Symbolic archiving in Bad Timing

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Bad Timing (1980) bookended a decade of extraordinary creativity for its director Nicolas Roeg. In the 1970s he made Peformance, Walkabout, Don’t Look Now and The Man Who Fell to Earth. Roeg experimented with montage and sound to explore aspects of identity, memory, trauma, sex and time. Bad Timing represents the purest exhibition of Roeg’s unique style and thematic concerns. Continue reading

Metafiction and reflexivity in Jacques Tourneur’s Out of the Past

OUT OF THE PAST / BUILD MY GALLOWS HIGH

Jacques Tourneur was a French-American director best known for three Val Lewton produced horror films made at RKO: Cat People (1942), I Walked with a Zombie (1943), and The Leopard Man (1944). He made a successful return to horror in 1957 with an M. R. James adaptation entitled Night of the Demon. Tourneur’s greatest achievement is one of his rare forays into film noir, the 1947 classic Out of the PastContinue reading

Like (Fore)Father, Like Son: Hirokazu Kore-eda and the Burden of Ozu

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‘Its Out of Africa meets Pretty Woman … Ghost meets Manchurian Candidate’. These are the film pitch meetings in Robert Altman’s Hollywood satire The Player (1992). Potential new films, Altman suggests, can only exist in relation to old ideas. When all art must be recycled, that which is truly original and does not have a traceable heritage is too alarming for studios, critics, and audiences. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Suicides

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A few days ago I watched Takeshi Miike’s Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (2011). This is Miike’s second collaboration with English producer Jeremy Thomas, following 2010’s 13 Assassins. Both films are jidaigeki, and both are remakes of black and white Japanese films from the 1960s

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