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 →

Films by Sergio Martino

Italian director Sergio Martino worked in a wide variety of film genres, starting with Mondo-type documentaries in the late 1960s, followed by the obligatory Western, before moving on to giallo, for which he is best known, and later, poliziottesco. The 1960s-70s were an ebullient time for the Italian film industry, which rapidly moved from one... Continue Reading →

Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song

Too often put in the same bag as the cynical, Hollywood-engineered wave of blaxploitation flicks it influenced, Melvin Van Peebles' Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song is pure, unadulterated ghetto anger that burns as fiercely now as when it was made over thirty years ago. Having started a filmmaking career in France with the support of Henri... Continue Reading →

Interview with Melvin and Mario Van Peebles

‘Maybe an asshole but a filmmaker’. That’s how Melvin Van Peebles, the legendary maverick whose revolutionary 1971 film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song sparked Hollywood’s blaxploitation fever, describes himself. His actor and director son, sat next to him, exuding the same effortless cool, does not disagree, in spite of all the respect and esteem he evidently... Continue Reading →

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