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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: Goodnight Mommy (Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz, 2014)

Some of the best horror films, from Rosemary’s Baby (1968) to The Shining (1980), are fueled by subverting qualities often associated with family, such as safety, loyalty, and trust. While the thought of being murdered is terrifying in and of itself, it is even more disturbing when the perpetrator is a family member. Severin Fiala […]

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Feature Screengem

Screengem: The Plaster People in After Hours (Martin Scorsese, 1985)

At the root of Martin Scorsese’s After Hours (1985) is a telling paradox: though the film chronicles a nightmarish, serpentine journey through New York’s Soho neighbourhood, it is ultimately a story of entrapment. The protagonist’s sense of being stuck in a life of routine is symbolised through a recurring, startling prop: plaster sculptures of humans […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: The Element of Crime (Lars von Trier, 1984)

On paper, writer-director Lars von Trier and cowriter Niels Vørsel’s The Element of Crime (1984) is straight out of a 1940s-era noir. In the film’s opening, a mentally unstable detective named Fisher (Michael Elphick) is summoned to Europe to track down a notorious child-killer (echoes of Lang’s M here) known as Harry Grey. According to […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: Oslo, August 31st (Joachim Trier, 2011)

Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier’s humanism is most profoundly and movingly on display in his 2011 feature Oslo, August 31st. The film chronicles a day in the life of Anders (Anders Danielsen Lee), a recovering drug addict who is permitted a short leave from rehab for a job interview. Trier follows his protagonist as he reconnects […]

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Feature Lost Classic Reviews

Lost Classic: Prince of Darkness (John Carpenter, 1987)

In his best films, John Carpenter straddles the fuzzy line between auteur and genre craftsman. This tendency is on full display in Prince of Darkness (1987), perhaps his most deceptively heady film of all. Beneath its jump scares and gore coils a sombre commentary on the relationship between science and faith. Does religion exist, the […]

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Feature One Sheet

One Sheet: The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2016)

In their English-language debut The Lobster (2016), frequent collaborators Yorgos Lanthimos (director, co-writer) and Efthymis Filippou (co-writer) imagine two radically different, yet equally oppressive societies: an authoritarian government and its underground rebellion, both of which deprive their followers of true human connection. The alienation enforced by both systems is beautifully captured in Vasilis Marmatakis’ simple, […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: Black Moon (Louis Malle, 1975)

Writer-director Louis Malle’s filmography is nothing short of eclectic; over the course of his decades-long career, he tackled war dramas, screwball comedies, coming-of-age chronicles, an assortment of international documentaries, and even a landmark film noir. Yet, even considered within this vast oeuvre, Black Moon (1975) stands out as a singular, unparalleled dream of a film. […]