Kill Your Lover

Kill Your Lover (2023)

Kill Your Lover had its UK première at the Glasgow FrightFest 2024. There are two ‘prologues’ at the beginning of Alix Austin and Keir Siewert’s Kill Your Lover. In the first, a woman, out-of-focus but clearly bloody and bandaged, smashes a framed photograph of two lovers, and heads off determinedly clenching a glass sherd in her…

Connect

Connect (2022) + Miike TV sidebar

Connect first published by Sight and Sound, March 2023 Review: Ultra-prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike is also a disruptor, with the titles on his extraordinarily lengthy filmography typically adopting a punkishly transgressive approach to genre. So if his latest offering, Connect, comes as something of a surprise, this is not because of its subversive motifs…

Funky Forest

Funky Forest: The First Contact (2005)

Funky Forest: The First Contact first published by Little White Lies, as entry 149 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column Funky Forest: The First Contact (Naisu no Mori THE FIRST CONTACT) opens with the image of a cute-looking UFO. White, with two blue portholes that look like eyes, it is perched on the barren surface of…

Shapeless

Shapeless (2021)

Shapeless first published by Movies On Weekends Shapeless opens in the bathroom of a run-down New Orleans apartment, and will return there repeatedly. This is the most private space of Ivy – the place where her naked body is exposed, at least to her own unforgiving eyes, and also evacuated. Played by Kelly Murtagh (who…

Titane

Titane (2021)

Little Alexia (Adèle Guige) is in the back seat of a moving car, making vroom vroom engine sounds as though she were one with the vehicle. To counter this noise, her father (Bertrand Bonello) keeps turning up the music on the radio – so Alexia, still wanting her father’s attention, starts rhythmically kicking the back…

Laguna Ave.

Laguna Ave. (2021)

Laguna Ave has its world première at FrightFest 2021 In the opening scene of David Buchanan’s Laguna Ave., a man in a balaclava sneaks into a building at night, and steals a hard drive and a mug with the name Russell on it from one of the offices inside, before very carefully and deliberately taking…

Blue

Blue My Mind (2017)

Blue My Mind first published by SciFiNow It opens with a little red-haired girl on a rocky beach looking out to sea. Later we see that same girl Mia (Luna Wedler), now a teenager, in the new apartment (still visibly under construction) where she has just moved with her parents. And we see her frequently on…

Tokyo

Tokyo Ghoul (2017)

Tokyo Ghoul first published by Sight & Sound, March 2018 Review: Though hardly a household name in the West, the Tokyo Ghoul mythos is ‘big in Japan’: first a success as Sui Ishida’s serial manga (from 2011), next as Shuhei Morita’s animated television series, and then as prequels and sequels in both those media, as well…

Replace

Replace (2017)

Replace first published by SciFiNow Young Kira Mabon (Rebecca Forsythe) and Jonas Swierczynski (Sean Knopp) are on their fifth date, and Kira has decided to spend the night with him. On their way to Jonas’ apartment for the first time together, with their whole future ahead of them, they banter about the different ways that ageing men…

Melt

Body Melt (1993)

Body Melt first published by VODzilla.co After founding and leading the experimental multimedia outfit →↑→ throughout the late Seventies and Eighties, in 1988 Philip Brophy splattered his audiovisual assaults onto celluloid with his short feature Salt, Saliva, Sperm and Sweat, an avant-garde reduction of everyday human experience to the ingestion, issue and exchange of bodily fluids –…

May

May (2002)

May first published by VODzilla.co “What’s wrong with my eye, mama?”, asks young May (Chandler Riley Hecht) in the opening line of the film that shares her name. “Doctor says it’s lazy eye,” replies her mother (Merle Kennedy), “but we’re going to make you look perfect.” Any quest for perfection is both quixotic, and filled with…