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 →
I have written an essay on 'Witchfinders and Sorcerers: Sorcery and Counterculture in the Work of Michael Reeves', published in the new book Sixties British Cinema Reconsidered, just out from Edinburgh University Press. Picture credit: The Sorcerers (Dir. Michael Reeves, 1967)
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.
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 →
Due to popular demand, I will be running my 4-week course on Surrealism in cinema again in November at Close-Up. I have been running this course once or twice a year in London since 2017. Surrealism is one of the art movements that has had the strongest influence on cinema and its impact has lasted to... Continue Reading →
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 →
In an essay written for the limited edition Blu-ray of Jörg Buttgereit's Schramm released by Arrow Video, I trace the continuity from Fritz Lang's M to Schramm in relation to themes of guilt and death and the historical past of Germany.
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 →
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 →
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 →