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 →

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 →

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 →

A Sting in the Tale: Female Convict Scorpion

Mixing exploitation with politics and formal experimentation, the Female Prisoner Scorpion series created a mythical female avenger that fired off the imagination of 1970s Japanese audiences. It sparked numerous sequels, although none ever came close to the original three films, directed by Shunya Itô and starring Meiko Kaji. Adapted from T­ôru Shinohara’s violent manga, it... Continue Reading →

Cheap Thrills: Women of Exploitation Talk

As part of the Barbican’s ‘Cheap Thrills’ season, I examine the unique women directors who worked in the golden age of exploitation cinema, their struggles and successes, and the singular works they created in this one-hour lecture. Stripped and slashed, sometimes both at the same time: this is the fate usually reserved to women in... Continue Reading →

The Electric Sheep Film Show: JG Ballard

Ballard and the Seventies: In March, the Electric Sheep Film Show focuses on J.G. Ballard. Virginie Sélavy talks to his daughter, the artist Fay Ballard, as well as director Harley Cokeliss, who made the first film version of Crash featuring J.G. Ballard for the BBC in 1971, and director Ben Wheatley, who discusses his long-awaited... Continue Reading →

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