Even before the recent events that occurred in Charlottesville, a certain scene from Michael Haneke’s 2000 film, Code Unknown (Code Inconnu), had been repeatedly playing on a loop in my mind’s eye. I quietly admitted to myself recently that the scene in question is without a doubt the most telling and poignant dramatic escalation I have seen in twenty-first-century cinema and it seems to show … Continue reading Politics of Sequence in Code Unknown (2000, Michael Haneke)
Part 1. Innocence and Sexuality. As already suggested, Valerie is first and foremost about the links, barriers and cross-over between innocence and sexuality. Whilst some characters (for example, the religious fundamentalists), believe there to be a strict differentiation between the two, the film and Valerie herself know that this is not the case; if anything, it is the watermark of the patriarchy that such a … Continue reading Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound And Vision (Part 2).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Natural Diegesis And Aural Interaction With Landscape. One of M.R. James’ most recognisable writing traits is his emphasis on rural settings. From his own personal experience, of both exploring the churches of France on holiday bike-rides and living and holidaying in Suffolk and Norfolk, the rural landscape became almost as much of a story trope as the … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 5 (Landscape).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. Conclusions From the analysis of only a handful of British folk horror films, it has been shown that they rely heavily on their music in order to achieve their full cinematic effect. Altman states the following when discussing genre theory: “Constantly opposing cultural values to counter-culture values, genre films regularly depend on … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 8 (Conclusions).
The ghost story has had a resurgence lately in film and television. Perhaps the increasing reliance on distancing technology and social media has lead to a desire to retread older forms that now seem prescient but there’s no doubt that the genre as a whole is alive and well, especially for commercially minded lower budget film; the blueprint set up by Hammer’s adaptation of Susan … Continue reading Blackwood (2013) – Adam Wimpenny.
Revenge films have the unfortunate reputation of being simplistic in their outlook yet, looking at the sub-genre’s past and present condition, it shows itself to be perhaps the most intelligent form of critical questioning of the role of violence in media and in real life. This rather strange assumption of the sub-genre is even more odd when considering how intelligent, spellbinding and provocative the films … Continue reading Blue Ruin (Jeremy Saulnier, 2013) – The Violence of Family.
The late 1970s and early 1980s occupy a strange realm in our current affections of nostalgia. While openly acknowledged as a problematic era for politics, riots and race/police relations being at an all time low, there has been a steady but gradual yearning for the age’s art. This isn’t just in the traditional sense of nostalgia but quite a specific relationship; the era is currently … Continue reading That Sinking Feeling (Bill Forsyth, 1979) – BFI Flipside.
Part 1. Part 2. Emphasis on Acousmatic Concepts in Ross J. Fenimore’s “Voices that Lie Within”. “Psycho almost didn’t happen. This is a unique case of music literally saving a film.” – Sullivan (2006, p.246). Like much literature around Psycho, Fenimore’s “Voices That Lie Within” begins its argument with setting the scene. “Psycho begins with a theft.”(2010, p.80) he begins as so many often do. … Continue reading Analysis of Sound and Music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) – Part 3 (Acousmatic Concepts)
From its opening declarations, John Akomfrah’s documentary on Stuart Hall, The Stuart Hall Project (2013) explicitly acknowledges that it is going to be condensing fifty years of complex history and ideology into its relatively short running time. Akomfrah achieves this in an unusual but extraordinary way by linking the ideas and history of the public intellectual with his passion for the music of Miles Davis. … Continue reading The Stuart Hall Project – John Akomfrah (BFI).
This article contains spoilers. There are many aspects of distraction within Jerzy Skolimowski’s 1970 film, Deep End. Its highly sexualised, sometimes seedy narrative, its vast array of colours and its crisp, sharp direction are only a handful of its hyper-active eccentricities. Even David Lynch, a long-time pessimist about colour cinema, is on record as a fan of Deep End‘s array of powerful colours, and styles. … Continue reading Deep End (1970) and the Musical Emphasising of Narrative (Jerzy Skolimowski).