Its geography is stark, rugged and eerily inviting, its characters are sickly happy and lying through their teeth and its narrative is immersive and questioning to the point where its finale is deeply affecting and horrifying. It’s a crying shame that viewers of The Wicker Man (1973) will never fully see the film as its director intended. Having been slashed to bits by the studio … Continue reading The Wicker Man (1973) – Defining Of The Folk Horror.
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s El Topo (1970) has rightly earned a place in the pantheon of cult cinema. Watch any number of documentaries or interviews with the man himself and the film will often stand proud as the pioneer of the “Midnight Movie”; a film obviously shown late due to its content but also exuding free reign over all of its creative aspects. Researching further into the … Continue reading El Topo and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (Jodorowsky and Gabriel).
This article contains spoilers. For a film named after a jazz standard, Abbas Kiarostami’s Like Someone In Love (2012) plays very little with the notion or question of music and sound. Recalling the film only brings to mind one scene where music is used as a narrative ploy while the rest of it is more occupied with something more visually typical. This perhaps begs a … Continue reading Like Someone In Love (2013) – Visual and Emotional Reflections.
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. Communal Singing of Popular Music. “Song lyrics threaten to offset the aesthetic balance between music and narrative cinematic representation. The common solution taken by the standard feature film is not to declare songs off limits – for they can give pleasure of their own – but to defer significant action and … Continue reading Distant Voices, Still Lives (Part 4) – Communal Singing and Domestic Abuse.
Cause and effect may not perhaps be the first aspect that comes to mind when considering Ben Rivers’ feature debut Two Years At Sea (2011). Yet, looking at the implications of the lifestyle on show, itself a deliberate effect of causation from working at sea for two years to be able to afford to live a more isolated life, there is a great sense of … Continue reading Two Years At Sea (Ben Rivers) – Geographical Solitude and Company in Objects.
During the first quarter of film history, film language very quickly cemented itself into forms that would stay that way in mainstream cinema until the middle of the 20th century. Looking back at the surviving imagery of the first era of film (i.e. the silent era), it’s easy to see how these forms quickly solidified and became the norm for the typical and the innovative … Continue reading Train to Train – Early Rhythms of Silent Film (Lumière and Keaton)
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 The Sounds of the Past “To this inexorable, insidious awareness of your own dependence on your past, like an illness that grows even harder to bear, I gave the name “Nostalgia”…” (Tarkovsky, 1986, p.206) One of Distant Voices, Still Lives’ key differences to all that had gone before in the canon of British working class … Continue reading Distant Voices, Still Lives – Sounds of the Past. (Part 2)
Nostalgia can manifest in many forms at the cinema. Sometimes it can be overt, sometimes it can be unconscious but film is most definitely the medium to explore its inner workings. A number of films have recently used sound, not just in an interesting way, but as a major part of the narrative and character focus whilst touching upon nostalgia. These range from the superb … Continue reading Silence (Pat Collins, 2012) – Landscape and Nostalgia.
This article contains spoilers. Though drenched in visual complexities and sharp, hap-hazard editing, Ingmar Bergman’s Persona (1966) is film that is aurally interesting as it is exhilarating to view. Its opening segment of film footage from all corners of cinematic life, spliced together to form a montage of passing thoughts and nightmares, is actually a beautifully put together piece of sound editing as well. This … Continue reading Persona (1966) – Consequences of a Silent World (Ingmar Bergman)
This article contains spoilers. Cinema was built for dreams. It’s almost cliché now, adding dreams, dream sequences, dream-scapes; endless tumbling ambiguity to add depth and distance to a film. Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives (2013) is not a dream in the sense of Inception (2010) or Spellbound (1945) but more in the sense of a light day-dream inciting calm before a violent storm. On … Continue reading Only God Forgives (Nicolas Winding Refn) – Violent Sonatas and Dreaming in Colour.