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Screengem

Screengem: Tattoo You

The body as object in Charles Laughton’s gothic masterpiece The Night of The Hunter: Caroline Burns Cooke looks at Robert Mitchum’s Love / Hate tattoos – the perfect embodiment of the duality of nature in screen villainy. When Robert Mitchum’s Preacher drives onto the screen, inked paws clutching the steering wheel, he discourses confidently with […]

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Screengem

Screengem: Seth Brundle’s Telepods

From Blade Runner‘s sky traffic to Star Trek‘s starships, science-fiction cinema has often invented futuristic methods of transportation – and the most futuristic of all is teleportation. Unlike the utopian visions of Starfleet crew beaming aboard The Enterprise surrounded by a mist of glistening light, David Cronenberg’s remake of The Fly suggests a more dangerous, […]

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Feature Screengem

Screengem: The Wicker Man

Of all the bizarre and unsettling sights that Edward Woodward’s Sergeant Howie encounters during his time on Summerisle – open air orgies, a mother breastfeeding in a cemetery, the Hand of Glory, phallic topiary and outlandish animal costumes – nothing prepares him for the monstrous beauty of The Wicker Man. The deeply conservative and devoutly […]

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Feature Screengem

Screengem: Charlie’s Golden Ticket

  It’s not coincidental that the brilliant golden ticket needed to board the Polar Express is almost identical to the brilliant golden ticket needed to get inside Willy Wonka’s ‘non-pollutionary, anti-institutionary, pro-confectionery factory of fun’. In the 23 years between Mel Stuart’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Robert Zemeckis’s The Polar Express, the […]

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Feature Screengem

Screengem: Indiana Jones’s Hat

Indiana Jones is essentially a superhero: usually the bowtied and bespectacled Prof. Henry Jones Jr., he has only to climb into his chosen costume to become Indiana Jones, whip-wielding discoverer of the Holy Grail and insouciant scourge of the Nazis. And, while his revolver is ever-ready, his whip indispensible and his jacket unmistakable, only his […]

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Feature Screengem

Screengem: Michael Myers’ Mask in Halloween (1978)

A definitive feature of the definitive slasher film, the Michael Myers mask is an unlikely masterpiece of movie design. It was, in a favourite titbit of horror fan trivia, adapted by production designer Tommy Lee Wallace from a store-bought Halloween mask of William Shatner. Mercifully, the mask looked little like Captain Kirk when Wallace acquired […]

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Feature Screengem

Screengem: The Sled in Citizen Kane (1941)

Practically every notable bit of movie memorabilia has been bought for some obscene sum by some obsessive fan. But the sale of the Rosebud sled was special: the buyer who forked out a fortune for it wasn’t bidding on behalf of an ostentatious movie museum-cum-café or an anonymous Charles Foster Kane-esque collector – he was […]