Miami Blues

Miami Blues (1990)

Miami Blues first published by Little White Lies, as entry 170 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column “My problem is that I can have everything and anything that I want, but I don’t know what I want.” The speaker is Frederick J. Frenger Jr. (Alec Baldwin), one of the three main characters in George Armitage’s Miami…

Mob Land

Mob Land (2023)

“We may all be sliding towards the edge, but it’s up to you how comfortable you are doing it,” says Clayton Minor (an electrifying Stephen Dorff), near the beginning of Nicholas Maggio’s feature debut Mob Land. Clayton has just coolly pistol-whipped a gun shop employee near to death to impress upon the owner the need…

The Blue Rose

The Blue Rose (2023)

The Blue Rose had its European première on Sun 27th Aug at FrightFest A woman (Jordyn Denning) in a black lace basque and a blue neck ruff steps onto a small yellow-lit stage, and kneels on the floor at its centre. With a bright blue painting behind her depicting a blue flower and a blue…

Something in the Dirt

Something in the Dirt (2022)

Something in the Dirt first published by Little White Lies, 23 Jan 2022 In Something In The Dirt, fifth feature of filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Resolution, Spring, The Endless, Synchronic), we hear wind chimes before we see anything. These chimes hang outside a somewhat dingy apartment building in Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon, where feckless bartender Levi Danube (Benson) has just moved…

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 and…

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…