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 […]

Feature Screengem

Screengem: Maureen’s Mobile Phone in Personal Shopper (Olivier Assayas, 2016)

Nothing can distract from the audience’s cinema experience more than a mobile phone. But in his exquisitely enigmatic, always intelligent and creepy-as-hell Personal Shopper, Olivier Assayas uses this most modern of blank tablets, this smallest of small screens, to ramp up the tension within the big screen – bit by bit, message by message. Kristen […]

Feature Thousand Words

Thousand Words: The Horrors of Sensory (Dis)Ability – Disabled Power in Hush and Don’t Breathe

“If you had to choose, would you rather be deaf or blind?” This question has trickled its way into the glossary of everyday conversation, leading the questionee to then hierarchise deafness and blindness according to their own personal fears of sensory impairment. On the one hand, it interrogates the privilege of those who are not […]

Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: Kwaidan (Masaki Kobayashi, 1964)

In Kwaidan, Masaki Kobayashi adapts four Japanese moralistic fairy tales retold by the Greek-American expatriate Lafcadio Hearn in the early twentieth century. Mirroring each other, the four episodes present a carefully structured series of repetitions and counterpoints. Their protagonists are haunted characters who face the unknown while struggling with a traumatic past or a present […]