Few films are as explicit in their depiction of character relationships that are at the mercy of the fluctuating landscape than Roman Polanski’s 1966 film, Cul-De-Sac. Polanski had been to both ends of the environmental spectrum within his previous two films – the open waters of Knife In The Water (1962) and the cramped, claustrophobic London of Repulsion (1965) – and Cul-De-Sac sees him returning … Continue reading Isolation And Madness In Cul-De-Sac (1966) – Roman Polanski.
An Impossible Dérive is a film that channels a number of my own current interests. Though predominantly about the changing landscape and topography of the city centre of Liverpool, it is also about using psychogeography and the writing of John Wyndham to assess and comment upon the fallout of such change within the landscape. The title, An Impossible Dérive, refers to two different aspects of … Continue reading Short Film – An Impossible Dérive.
There exist volumes of academic research and work surrounding the role of repetition in religious and cultural practices. Repeated actions of any type, creating an easily recognisable mimesis, seems almost an aesthetic by-word for a normalised analytical framework of cultural activities, especially musically. From prayer to mantra, the idea of repetition is stretched to form (or conform) belief patterns, as if deliberately signposting theological culture … Continue reading Repetition And Occultism Of Invocation Of My Demon Brother (1969) – Kenneth Anger.
There seems to be an overt connection between analogue recording technology (of both the visual and aural varieties) and the narratives surrounding paranormal activity in 1970s British fantasy television. Of course, there are no doubt connections between the interest in such activity (with the genuine events surrounding the Enfield Haunting for example, recently made into a drama on Sky) and the technological means of the … Continue reading Analogue Ghosts of the 1970s And Hauntology.
It feels odd to finally be able to say that Holloway is finished. This oddness derives not just from the fact that it has been the longest planned film that I’ve produced so far (starting all the way back from Robert Macfarlane’s first email to me in February 2014) but because the subject of the film itself is never-ending. The holloways of Dorset do not … Continue reading Short Film – Holloway (Robert Macfarlane).
Within the British tradition of the “Chase and Pursuit” drama, there are several reoccurring themes. The idea of a lone individual being chased through different topographies by a group seems to have been popularised in Britain by the Second World War but was around far before then. The basic impetuous seems to be that an individual is wanted for some crime or misdemeanour (sometimes falsely) … Continue reading Fugitive Refuge In The Landscape – (A Cottage On Dartmoor, The 39 Steps, Hunted, Rogue Male).
Richard Lester’s film collaboration with The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night (1964), has been attributed many aspects of foreshadowing modern culture. From the almost accidental invention of the surrealism-infused music video to the defining of pre-counter-culture 1960s Britain and London, the film acts as both a periodical bubble and an innovative audio-visual experience that is as prescient today as it was then. One segment in … Continue reading Ringo’s Dérive in A Hard Day’s Night (1964).
Scenes From A Marriage was Ingmar Bergman’s first successful attempt to work in the medium of serialised television. It signposts many of the changes that the director would make during his work in the decade of the 1970s from an aesthetic and a thematic position. Though a later cut was edited down and sold as a whole, cinematic artefact for American audiences, several changes to … Continue reading The Fårö Landscape and Relationships in Scenes From A Marriage (1973) – Ingmar Bergman.
Forever a cinematic alchemist – a sage that conjured and devoured celluloid before the eventual ritualistic sacrifice- Derek Jarman is the perfect suitor to Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1979); a play whose heart is bathed in the tragedy and power of magic. Of course Jarman isn’t the only person from the Brit-pack of avant-garde directors to remould the work but his is the most natural. Peter … Continue reading Alchemical Magic in Derek Jarman’s The Tempest (1979).
Much has been written about the stark comparisons between the cinema of Michael Haneke and the culture theories of the Frankfurt School of philosophy. In the 2010 book, A Companion To Michael Haneke, Roy Grundmann devotes a whole essay in the volume to Theodor Adorno and the “aesthetic fragmentation” of several of Haneke’s films whilst various articles and essays spend time drawing comparisons to Haneke’s … Continue reading Repetition, Adorno and 71 Fragments Of A Chronology Of Chance (Haneke).