Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

All films in the ongoing Star Wars saga begin with the words “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…”, followed by a triangular block of prefatory text that slowly drifts away from the viewer’s gaze, as though the story itself, even as we struggle to keep up with it, is disappearing into…

Wolf

Wolf Guy (Urufu gai: moero ôkami otoko) (1975)

Wolf Guy first published by Little White Lies, as part 34 of my Cinema Psychotronicum column “A demon?’, asks one grizzled cop, incredulously, as he skims through a coroner’s official report . “It’s the only possibility,” responds his partner. “A human being wouldn’t be able to slash a body like that – and not in such…

Vengeance

Vengeance (Fuk sau) (2009)

Vengeance first published by EyeforFilm If Johnnie To was already looking towards the cinematic sensibilities of French directors Jacques Demy and Robert Bresson with his stylish pickpocket caper Sparrow (2008), then his latest film Vengeance conjures the spirit of Jean-Pierre Melville, with its noirish existentialism, its air of heroic futility, and its interest in the cool…

Train

The Man On The Train (L’Homme du Train) (2002)

The Man On The Train first published by DailyInfo To the British, train travel represents expense, frustration and delay, but Patrice Leconte’s The Man On The Train (L’Homme du Train) exploits what locomotion has come to symbolise for the rest of the world: a doorway to all kinds of transgressive possibilities, where strangers can meet, the norms…

Entity

The Entity (1982)

The Entity first published by Little White Lies, as part 33 of my Cinema Psychotronicum column The first five minutes of Sidney J. Furie’s The Entity introduce its protagonist, thirty-something Carla Moran (the extraordinary Barbara Hershey), in a dynamic, fast-cut sequence. A rapid succession of scenes shows her working in an office, then studying in a…

Art

David Lynch: The Art Life (2016)

David Lynch: The Art Life first published by Little White Lies “Every time you do something like painting – or whatever – you go with ideas, and sometimes the past can conjure those ideas and colour them, even if they’re new ideas, the past colours them.” The speaker is David Lynch, and even though we can…

Boggy

The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)

The Legend of Boggy Creek first published by VODzilla.co “This is a true story. Some of the people in this motion picture portray themselves – in many cases on actual locations.” So declares text at the beginning of this directorial debut from Charles B. Pierce, introducing its essential paradox. For much as it is set, and…

Ritual

The Ritual (2017)

The Ritual first published by Sight & Sound, November 2017 Review: Regardless of where it ends, the starting point of David Bruckner’s The Ritual is a tangled forest of grief, loss and guilt from which its characters will struggle to emerge. As five one-time English university friends, now approaching middle age, discuss where they will spend…

Libera

Deliver Us (Libera Nos) (2016)

Deliver Us (Libera Nos) first published by Sight & Sound, Nov 2017 Review: In 2005, on christianforums.com, Nathan Poe articulated the principle, now commonly known online as Poe’s Law, which observes that, “without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor”, it is impossible to distinguish a mocking parody of a fundamentalist position from the genuine…

Shocked

Five Films That Shocked The World!

Five Films That Shocked The World! first published by Scene360 From as long ago as 1896, when screenings of the Lumière brothers’ one-shot reel The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station allegedly caused audience members to flee in panic from the rapidly approaching locomotive on screen, cinema’s myths have displayed a remarkable power to…

Crazier

Five Movie Characters Who Made The World A Little Crazier

Five Movie Characters Who Made The World A Little Crazier first published by Scene360 Mad scientists! Anarchic villains! Mentally AWOL soldiers! Atavistic terrorists! Insanity and power combine in cinema to create characters who are combustible, compelling, and all the more mesmerising for their madness. Operating beyond the bounds of what is acceptable, these  figures embody aspects…