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Feature Four Frames

Relationships Between Humans and Nature in The Land of Hope

Shot a few months after the triple disaster that hit Japan’s Eastern Pacific Coast in March 2011 – an earthquake followed by a tsunami and core meltdowns in three reactors at the nuclear power plant in the Fukushima Prefecture – Sion Sono’s The Land of Hope (Kibo no kuni, Japan, 2012) addresses a great variety […]

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Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: Deliverance (John Boorman, 1972)

James Dickey’s novel opens with a map being unrolled. Disconcerting – “curling and snapping back whenever one of us turned it loose” – then, revealing – “All this in here will be blue … this whole valley will be under water.” John (Point Blank) Boorman’s movie version unveils the river itself through a curtain of […]

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Feature Lost Classic

The beauty of free movement: Akira Kurosawa’s Uma no uta

In his autobiography, Something Like an Autobiography, Akira Kurosawa mentions that since his youth he had loved horses and had spent whole afternoons at the hippodrome in Meguro. One of his screenplays written in the early 1940s was called Jajauma monogatari (The Story of a Bad Horse). This project was never realized, but Uma no […]

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Feature Thousand Words

Visual Poetry: Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood

Inspired by William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Akira Kurosawa created, with Throne of Blood (Kumonosu-jo, Japan, 1957), visual poetry: in black and white, light and shade, movement and immobility. Kurosawa does not try to put Shakespearean English into Japanese. Instead, image and rhythm replace words, pointing to the visual nature of Shakespeare’s language. In this way, Kurosawa, […]

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Feature On Location

On Location: Norway in Troll Hunter (André Øvredal, 2010)

Fairy tales are for kids. Or are they? Natural landscapes have inspired imaginations for centuries. Norway’s spectacular scenery in particular has conjured a considerable legacy of folklore, fairy tales, and mythology; it is a landscape full of mystery, with plenty of pockets to hide in. André Øvredal’s Troll Hunter (2010) takes us back to Norway’s narrative origins, […]

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Lost Classic Reviews

Lost Classic: Valhalla Rising (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2009)

If “art is an act of violence” as the uncompromising Nicolas Winding Refn has attested, then his vicious Viking abstraction Valhalla Rising must surely belong in the Louvre. Cut to the bone in terms of narrative and dialogue, the only thing harsher than the inevitability of (often brutal) death in Refn’s powerful and primeval journey […]

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Feature On Location

On Location: Nunavut, Canada in Atanarjuat (2001)

A feathered archipelago stretching northward into the Arctic Circle, Canada’s Nunavut territory is known for its rich and storied Inuit art, including sculpture, music and dance. It’s also the home of a 21st century wave of independent filmmaking – stories told by the Inuit population using homegrown talent. At the centre is Isuma, the award-winning […]

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Feature Thousand Words

Thousand Words: “No man is an island” (Hell in the Pacific, 1968)

The great outdoors – here a maritime space – is a protagonist in its own right in John Boorman’s two-character film Hell in the Pacific (1968). The two marooned soldiers, played by Lee Marvin and Toshirō Mifune, fight for survival on an uninhabited atoll and fight each other before facing together the hazards of the […]

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Feature

The Cinematic Animal: Congo (Frank Marshall, 1995)

This article originally appeared on The Cinematic Animal. After reading, enter our competition to win the book Lives Beyond Us: Poems and Essays on the Film Reality of Animals. I can’t speak for others who were teenagers at the time, but for me in the mid-1990s Congo was an impressive film, and one that I’m pretty sure I […]