Interview With Digby Rumsey (BFI Flipside, The Pledge).

Director Digby Rumsey sees his BFI DVD debut this month on the Flipside release of Leslie Megahey’s Schalcken the Painter.  Rumsey is a traditional BFI director, coming from the same ranks as Terence Davies, Bill Douglas and Peter Greenaway.  His work in Gothic short films, especially adaptations of work by Lord Dunsany, places him firmly in the British Gothic traditions of directors such as Jonathan … Continue reading Interview With Digby Rumsey (BFI Flipside, The Pledge).

Schalcken The Painter – Leslie Megahey (BFI Flipside).

The notion of gothic is quite rightly taking over the BFI at the moment.  Their gothic season is looking set to be its most all encompassing and vast seasonal retrospective for some time.  The gothic tint has found its way into a number of avenues including its DVD range.  The Flipside label always seemed fit for the sort of gothic releases still residing in the … Continue reading Schalcken The Painter – Leslie Megahey (BFI Flipside).

The Masque of the Red Death (1964) – Kierkegaard’s Aesthetic Phase and Inverted Freudian Pleasure Principle (Part 2).

Part 1. The Levels of the Aesthetic Stage Through Castle Rooms and Colour. Corman’s beautiful excess of colour in the film has already been mentioned but colour plays a vital role within the film’s narrative too.  Its narrative focus however does not chime well with the Kierkegaard reading when considering the unevenness and ambiguity as to the death creatures and their colours at the end … Continue reading The Masque of the Red Death (1964) – Kierkegaard’s Aesthetic Phase and Inverted Freudian Pleasure Principle (Part 2).

BBC Dead of Night (1972) – BFI

The BBC experienced a real golden age for television horror during the late 1960s and 1970s.  Almost every year seems to have produced an array of horror delights, ranging from ghost stories of all types to full blown, psychological nightmares.  Though now over half of the series is missing from the archives, 1972’s horror anthology Dead of Night and its surviving three episodes represent a … Continue reading BBC Dead of Night (1972) – BFI

The Masque of the Red Death (Roger Corman, 1964) – Kierkegaard’s Aesthetic Phase and Inverted Freudian Pleasure Principle (Part 1).

Roger Corman may be better known for pulpy B-movies but his work adapting Edgar Allen Poe for the big screen is uncharacteristically layered and has a depth that far outstrips films of a far more serious ilk.  Almost all his Poe adaptations (excluding the fun but overall light The Raven) take Poe’s original structure for stories and adds questioning elements to them, largely built around … Continue reading The Masque of the Red Death (Roger Corman, 1964) – Kierkegaard’s Aesthetic Phase and Inverted Freudian Pleasure Principle (Part 1).

Robin Redbreast – Play For Today (1970) – James MacTaggart (BFI).

This articles contains minor spoilers. Holding the record at the time for being the only play in the BBC Play For Today series to be repeated, James MacTaggart’s Robin Redbreast has an aptly cult aura surrounding it.  First broadcast in the “spooky” slot (a December time tradition since Dickens’ era) in 1970, it manages to foreshadow a number of interesting movements in film and television … Continue reading Robin Redbreast – Play For Today (1970) – James MacTaggart (BFI).

Classic Ghost Stories by M.R James with Robert Powell (BFI).

M.R James’ ghost stories seem almost tailor-made for television and radio.  They’ve taken on so many forms and guises over the years that, like their original forms read by the fireside at Christmas in Cambridge University, they have become a regular, traditional event.  Though their presence has been somewhat thin on the ground of late (though soon to change with the fourth modern adaptation coming … Continue reading Classic Ghost Stories by M.R James with Robert Powell (BFI).

Interview with Saxon Logan (Sleepwalker, Stepping Out, Working Surface).

Saxon Logan is a director whose work in film and documentary is well praised. With the recent release of his most famous film, Sleepwalker, on the BFI Flipside label, I tracked the director down to ask him about his past, his friendships with some of the most important people in British film and his own superbly idiosyncratic work. A full review and analysis of the … Continue reading Interview with Saxon Logan (Sleepwalker, Stepping Out, Working Surface).

Sleepwalker (1984) – Saxon Logan, BFI Flipside.

The latest release in the BFI Flipside series revels in the social satire of its era with glee. Though of course the main draw of the release will be Saxon Logan’s main feature, Sleepwalker (1984), the release itself is built up to make a whole package of potential double and even triple bills of viewing; some Logan themed, some nocturnal themed.   The main feature simply … Continue reading Sleepwalker (1984) – Saxon Logan, BFI Flipside.

Riddles of the Sphinx (1977) – Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen (BFI).

Classical traditions and feminist ideologies collide and intertwine in Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen’s Riddles of the Sphinx (1977).  It’s instantly clear from its opening “contents” page that the film isn’t simply going to be a piece of narrative cinema, nor is it going to be purely avant-garde.  With the increasing use of the term Essay Film within the analysis of cinema, Mulvey’s film is … Continue reading Riddles of the Sphinx (1977) – Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen (BFI).