That should be rectified somewhat next week when the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York embarks on a week-long, 8-film retrospective of Metzger’s legendary, ground-breaking “Art Cinema Erotica.”

The poster that first caught my eye was for a 1975 film directed by one Henry Paris. The film was the arrestingly titled The Opening of Misty Beethoven and I was struck by its combination of the austere and the voluptuous: its clean, monochrome simplicity, its beautifully balanced composition, and its nice use of the blocky serif typeface Clarendon, a favorite of mine. That juxtaposed with the lead-off quote
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Forgotten Gialli: Battle of the Sexies

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The final part in our series on Forgotten Gialli

My problem with the misogyny that runs through the giallo genre is not so much that it's there, but that it's so often unexamined. At least Sam Peckinpah's films seem to tell me something about the demons of insecurity, paranoia and loathing infesting his mind. I'm frustrated, for instance, that Dario Argento has portrayed the graphic mutilation-murder of women in his films so frequently (his own leather-gloved hands doubling for those of the killer), without ever seeming to take much interest in why this subject seems to obsess him. "I love women," he has said, "therefore I would rather show a beautiful woman being killed than an ugly man." Is it just me, or does that statement open up questions, and even paradoxes? For a former critic, Argento seems disinclined to analyze things.

Not only do the films not actively interrogate their own violence,
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Finals Week: 'The Final Girl: A few thoughts on Feminism and Horror'

The Final Girl: A Few Thoughts on Feminism and Horror By Donato Totaro

One of the more important, if not groundbreaking, accounts/recuperations of the horror film from a feminist perspective is the 1993 Carol Clover's "Men, Women, and Chainsaws". One of the book's major points concerns the structural positioning of what she calls the Final Girl in relation to spectatorship. While most theorists label the horror film as a male-driven/male-centered genre, Clover points out that in most horror films, especially the slasher film, the audience, male and female, is structurally 'forced' to identify with the resourceful young female (the Final Girl) who survives the serial attacker and usually ends the threat (until the sequel anyway.) So while the narratively dominant killer's subjective point of view may be male within the narrative,the male viewer is still rooting for the Final Girl to overcome the killer. We can see this
See full article at Planet Fury »

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