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Features Thousand Words

Parting Shots: Leaving the Mothership

It seems any film set in ‘outer space’ will have the daunting honour of being compared, almost always unfavourably, to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Hailed as the greatest achievement in cinematic history, Kubrick’s cold, grand masterpiece has been keeping audiences mystified since its release 46 years ago and banished all subsequent cinematic offerings to […]

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Features Screengems

Screengem: The gnome in Amelie

Everyone dreams about travelling the world and seeing the sights, and in Amelie, as Georgina Guthrie tells us, a very unusual globetrotter got to do just that. Fairy tales inform us that the gnome is a reclusive figure, content to hide in the safety of his underground burrow. How apt, then, that suburbia adopted him […]

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Features Four Frames

Four Frames: The Borderlands (Elliot Golder, 2013)

It’s become somewhat of a British horror tradition to have a plot based around local country bumpkin-satanist types. Elliot Golder’s found-footage debut The Borderlands, with its unfriendly villagers and sheep-burning teenagers, certainly looks as if it’s going that way. It’s quick to pay homage to Kill List (Ben Wheatley, 2011) but swiftly skirts the local […]

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Lost Classics Reviews

Lost Classic: Enter the Void (Gaspar Noe, 2009)

Gaspar Noe’s psychedelic foray into the drug-soaked, neon-lit underbelly of central Tokyo is an acutely realised claustrophobic nightmare; a cacophony of wincing lights, narrow corridors and squalid rooms where humans scrabble to procreate and self-destruct in an unrelenting cycle of misery and personal tragedy. It’s long and grandiose, beautiful and repellent; a two-and-three-quarter hour tour […]

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Features Widescreen

Widescreen: Found Footage Horrors

We know the drill by now: shaky camera, grainy footage, header – ‘based on true events’ – yes, that’s right, it’s another found footage film! Now a horror staple, this popular subgenre takes its bearings from a nasty little slice of 80’s cinematic controversy: Ruggero Deodato’s simulated snuff film Cannibal Holocaust – a film so successful at […]

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Features Four Frames

Four Frames: Danny’s Tricycle in The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)

A Big Wheel tricycle. The epitome of American 1970s childhood; a bastion of good, clean fun and innocence, and staple toy of choice for the all-American kid. To see it is to imagine wide, tree-lined streets, fresh air and mom’s laundry drying out in the sun. Yet here, in Kubrick’s Overlook Hotel, the tricycle is […]

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Features Thousand Words

Thousand Words: Assimilation and Alienation in Wenders’ Alice In The Cities (1974)

A decade before Wim Wenders’ Palm d’Or winning Paris, Texas, came Alice In The Cities, a gentle road movie that introduced the key themes of alienation and angst that would later define Wenders’ oeuvre and firmly cement his reputation as an artistic force in the canon of new-wave German cinema. Jack Kerouak’s novel On The Road inspired the post […]

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Features Four Frames

Four Frames: Past meets Present in Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders, 1984)

Every scene in Wim Wender’s Paris, Texas (1984), seems laden with significance because the enigmatic protagonist’s past is almost completely withheld from the audience until the film’s denouement. As with many of Wender’s alienated heroes, Travis is lost, both physically and spiritually, and must piece together the fragments of his life in order to create […]