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Features Lost Classics

Lost Classic: The People Under the Stairs (Wes Craven, 1991)

“You can understand why someone would rob a house if they’re broke, but to rob…children of their lives [is] far more insidious…” Wes Craven states in his director’s commentary for the  R-rated 1991 film, The People Under the Stairs. Loosely based on a true occurrence, Craven’s “horror noire” examines the irony of its Mother (Wendy […]

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Features Lost Classics

Lost Classic: The Comic (Carl Reiner, 1969)

Comedian and director Carl Reiner’s second directorial feature-length film, The Comic (1969), starred Dick Van Dyke as a fictitious silent film era comedian, Billy Bright. Bright, an over bearing, egocentric comic, never reached the level of fame he believed he should have, always falling victim to the behavior of others like his wife (and co-star) […]

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Features Lost Classics

Lost Classic: Prometheus (Ridley Scott, 2012)

Ridley Scott’s fascination with omniscience goes to the outer limits in his 2012 science fiction film, Prometheus (2012). Often assumed a prequel to Alien (1979), Prometheus focuses on discovering mankind’s “engineers,” while amalgamating concepts of heroes and villains. Scott’s unsurpassable directing techniques are shown through the tiniest features in his characters. Even the unsettling soundtrack brings […]

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Features Four Frames Lost Classics

Four Frames: The Friends of Eddie Coyle (Peter Yates, 1973)

You’ve got to have friends. “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.” We all need to know who our real friends are. “I trust Mr. Brown, I do not trust Mr. Grey.” Friends in high places. “Make him an offer he can’t refuse …” Crime film aficionados will recognise the lingo, and feel they […]

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Features Lost Classics

A manhunt in a period film: Hideo Gosha’s Bandits vs. Samurai Squadron

The recent discovery of Bandits vs. Samurai Squadron (Kumokiri Nizaemon, 1978), a film that I had never seen before, has added a new work to my stock of movies for my research on Japanese film in general and on Gosha’s oeuvre in particular. Not as well known as Goyokin (1969) or Hitokiri (1969), Bandits vs. […]

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Features Four Frames Lost Classics

Facing the uncanny: Conor McPherson’s The Eclipse

A man is driving home at night in the Irish countryside when suddenly the ghostly figure of his father-in-law (Jim Norton), his face covered with blood, materializes on the passenger seat. This sudden incursion of the uncanny causes the driver to lose control of his car; presumably, some viewers shudder, and that all the more […]

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Features Four Frames Lost Classics

The inner chaos of adolescent life: Sion Sono’s Love Exposure

In Sion Sono’s Love Exposure (Ai no mukidashi, 2008), 17-year-old Yu (Takahiro Nishijima) struggles with his sexual awakening. Sono turns the basic “boy meets girl” plot into a narratively and aesthetically rich film in which Yu encounters violence and madness but also discovers love and responsibility. Sono’s four-hour film explores what it means to be young. […]

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Features Lost Classics

Cube: An Endless Existentialist Escape

Weaving horror techniques with philosophical undertones, Cube (1997) navigates the dark recesses of humanity in a mechanical enigma. In a bright start for his career, Vincenzo Natali co-wrote and directed the movie while still a student in film school. It is perhaps due to this creative freedom – and a low budget – that a […]

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Features Four Frames Lost Classics

Toshiro Mifune in Mexico: Ismael Rodriguez’s Ánimas Trujano

Ánimas Trujano (Mexico, 1962) starts as a documentary film with images of a festival which the villagers in the Mexican State of Oaxaca are celebrating in honour of their patron saint. A voice-over narrator explains the role of the mayordomo, a respected member of the community who is elected to organize the various religious and […]