Gasoline Alley

Gasoline Alley (2022)

Gasoline Alley opens in a Los Angeles bar, where Jimmy Jayne (an excellent, lived-in turn from Devon Sawa), drinking alone in the wee hours, is approached by a pretty woman, Star (Irina Antonenko). “I just sensed you were a man running from shadows,” she says to him, as though he were a grizzled noir antihero…

Basic Instinct

Basic Instinct (1992)

Basic Instinct first published by Little White Lies, as the 129th entry in my Cinema Psychotronicum coulmn The plots of Clint Eastwood’s Play Misty For Me (1971), Edward Bianchi’s The Fan (1981) and Eckhart Schmidt’s similarly titled Der Fan (1982) may already have revolved around obsessive stalkers – but it was Adrian Lyne’s Fatal Attraction…

Crawl (2011)

Crawl (2011)

Crawl (2011) first published by Little White Lies Young Marilyn Burns (Georgina Haig) is giddy with excitement as she awaits the return of her boyfriend Travis (Andy Barclay) from his parents’ house. After all, she is sure that on this, “one of the most important nights of my life,” Travis is about to propose to her…

Brut Force

Brut Force (2022)

With a bruised fist that just lost her her job at Inside L.A. Magazine, cub journalist Sloan Sawyer (Lelia Symington) finds herself temporarily unemployed, so agrees, when summoned by a phone call, to return to her home town of Santa Lucia in California’s wine-growing hinterlands. There, someone has been intimidating the migrant workers at the…

Clay's

Clay’s Redemption (2020)

If genre is a playground, then often its most interesting activities take place at the perimeter fence or in the out-of-bounds areas. Here old tropes, relocated alongside – or even in – unrelated genres, are stripped of the usual context that defines their rules, and so enabled to take on new meanings and unexplored trajectories….

Overwhelm

Overwhelm The Sky (2018)

Overwhelm The Sky begins in desert, with a sole figure limping desperately towards the road to flag down help from a passing pickup truck, as the stabbing strings on Costas Dafnis’ score evoke Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960). By the time we have got back to this desert scene, well over two hours of the film…

Gemini

Gemini (2017)

Gemini published exclusively for Projected Figures  Originally associated with the Noughties mumblecore movement, writer/director Aaron Katz makes films – Dance Party, USA (2006), Quiet City (2007), Cold Weather (2010), Land Ho! (2014) – that, in both their setting and sensibility, could not be further from Hollywood. His latest, however, unfolds in the dark heart of…

Lights

City Of Tiny Lights (2016)

First published by RealCrime Magazine City of Tiny Lights has all the signifiers of a classic film noir. There’s the bourbon-swilling protagonist, and the dame returning from ‘out of the past‘. There are the urban streets and the endless rain. There is the nocturnal demi-monde of cops and ‘tecs, dealers and spies, money men and…

One Nite In Mongkok (2004)

First published by EyeforFilm With its criss-crossing lives, dizzying coincidences and karmic symmetries, One Nite In Mongkok, not unlike the Infernal Affairs trilogy before it, is a taut crime thriller that moonlights as ensemble morality tale and allegory of Hong Kong’s post-handover relationship with mainland China. In Derek Yee’s gritty urban noir, Mongkok is not…