Categories
Feature

Dream as reality, reality as dream: Kei Shichiri’s Once Upon a Dream

Watching Kei Shichiri’s Once Upon a Dream (Nemuri-hime, 2007/2016 – a remastered version with surround sound was released in 2016) in May 2020, at a time of isolation imposed by measures taken to combat the spread of COVID-19, creates a strong sensation of both strangeness and familiarity. Shots of deserted streets and trains without passengers […]

Categories
Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)

Music, like dreams, can linger in your head in bits and pieces. A snatch of a driving riff from here, a half-remembered lyric from there, a fast, crazy guitar solo from who knows what. Then, in a spark of revelation, it becomes apparent all the elements come from the same song (when this happened to […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: Drunken Angel (Akira Kurosawa, 1948)

Drunken Angel (Yoidore tenshi, 1948) paints a gloomy portrait of post-war Tokyo, a city in ruins where crime, corruption and barbaric behaviour abound and where people struggle against poverty, violence and tuberculosis, which was a death sentence at the time. The protagonists try to survive in a chaotic society marked by confusion and emptiness, but […]