People like to say that original movies are in short supply these days, swallowed up by the onslaught of comic book films, remakes/reboots, and live-action adaptations of 80s cartoons based on toys. Whilst there is truth to this observation, its conclusions are flawed. Not only have some incredibly bold and unique recent films come from pre-existing IP like "The Lego Movie", "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse", but so-called “original” films are often just as guilty of recycling and retrofitting the concepts of the past. Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright have made their entire careers out of essentially crafting extended tributes to their childhood favourites, communicating their own perspectives and ideas through the lens of pulp genre cinema.
“American Mary” (2012) is a criminally underrated dark comedy and horror film directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska. Due to its subject matter and gore, it was not widely released. It was released to V.O.D. and DVD quickly, though, helping the film amass a cult following. “American Mary” is often left out in discussions about women in horror. It’s overshadowed by more popular cult classics like “Jennifer’s Body” and “The Descent” — both of which are vital to discussions about women in horror — but it’s a mistake to ignore “American Mary.” The film is disgusting, cathartic and creative. It deserves to be ranked amongst the best body horror and rape revenge films of the past decade.
A double-crossed hit man finds himself on the run with a mysterious young woman in Galveston (2018), a film that starts off like a dramatic thriller but winds up, like its characters, on an unexpected and affecting journey.
As hard as it is to believe, Jodie Foster allegedly once said, "Acting, for me, is exhausting. I’m more energized by directing. It’s more intense to direct. I can pop in and express myself, then pop out again. It’s a huge passion for me." So why hasn’t she directed as much as she might have?
Film is comprised of two elements; image and sound. For generations, filmmakers from all walks of life have utilized these two elements to create tapestries for audiences to get immersed in. But only a select few directors in film history have utilized these elements in tandem. There was Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, and now there’s Lynne Ramsay.
“Thursday Till Sunday” (De jueves a domingo) (2012) by Chilean director Dominga Sotomayor Castillo plays with perspective and camera work to create an immersive yet sensitive coming of age drama. "Thursday Till Sunday" won the Tiger Award at Rotterdam Film Festival, and the award for best cinematography at Toronto International Film Festival. 10-year old Lucia (Santi Ahumada) and her family embark on a four day holiday with both Lucia and her younger brother Manuel (Emiliano Freifel) riding in the back seat of the car. Across the four days a happy family break slowly turns into a childhood-defining realisation that her parents may be splitting up.
The sub-genre of “rape-revenge” movies has often proved to be an uncomfortable viewing experience. A staple of Grindhouse and horror, it has the potential to present the empowerment of a victim over her (and it always is a her) attackers. Yet all too often such films explicitly linger on the cruelty and assault, throwing in nudity which seems designed to titillate rather than bring sympathy and aimed to appeal towards the desires of a male audience. With Coralie Fargeats “Revenge” (2018) a balance is addressed, which reclaims the tropes of the genre to offer a bloody and gory empowering female perspective.
This upcoming Wednesday, (2nd October), is when this year's LFF (London Film Festival) will be starting. Yours truly will be attending for a few days and doing her best to cram as many films as possible. This year's festival is quite remarkable in the fact that 60% of films which have been selected for the competition have been directed or co-directed by a female. This is a great achievement for female representation in the industry, especially when we recall how this year's Venice Film Festival only two films in competition were from a female filmmaker.
From sports to comic books, fandom has become a pivotal part of pop culture and for some people it’s an integral part of their daily lives. However, no fandom has transcended through generations more rapidly and with greater force than that of Boy Band fandom. Since The Beatles hit the music scene back in the 60s, fangirls have come from near and far to simply just be in presence of their favorite boy bands and have gone so far as to make them a part of their who they are as a person. Normally, most girls are told that this is a phase in their lives and that when they’re older they’ll look back and think that they were just immature – but is this really true. Well, this is what Australian filmmaker Jessica Leski uncovers in her new documentary “I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story,” and the result is a very engrossing film that expertly covers the positive and negative effects boy band fandom can have and the roles they’ve played in women’s lives for generations.