Intruders

Intruders (Shut In) (2015)

First published by Little White Lies as part of my Cinema Psychotronicum column Conrad (Timothy T. McKinney), brother of Anna (Beth Riesgraf), keeps calling her ‘Birdy’ – and though he means it affectionately, the childish nickname just annoys Anna. Maybe it reminds her of her state of arrested infantilisation, locked into a relationship of interdependence with…

Jodorowsky

A Brief Guide to Alejandro Jodorowsky

First published by Little White Lies, Issue 65, May/June 2016 (dedicated to Nicolas Winding Refn and The Neon Demon) In seven [now eight] avant-garde directorial features spread across five decades, Chilean-born Alejandro Jodorowsky has, in his own inimitable way, allegorised the ordeals of life, the paths of reality and the masks of identity. His cinema is…

Rupture

Rupture (2016)

First published by Sight & Sound, December 2016   Review: “Don’t be scared,” says an unseen Margot down the phone to her work colleague Renee (Noomi Rapace). They are meeting later that weekend, hoping to confront their fears and have a transformative experience on a skydiving trip. In fact, Renee – an independent, resourceful divorcee bringing…

Flesh

We Are The Flesh (2016)

First published by Sight & Sound, December 2016 Review:  “Solitude”, declares Mariano (Noé Hernández), “drags you, forces you to come face to face with your darkest fantasies – and when nothing happens, you stop being afraid of your most grotesque thoughts.” Normally this bearded 47-year-old hermit enjoys complete solitude. In a dilapidated building, Mariano’s only…

Furious

Boyz under the Hood: Riding Again in 2 Fast 2 Furious

  First published by Little White Lies, as part of a longer contributors’ section on homoeroticism in film Much ink has already been spilt on the polyethnic world in which the Fast and Furious franchise unfolds. The prologue to the first sequel, John Singleton’s 2 Fast 2 Furious, illustrates this in microcosm, as whiter-than-white Brian O’Conner…

Spit

I Spit On Your Grave (Day of the Woman) (1978)

First published by EyeforFilm Our story starts in 1974, when film editor Meir Zarchi witnesses the aftermath of a brutal rape in a park and steps in to help the victim as best he can. Zarchi then decides to write a script as his artistic response to this horrifying experience and four years later, in…

Box

The Box (2009)

First published by EyeforFilm What does it mean when a person is struck by lightning? Is it an act of god? A freak of nature? A cosmic joke? An alien intervention? Magic? Inspiration? Punishment? And what of other, more human tragedies, resulting – directly or indirectly – from our own negligence, selfishness and moral blindness?…

Southland

Southland Tales (2006)

First published by musicOMH By the time Howard Hawks released his much-loved but notoriously confusing The Big Sleep on an unsuspecting public in 1946, he had already removed some 18 minutes of expositional scenes from his original version, now leaving entirely unresolved the question of whether the chauffeur Owen Taylor has turned up dead as a result…

Darko

Donnie Darko (2001)

First published by Daily Info It is October 2000. In a month George Bush will take office, and Richard Kelly is completing his debut feature Donnie Darko. The film premières at Sundance to great acclaim, securing for itself a general US release in October 2001. Then the film disappears down a wormhole (recalling the question “Where is…