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 →

The Battle of the Sexes: Sado-Masochism in 1960s-70s Cinema

In the 1960s-70s, the relaxation of censorship, together with women’s greater social assertiveness, led to the appearance of a substantial number of art and/or exploitative films that explored male/female relationships through sexual power games. A large sub-section, including Mario Bava’s The Whip and the Body (1963), Luis Buñuel’s Belle de jour (1967), Sergio Martino’s The... Continue Reading →

Alucarda: The Seed of Panic

After producing Alejandro Jodorowsky’s incendiary first feature Fando y Lis (1968) as well as El topo (1970), Juan López Moctezuma went behind the camera in 1971 to make The Mansion of Madness (released in 1973), which was loosely based on an Edgar Allan Poe story. He followed it up with two vampire stories, Mary, Mary,... Continue Reading →

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