The Psychedelic Renaissance

I have written about the enduring influence of 1970s cinema on horror film of the past decade for the November 2020 issue of Sight & Sound. Pic credit: Color Out of Space (2020)

The Savage Surrealism of Fando y Lis

I contributed an essay on Fando y Lis and surrealism to the new monumental Alejandro Jodorowsky box set from Arrow. Jodorowsky's first feature Fando y Lis (1968), an infernal adaptation of Fernando Arrabal's Panic play, psychedelic Western El Topo (1970) and delirious spiritual initiation The Holy Mountain (1973) are presented in new 4K restorations, and... Continue Reading →

Hammer’s Women: Lisa Gastoni

I contributed a video profile of the fascinating Irish-Italian actress Lisa Gastoni for Hammer Volume 5: Death and Deceit, which includes Visa to Canton/Passport to China (1961), starring Gastoni as a beautiful, mercenary spy. Gastoni is best known for the roles of seductively transgressive women she played in Italian films such as Wake Up and... Continue Reading →

Critics’ Salon: Little Joe

I will join academic and critic Catherine Wheatley for a discussion of stylishly disquieting scientific fiction Little Joe (Dir. Jessica Hausner) chaired by film programmer Jo Duncombe at BFI Southbank. Thursday 27 February 2020, 20:15, BFI Reuben Library, run time: 60 mins.

Here Be Witches: Symposium

For The Final Girls' event I present an overview of the figure of the witch in film, from silent masterpiece Häxan to glamorous Hollywood comedies I Married a Witch and Bell Book and Candle, to the 1970s hallucinatory sorcery of Suspiria and the suburban unease of Season of the Witch, to the 1990s teen witchery... Continue Reading →

A Case for a Rookie Hangman

Pavel Juráček was a key figure of the 1960s Czech New Wave whose work has been steadily re-evaluated in recent years. Although he directed only two features, he co-scripted some major films of the period, notably Karel Zeman’s A Jester’s Tale (1964) and Jindřich Polák’s Ikarie XB 1 (1963), and supported the work of Vera... Continue Reading →

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