Marcel The Shell With Shoes On

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On (2021)

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On first published by VODzilla.co, 17 Jun 2023 In the past, whenever couple Mark (Thomas Mann) and Larissa (Rose Salazar) got into a shouting match, the shells and other miniature life forms with which they unwittingly shared their home would flee to the sock drawer for cover. Which is to…

Darkness of Man

Darkness of Man (2024)

“If I had to tell myself how I got here, just like every story, it started with a girl.” To the accompaniment of these words in voiceover, James Cullen Bressack’s Darkness of Man begins near its end. For the speaker is Interpol agent Russell Hatch, who lies supine on the ground, bleeding and dying from…

Flatliners

Flatliners (1990)

Flatliners first published by Little White Lies, as entry 159 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column “I don’t know, you guys: it’s Halloween, there’s a full moon. Don’t you think we might be pushing it just a little bit?” So says Randy Steckle (Oliver Platt), some way into Joel Schumacher’s Flatliners, as he and four fellow…

That's Our Time

That’s Our Time (2022)

That’s Our Time screened at PanicFest 2023 “I guess, er, disconnected,” says Danny (Marque Richardson) right at the start of Alex Backes’ That’s Our Time, his very words wrenched, at least initially, from their context. This is how much of this short film is structured, as we see fragments of Danny’s working day, without quite…

All Or Nothing

All Or Nothing (2002)

All Or Nothing first published by Little White Lies, as entry 141 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column (yeah, I am aware how utterly incongruous this particular film is for the column’s remit) Written and directed by Mike Leigh, All Or Nothing is an ensemble film about three households living on the same London council estate,…

The Hunger

The Hunger (1983)

The Hunger on-stage introduction for the Ultimate Picture Palace’s Blood & Celluloid: Vampire Film Festival, 15 Oct 2022 In the late Seventies and early Eighties, there was a new movement identifiable in British cinema: the rise of the adman director. For filmmakers like Hugh Hudson, Adrian Lyne, Alan Parker, Ridley Scott and his younger brother…

Falling

Falling (2020)

Falling first published by Movies on Weekends Falling begins with young Willis Peterson (Sverrir Gudnason) bringing his wife Gwen (Hannah Gross) and newborn John home to his farm near the small town of Boonville in upstate New York. In a private moment, as he looks down at Gwen asleep in the car and John gurgling…

Primer

Taking Time with Shane Carruth’s Primer (2004)

“No one would say that what they were doing was complicated”: Taking Time with Shane Carruth’s Primer (2004) was originally written as a booklet essay for a home release that never happened. It is intended for readers who have already seen the film, and contains spoilers from the start. Games of Entitlement A ‘primer’ is…

Older

Older (2020)

In Older, 29-year-old manchild Alex (Guy Pigden) feels lost in a world of maturity. Alex’s dream of one day making a film resulted in the slasher Orderly Misconduct that was spurned by critics and public alike, forcing the now unemployed writer/director to move back in with his parents. Despite remaining close to his best friend…

Minutes

Ten Minutes To Midnight (2020)

It is a dark and stormy night, and right from the get-go, Erik Bloomquist’s Ten Minutes To Midnight is clearly going to be a genre film. First, there is the fact that it opens with the arrival of Caroline Williams, whose breakout rôle was playing the DJ Vanita ‘Stretch’ Brock in Tobe Hooper’s The Texas…

Tomorrow

Die Tomorrow (2017)

Die Tomorrow first published by Film Stories magazine Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit is an independent Thai director who captures his constant, elusive theme – transience – within formal structuring constraints. So, for example, in his feature debut 36 (2012) Thamrongrattanarit confined himself to 36 fixed-frame shots to conjure a fleeting relationship in a changing cityscape; and in…