Overlooked Classics: Wisconsin Death Trip

James Marsh’s masterful Wisconsin Death Trip is not like most documentaries. Based on the 1973 book of monochrome photographs by Michael Lesy, it focuses on a decade of bizarre events in and around Black River Falls, Wisconsin in the late 19th century. There’s suicide ; teenage elopement, religious lunacy, errant eccentric opera singers, window smashing,Continue reading “Overlooked Classics: Wisconsin Death Trip”

Pink Flamingos at 50

Nothing- now or ever- arguably, will be as outrageous as John Waters’ Pink Flamingos. Celebrating its half century, this film from Waters and his team of miscreants, AKA the Dreamlanders, tackles every taboo you care to mention. Ostensibly a mockumentary gone rogue, the deranged masterpiece still holds up with its questionable mores centring around theContinue reading “Pink Flamingos at 50”

Overlooked Classics: Behind The Candelabra

Wladziu Valentino Liberace, known as Lee to friends , was simply one name only- Liberace: the consumate showman, charming comic, and world- renowned pianist, dripping in furs and diamonds. He was also a narcissist. Steven Soderbergh directs Michael Douglas in the lead role, with Matt Damon (“MATT… DAAAMON!”) supporting as Scotty Thorson. It’s a brilliantContinue reading “Overlooked Classics: Behind The Candelabra”

Overlooked Classics: Le Boucher (1970)

Written and directed by French thriller auteur Claude Chabrol, Le Boucher is in many ways, something of a curio. Is it accurate to define it as a thriller when the murderer is no mystery to the viewer? After all, the film’s main focus is that of the two leads who dominate most of the screenContinue reading “Overlooked Classics: Le Boucher (1970)”

How John Waters Was Prescient

John Waters was completely ahead of his time. To so many people, he’s still the epitome of transgressive cinema, trashy and shocking for shock’s sake, but this is a reductive way of regarding his work.He was utterly prescient, a kind of prophet, if you like. Take 1970’s Female Trouble. Dawn Davenport, magnificently portrayed by DivineContinue reading “How John Waters Was Prescient”

Disney’s Dream Debased: The Florida Project

Sean Baker’s brilliant film The Florida Project, released in 2018, focuses on the flip- side of Walt Disney – the “hidden homeless” subsisting on the other side of Disneyworld in Florida- families living in slum motels. The law states that these families, who are struggling to survive, aren’t allowed to take up residency, so canContinue reading “Disney’s Dream Debased: The Florida Project”

Disney’s Dream Debased: Alice

Few film makers are as incredible as the mighty Czech surrealist Jan Svankmajer. Like so many people of my generation, I was first aware of him in the early 90s, when Channel 4 screened his singular adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, abbreviated to simply Alice Alice, created in 1988, was a revelation. Beautiful, disturbingContinue reading “Disney’s Dream Debased: Alice”

My First All Emoji Review: Dig! (2004)

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The Anti- Amelie: He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

This classic French film is the antithesis of trite rom-coms. Amelie it ain’t. Angelique (Audrey Tautou) is a fine arts student in love with Loic (Samuel Le Bihan) a much older cardiologist. Angelique is absolutely smitten, and desperately wants him to leave his pregnant wife. She’s an intially charming young woman, popular and well- liked,Continue reading “The Anti- Amelie: He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not”

Bjork: MTV Unplugged/ MTV Live

Bjork Unplugged? Sounds like an oxymoron, and kinda is. This film compilation of MTV appearances, released in 2002, is one for completists only. Capturing the divine Ms Gudmunsdottir in 1994 at the height of her Debut success, both the performance and sound are too subdued to really impact. She tentatively prowls around the stage inContinue reading “Bjork: MTV Unplugged/ MTV Live”