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 →

The Hot Take: The B Word

What power does the word 'bitch' hold? Can it be reclaimed and used in relation to some of the female roles in film and TV? What is the power of female actors who have played a character who we could call a ‘bitch’ on screen? How are these screen roles created in cinema and TV,... Continue Reading →

Early Women Filmmakers: Marie-Louise Iribe

Despite living only to the age of 39, Marie-Louise Iribe was a dynamic film pioneer who crammed multiple achievements into her short life, as an actor as well as director and producer. Ambitious and cultured, she formed her own production company, directed two features and was one of the few women directors who made the... Continue Reading →

Blood Hunger: The Films of Jose Larraz

Underappreciated Spanish director José Larraz made his first five films in Britain, and his best-known and most reputable, the psychological mystery Symptoms, even represented the UK at the Cannes Film Festival in 1974. The isolated mansion of Symptoms, where obsessive passions dangerously brew, the surrounding damp, leaf-littered woods and the murky river hiding buried secrets,... Continue Reading →

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