directors, Film festivals, Movies, science fiction

Lizzie Borden’s Born in Flames reignited

In my finale communiqué from the Cinema Rediscovered festival in Bristol I take a look at Lizzie Borden’s 1983 film Born in Flames. This was a major discovery for me, Lizzie Borden being a director I was not that familiar with having only seen her film Working Girls some 25 years ago whilst a student.  Continue reading

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horror, science fiction, Television, TV, Writers

THIS GREEN UNPLEASANT LAND – THE VISIONS OF NIGEL KNEALE

With the release of an updated version of the excellent biography Into the Unknown – the fantastic life of Nigel Kneale (Andy Murray, Headpress) this seems like a good time to burrow deep into my archives and exhume an article I wrote for the now defunct digital magazine Cult TV Times. Enjoy… Continue reading

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Classics, Favourite films, horror, Movies, Reviews, science fiction

Favourite films – Invasion of the Body Snatchers

It’s a commonly recited refrain that the film industry’s fondness for recycling material is stifling creativity, or more simply ‘remakes suck ass dude’, but Jack Finney’s 1954 science fiction novel Invasion of the Body Snatchers has proved fertile soil for the cultivation of American nightmares. Don Siegel’s 1956 film slyly presented a paranoia that can be read as either fear of communism or McCarthyism. In Philip Kaufman’s 1978 remake this becomes something else, expressing a fear of conformity, urban alienation, the breakdown of community and the social paranoia of being an outsider. Continue reading

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directors, Movies, Reviews, science fiction

Review – Mad Max: Fury Road

What an extraordinary career In filmmaking George Miller has had. After breaking onto the international film scene with the rough but poetic exploitation film Mad Max in 1979 (one of the few science fiction films admired by J G Ballard), Miller followed up with one of the greatest sequels ever made Mad Max 2 in 1981 (the film was retitled The Road Warrior in the US as the first film had been a flop, largely due to an atrocious American dub that wiped out the Australian accents and made the then 23 year old Mel Gibson sound he was a 50 year old with emphysema). These two films – along with the slightly too slick third instalment Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985 – should have set Miller up as one of the premier action directors of his generation. Instead he turned his hand to big-budget satire with The Witches of Eastwick, adult drama with Lorenzo’s Oil, and children’s animation Happy Feet (for which he won an Oscar). He also produced a string of Australian features and TV, and wrote the screenplay for Babe. Eclectic ought to be his middle name. Continue reading

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Movies, Reviews, science fiction, scraping the barrel

Scraping the barrel – Her

Honestly, I’m actually trying to be a more positive critic in 2015, but now that my former reviews from the Chris and Phil Presents site (RIP) have disappeared, it was inevitable I would have to republish my outraged review of Spike Jonze’s film Her, a movie which frankly irritated the piss out of me. Here it is, unchanged, unexpurgated, (possibly unhinged?). Bear in mind this was published about a year ago on the eve of the film’s UK release. Continue reading

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