• From Today Until Tomorrow

    From Today Until Tomorrow

    ★★★★★

    12th Straub/Huillet (after The Bridegroom, the Comedienne and The Pimp, The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach, Too Early/Too Late, Macholka-Muff, Not Reconciled, Othon, History Lessons, Moses und Aaron, Fortini/Cani, Class Relations and En Rachâchant)

    Straub and Huillet seem to have a way of communicating music that I find just dazzling. As Daniel Fairfax notes in his Senses of Cinema article, they have a focus on the materiality of an image and there's something about the way they translate that to…

  • Crimes of the Future

    Crimes of the Future

    ★★★★½

    14th David Cronenberg (after Scanners, Dead Ringers, The Dead Zone, The Fly, Videodrome, Fast Company, Shivers, The Brood, Crimes of the Future, Stereo, Secret Weapons, Naked Lunch and Crash)

    One of the most lucid and thoughtful explorations of pain and its power for growth that I've ever seen. Crimes '22 feels closest in its intellectual architecture to Cronenberg's early experimental works, especially Stereo and the film that shares its name with this. All three are interested in Anthropocene evolution; that…

  • Cold Fever

    Cold Fever

    ★★★½

    1st Friðrik Þór Friðriksson

    Seijun Suzuki is only in one scene of this and yet the way he looks at Hirata, I would absolutely go on a cross-country quest to fulfil a familial goal. He’s so severe looking that I would tremble in my salaryman shoes.

    One of those very droll, deadpan comedies that became popular in the 90s, this time located in the wild tundra of Iceland as a Japanese man makes his way through a snowy Northern landscape…

  • Rain Town

    Rain Town

    ★★★½

    1st Hiroyasu Ishida

    After the stress that yesterday bought, I needed something incredibly light and gentle. Truth be told, I have feeling something of a damp, drizzly November in my soul for a while, and one of the few respites to this, on reflection, was the occasional bouts of rain that we English have been experiencing. My friend Freya wrote on here that she returned to the gentle peace of this film over and over, and so on finding it…

  • Crowhaven Farm

    Crowhaven Farm

    ★★★

    1st Walter Grauman

    A perfectly acceptable piece of made for TV horror that was made far more disturbing by the fact that I was hearing about the SCOTUS ruling at the time of watching. This is a film about a woman whose desire to have a child is constantly fraught by the designs of a joyless Puritan cult, so it’s hard not to feel some sort of discomfort when you watch Hope Lange being tried as a witch because apparently…

  • Puparia

    Puparia

    ★★★½

    1st Shingo Tamagawa

    Didn't want something too long this evening, and I've heard very good things about this little slice of independent animation. Certainly, it's an incredibly beautiful film, apparently animated by Tamagawa entirely on his own over the period of three years. His use of line work is delicate but conveys a great deal of movement, while his backgrounds are exceptionally rendered. The narrative itself, however, is perhaps a little overly abstract for a first watch. I did, however,…

  • That Night's Wife

    That Night's Wife

    ★★★★

    17th Yasijurō Ozu (after Late Spring, An Autumn Afternoon, Equinox Flower, Good Morning, Tokyo Story, Early Summer, I Was Born But..., Tokyo Twilight, Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family, I Graduated But..., Floating Weeds, Late Autumn, A Straightforward Boy, Record of a Tenement Gentleman, The Munekata Sisters and The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice)

    Ozu doing gangster films works surprisingly well! Though he chose to erase tracking shots and panning movements in the later films, That's Night Wife demonstrates…

  • Woman Is the Future of Man

    Woman Is the Future of Man

    ★★★★

    10th Hong Sang Soo (after Nobody's Daughter Haewon; Right Now, Wrong Then; Yourself and Yours, Claire's Camera, The Day After, On the Beach At Night Alone, Grass, The Day He Arrives and Hill of Freedom)

    CW- Rape

    Not much more I can add to what's been written about this on Letterboxd already, so I'll simply add a few notes. This is without doubt both the bleakest and the most obvious Hong film I've seen so far, but that's not a…

  • Murrain

    Murrain

    ★★★½

    1st John Cooper

    More Nigel Kneale for me, as he once again channels the 70s fascination with rural superstition into this tale of a small village in potential thrall to an elderly recluse who may or may not be a witch. At just under an hour, Kneale offers no easy solutions to that subject, but one wonders if that isn't the point; it seems to be more about how isolation and desperation can set people at each other's throats. The…

  • Door Into Darkness: Eyewitness

    Door Into Darkness: Eyewitness

    ★★★

    Twenty-Fifth Dario Argento (after Suspiria, Tenebrae, Deep Red, The Bird with a Crystal Plumage, Phenomena, Inferno, Two Evil Eyes, The Stendhal Syndrome, Sleepless, Trauma, Four Flies on Grey Velvet, The Cat O'Nine Tails The Card Player, Opera, Phantom of the Opera, The Mother of Tears, 'The Tram' from Door into Darkness, 'Jenifer' from Masters of Horror, 'Pelts' from Masters of Horror, Trussardi Action X Dario Argento, Fiat Chroma advert, The Five Days of Milan, Do You Like Hitchcock? and Dracula…

  • Mad God

    Mad God

    1st Phil Tippett

    Phil Tippett carried this with him for more than thirty years. The year before it was finished, he went into a hospital because of a mental breakdown brought on by this film. While I think it is dangerous to romanticise mental illness and perpetuate the stigma of the tortured artist, I can entirely understand why this film would have provoked such a response. To be stuck with the images I saw for but an hour of my…

  • Cowards Bend the Knee

    Cowards Bend the Knee

    ★★★★½

    8th Guy Maddin (after My Winnipeg, Heart of the World, The Saddest Music in the World, Careful, Bring Me The Head of Tim Horton, Twilight of the Ice Nymphs and Stump the Guesser)

    More delirious insanity from my second favourite Canadian director (sorry Guy, but David will always be first in my heart) finds him bouncing back from the creative strictures of Twilight of the Ice Nymphs by shooting entirely on 8mm, handheld, deploying relentless cutting to depict his own…