Infinity Pool

Infinity Pool (2023)

Infinity Pool first published by SciFiNow, 20th March 2023 Infinity Pool begins in the dark. Novelist James Foster (Alexander Skarsgård) has just muttered something creepily nonsensical in his sleep (“You can’t feed yourself with white sand brain death”), and his wife Em (Cleopatra Coleman) asks for clarification on what his unconscious was trying to say….

Custom

Custom (2024)

Custom had its world première at the Glasgow FrightFest 2024. “Hi, I’m Snake”, says a young man (Rowan Polonski) direct to camera at the beginning of writer/director Tiago Teixeira’s feature debut Custom. “And I’m Flower,” says the young woman (Abigail Hardingham) sat next to him. ‘Snake’ and ‘Flower’ are not their real names – for…

Stopmotion

Stopmotion (2023)

Stopmotion opens with the image of an object floating in space. It is just like the beginning of Eraserhead (1977), which later included some of its own stopmotion sequences – and much as David Lynch superimposed the bobbing face of his protagonist Henry Spencer over the planet to suggest that what we are seeing is…

Murder, Anyone?

Murder, Anyone? (2022)

Murder, Anyone? begins with a shadow – the silhouette of a male figure in a wide-brimmed hat, illuminated by a circle of light. This monochrome image, and the melodramatic orchestral score that accompanies the superimposed opening credits, point to the now rather passé genre of film noir, while that figure – a projected artefact of…

The Ghost Writer

The Ghost Writer (2022)

The Ghost Writer had its world première at FrightFest 2022 The Ghost Writer opens with a dim-lit hotel corridor and with Gilliger Graham (Luke Mably) roaring into a bathroom mirror, whether in pain or triumph or madness, before there is cut to him onstage accepting a literary award for his latest book, also called The…

Tezuka's Barbara

Tezuka’s Barbara (2019)

Tezuka’s Barbara first published by Little White Lies, as the 130th entry in my Cinema Psychotronicum column Following the publication of his groundbreaking New Treasure Island in 1947 which ushered in the Golden Age of manga, Osamu Tezuka would, with his popular series like AstroBoy, Princess Knight and Kimba the White Lion, become known variously…

Bloodthirsty

Bloodthirsty (2020)

The heroine of Amelia Moses’ Bloodthirsty is called Grey. It is an unusual name, evoking the shade between black and white, and so it suggests her lack of definition, capturing her status as a character in transition. After all, orphaned at an early stage, musician Grey (played by Lauren Beatty) has no idea of her…

Adaptation

Adaptation. (2002)

Adaptation. first published by Daily Info At one point in Adaptation., orchid hunter John Laroche (Chris Cooper) explains to New York Times journalist Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep) how each type of orchid has a symbiotic relationship with its own specially adapted insect – its ‘double’ or ‘soulmate’. “Neither”, says Laroche, “will ever know the significance of…

Images

Images (1972)

Images first published by Little White Lies, as the 54th instalment in my Cinema Psychotrunicum column  “In Search of Unicorns – a book for children,” intones author Cathryn (Susannah York) in voiceover at the beginning of Robert Altman’s Images (the title appearing in modest lower case), before narrating the events of the latest fiction that she…