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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: Night of the Living Dead (George A. Romero, 1968)

It is perhaps fitting that in the year that saw the world descend into civil unrest, a micro-budget splatter movie in which the dead rise from the grave and usher in the apocalypse would redefine both the horror genre and contemporary cinema. There is horror before 1968’s epochal Night of the Living Dead, and there […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: La vie de Jésus (Bruno Dumont, 1997)

For most of La vie de Jésus Bruno Dumont has his audience riding pinion with a gang of bored young motorcyclists. They roam aimlessly around a widescreen rendered, rural northeastern France, waiting for their lives to happen, or for someone to merely notice they are there. However, a potentially racist act of violence towards the […]

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Feature Screengem

Screengems: The shower from Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)

Picture this: it’s been a long day and you’ve been driving since early morning.  Suddenly, just off the highway, you notice a motel and decide to stop for the night.  After booking in and passing the time of day with the young owner (he seems a little odd but, as he’s alone, it would be […]

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Feature Screengem

Screengems: The duffel bag in Frozen River (Courtney Hunt, 2008)

As a tie-in to the print issue’s theme of ‘Winter’s Discontent’, Neil Mitchell looks at an object that carried just as much physical weight as it did metaphorical baggage in Courtney Hunt’s frosty, border-crossing thriller. Brief as its appearance in Courtney Hunt’s taut, downbeat thriller it may be, but the duffel bag  that’s dumped and […]

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Architecture & Film Feature

Architecture and Film #7 False perspective

Beyond its utility in replicating the interior of a building convincingly, the architectural set  attracted film-makers who held that cinema allowed an entirely new kind of story-telling. In Weimar Berlin, Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer each drew on disturbing personal incidents to write The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, and believed that a fully visual filmic experience was necessary […]

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Feature On Location

On Location: The rain in London as featured in ‘Husbands’ (Dir. John Cassavetes, 1970)

Gus (John Cassavetes) and Mary (Jenny Runacre) jump out of a black London cab and into the sanctuary of Henry’s Soup Kitchen, a non-descript café, Gus pausing momentarily to throw the fare through the cab window, desperate that the incessant rain doesn’t touch him. The pair have spent the night together, sharing a complicated, fleeting […]

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Feature Screengem

Screengem: The motion tracker in Aliens (James Cameron, 1986)

Directors often rely on composers to provide key signature passages in their film scores to aid the audience’s journey through a narrative – think John Williams’ iconic themes for Indiana Jones or Superman ­- but objects, and the sounds they make, can often become just as effective in helping to support character recognition, thematic progression […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: Harold’s long goodbye in The Long Good Friday (John Mackenzie, 1980)

The ending of John Mackenzie’s seminal British gangster film is regarded by many, this author included, to be a work of art, befitting the superb fall-from-grace story of London crimelord Harold Shand (Bob Hoskins). Having just abruptly ended a business deal with the New York mafia, “The mafia? I’ve shit ’em!” Harold storms into his […]

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Feature On Location

On Location: MacArthur Park as featured in ‘Drive’ (Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn, 2011)

The brief scene at Los Angeles’s MacArthur park comes exactly half way through Nicolas Winding Refn’s slick and stylish thriller as Driver, drawn out of his solitary existence by new love interest Irene and her young son Benicio, takes on a risky grab-n-go getaway gig to protect them from harm. As befalls every criminally minded […]