While journeying down for a short trip away to the secluded vistas of the Norfolk broads, little was I aware that the weekend away was to allow for a lecture and a personal chat with one of this writer’s heroes. The brilliant thing about north Norfolk in general is that, in just about every field whether it be art, film or even food, it has … Continue reading Screen-Next-The-Sea Film Festival – Kevin Brownlow Lecture.
With the announcement that the BFI are opening a film academy network across the country, it has been revealed that one of these venues to get some of the funding from the enterprise is FACT cinema in Liverpool. This is especially good news for young students of film wanting to enter the industry or simply comment from the sidelines. The department of education is said … Continue reading BFI Academies and Film Lectures at FACT Liverpool.
Roger Corman’s work has been often been described as schlock film; a pulpy mass of horror, sci-fi and B-movie nonsense of only vague merit and achievement. Excluding his actual films for a minute, looking at the number of people who have developed under the man’s wing, whether as a producer or director, is quite astounding. On the director’s side, he’s nurtured and helped the likes … Continue reading The Fall Of The House Of Usher – Roger Corman (1960)
Article originally published on http://www.ACEliverpool.com There’s something wonderfully timeless about early vampire films. No matter how aged the visuals of screen adaptations look, the bare bones of the narrative make them compelling and often affecting slices of drama. Even the word Nosferatu drips with gothic headiness and its jagged inflections speak of something dark, morbid and supernatural. Though not a completely accurate adaptation of Bram … Continue reading Nosferatu – A Comparison. (F.W Murnau, Werner Herzog)
Terence Davies is perhaps the most important creative force to emerge from Liverpool since The Beatles. The veteran filmmaker, who only has a handful of films to his name, is the quintessential art cinema director who mixes art house visuals with kitchen sink realism and autobiographical narratives. His first full length film is an exercise in storytelling and makes a relatively straightforward drama seem something … Continue reading Distant Voices, Still Lives – Terence Davies (1988)
One of Hitchcock’s most experimental films, Rope contains all the ingredients that came to define his mid period but at the same time seems weirdly at odds with them. The first thing to note about this rather twisted affair is its composition. Unlike pretty much any other Hitchcock film, the shots are extremely long in length giving it the feel of a stage play. This … Continue reading Rope – Alfred Hitchcock (1948)
Volume 4 of the BBC Ghost Stories At Christmas is a mixed bag of the eerie and the spooky. Housing the last three instalments of the classic series before it ceased until its revival in 2005, it’s a must buy for one of the stories but its other two instalments wobble its consistency. The most appealing aspect of this release is that it contains possibly … Continue reading BBC Ghost Stories Volume 4 (The Signalman, Stigma, The Ice House) – BFI
With its rather ominous opening, the viewer would perhaps be forgiven for thinking that Roger Corman’s adaptation of Poe’s The Raven would be in similar ilk to his other dark Poe films. What at first seems like yet another gothic retelling of a Poe classic turns out to be a swiftly delivered curve ball that has, at its core, a desire for fun and mischief … Continue reading The Raven – Roger Corman (1963)
If Alfred Hitchcock were to have made an occult horror film, it’s not beyond the realms of fantasy to believe that it would look something like Sidney Hayers’ 1962 film Night of the Eagle. Mixing up all sorts of clean cut imagery and marvellously juicy language, the film is one of the more Freudian in the horror canon and a far more subtle affair than … Continue reading Night Of The Eagle – Sidney Hayers (1962)
The slow and gradual death of a number of emotional pillars is a key theme to a much of Ingmar Bergman’s earlier work. Though the death of religion dominates his work fromThe Seventh Seal onwards, the physical death through aging and the passing of time that causes this, is something reserved to his earlier work. However the final conclusion of this act is almost never presented. … Continue reading Summer Interlude – Ingmar Bergman (1951)