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Feature Podcast

The Big Picture Podcast: Seconds

In this episode Gabriel and Tom are joined by Jez Conolly, co-author of a new book about the 1966 John Frankenheimer film Seconds; a nightmarish journey into sci-fi paranoia that is now considered a classic of post-McCarthy era American cinema. Part noir thriller and part body horror, the film – which initially flopped at the […]

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Feature

The Future of Class Consciousness in Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets

Imagine a giant city floating in space, built not by one species, but a thousand; not as part of a master project planned this way from the outset, but evolving over time to accommodate the needs, desires and cultures of disparate worlds; always in close quarters, always disseminating knowledge throughout a bricolage of cosmic society. […]

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Feature Screengem

Screengem: Otto’s single earring in Repo Man (Alex Cox, 1984)

In Alex Cox’s directorial debut Repo Man (1984), Emilio Estevez’s character Otto Maddox muddies the traditional code of appropriate masculinity with his brazen take on counterculture sartorial expression. His swagger and screw the man credentials are made manifest by his solo earring, seen petulantly swaying from his left ear. There is a nebulous sensuality to […]

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Fashion & Film Feature

How film noir influenced the seminal fashion of Blade Runner

Less than a month since the release of Blade Runner 2049, and thirty-five years after the premiere of Blade Runner, I am still celebrating the original. Set in a dystopian 2019, Ridley Scott’s film envisioned a decaying Los Angeles, bleak and neon-lit, with overpopulated streets and striking cityscapes of dark buildings soaring up into smog-covered […]

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Brilliant Failure Reviews

Brilliant Failure: Rollerball (Norman Jewison, 1975)

Norman Jewison’s Rollerball opens with the rituals of any sports match. The stadium is prepared, team executives shake hands, and crowds cheer as the players emerge. But one of the first hints that this is not sport entirely as we know it comes when the players stand not for The Star-Spangled Banner or God Save […]

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Lost Classic Reviews

Lost Classic: Colossus: The Forbin Project (Joseph Sargent, 1970)

It may have been released back when computers were still the size of refrigerators, but the dire warnings expounded by this cautionary slice of Nixon-era paranoia have only become louder. Professor Stephen Hawking’s apocalyptic exhortation that artificial intelligence could possibly spell the end of mankind if allowed to evolve unchecked will come as little surprise […]

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Lost Classic Reviews

Lost Classic: The Omega Man (Boris Sagal, 1971)

Los Angeles, 1977: Two years after China and Russia engage in germ warfare, Colonel Robert Neville (Charlton Heston) believes he is the only person immune to the resulting plague that wiped out the world’s population. Seemingly, the only other survivors are a cult of plague sufferers (known as “The Family”) led by Matthias (Anthony Zerbe) […]

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Feature Thousand Words

Parting Shots: Leaving the Mothership

It seems any film set in ‘outer space’ will have the daunting honour of being compared, almost always unfavourably, to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Hailed as the greatest achievement in cinematic history, Kubrick’s cold, grand masterpiece has been keeping audiences mystified since its release 46 years ago and banished all subsequent cinematic offerings to […]

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Lost Classic Reviews

Lost Classic: Hardware (Richard Stanley, 1990)

Richard Stanley’s grim and gory debut may never be counted among the greats of science fiction, but that hasn’t stopped it chiselling out a place in the hearts of a loyal band of cult followers. Squabbles over the rights to Hardware meant the only way to check it out for a good few years was […]