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 →

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 →

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 →

Films by Luigi Bazzoni

Despite creating one of the most wonderfully strange films of 1970s Italian cinema, Footprints (Le orme, 1975), director Luigi Bazzoni remains little known. His output may be scarce, five features concentrated over a 10-year period, but his intelligence and visual sophistication are unquestionable. Skirting the dominant genres of the time, two of his films are... Continue Reading →

Infernal Cheek: Henri-Georges Clouzot

It has been a long time coming, but the films made by French master director Henri-Georges Clouzot in the later part of his career are finally getting some attention. For decades, the general critical consensus has been that he made his best work in the 1940s-50s, with Le corbeau (1943), Quai des orfèvres (1947), Le... Continue Reading →

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