Transient

This Transient Life (Mujô) (1970)

This Transient Life (Mujô) first published by Little White Lies, as the 64th entry in my Cinema Psychotronicum column “Did you see Masao?” 21-year-old Yuri asks the house boy Iwashita near the beginning of Akio Jissôji’s This Transient Life (Mujô).  “He’s in a rush these days,” Iwashita replies. “Today too.”  It is clear, already, that…

InControl

InControl (2017)

InControl first published by SciFiNow The first time we see Samantha (Anja Savcic) in writer/director Kurtis David Harder’s InControl, she is facing a mirror. This follows a prologue in which pretty cheerleader Marissa (Sarah Troyer) tries desperately – and vainly – to phone Mark and Jenny, before, in her distraction, flipping her car spectacularly. The…

Play

Child’s Play (2019)

Child’s Play first published (in a shorter version) by Sight & Sound, August 2019 Review: Lars Klevberg’s Child’s Play opens with a diptych of scenes: first a to-camera announcement from Henry Kaslan (Tim Matheson), founder and CEO of Kaslan Corporation, about his company’s range of high-tech Buddi dolls, which learn from their environment and can,…

Nekrotronic

Nekrotronic (2018)

Director Kiah Roache-Turner and his co-writer/brother Tristan first exploded into the genre scene with their feature debut Wyrmwood (2014), which fuel-injected the putrescent zombie genre with some Mad Max-style motorheadedness and outrageous post-apocalyptic ass-kicking. Now they are back with Nekrotronic, this time giving the well-worn tropes of demonology a much needed update to the online…

Fido

Fido (2006)

Fido first published by Little White Lies In an alternative early 1960s America where humans have contained a nationwide undead menace, domesticated zombie Fido (Billy Connolly) has a transformative effect on his adoptive family, making up for the inadequacies of dad Bill (Dylan Baker) to his unloved son Timmy (K’Sun Ray) and neglected wife Helen…

Takeshis'

Takeshis’ (2005)

Takeshis’ first published by Film4 Summary: Japan’s busiest all-rounder Takeshi ‘Beat’ Kitano plays both himself and his loser double in a surreally self-flagellating examination of his career to date. Review: In his twelfth directorial feature, Takeshi Kitano turns inwards with the infuriatingly reflexive Takeshis’, wherein the different strands of his own personality, and the tensions between them,…

Wayward

The Wayward Cloud (Tian bian yi duo yun) 2005

The Wayward Cloud (Tian bian yi duo yun) first published by Film4 Summary: In this strange comedy-cum-musical-cum-cum, loneliness and longing pervade drought-stricken Taipei – and there are hardcore sex acts and watermelons, too. Tsai Ming-liang directs. Review: “Watermelon can open your heart.” So says a television announcer near the beginning of Tsai Ming-Liang’s The Wayward Cloud (Tian…

meurtrier

One Deadly Summer (L’été meurtrier) (1983)

One Deadly Summer (L’été meurtrier) first published by Movie Gazette One Deadly Summer (L’été meurtrier) begins as a portrait of life in a small village in 1970s France. The narration of local fireman Pin-Pon (Alain Souchon) introduces us to his French-Italian family and describes his awkward crush on Elle (Isabelle Adjani), a pretty girl who…

Redwood

Redwood (2017)

Redwood first published by SciFiNow As British musician Josh (Mike Beckingham) and his girlfriend Beth (Tatjana Nardone) drive into the Redwood National Park for some time together away from it all, several dark shadows are being cast over their trip. Firstly there is Josh’s recent diagnosis of terminal leukaemia, meaning that, despite all Beth’s desperate…

Harpoon

Harpoon (2019) at Fantasia 2019

Harpoon at Fantasia 2019 Rob Grant’s Harpoon opens with audio of a voice artist (Brett Gelman) being asked to do another take. His narration, delivered in an arch tone with some decidedly profane diction, summarises the three types of friendship outlined by Aristotle (of utility, of pleasure, of the good), before positing a fourth type,…

Reverb

Reverb (2007)

Reverb first published by Film4 Summary: Eitan Arrusi’s feature debut as writer/director is a ghost story that finds the devil in music.  Review: The devil, they say, always has the best tunes. According to legend, some time in the 1920s Robert Johnson acquired the guitar-playing skills that would make him king of the Delta blues and ‘grandfather…