Tag: featured

“The world just as it is” | Agora (2009)

A woman looks to the skies in search of order. A student is torn between an infatuation with his teacher and his political ambitions. A slave struggles to admit his religious faith. These three interrelated lives form the core of Agora, a 2009 historical drama by Chilean writer/director Alejandro Amenábar. At the time of its ...

“Ripples in the water” | Alien³ (1992)

According to the diary of actor Ralph Brown, who played the role of Aaron in the film Alien³, there was a message carved into a wall at London’s Pinewood studios. It purported to list the six stages of film production, as follows: Wild enthusiasm Disillusionment Panic Search for the Guilty Punish the Innocent Reward the ...

“The past is a wilderness of horrors” | The Wolfman (2010)

‘I’m a big fan of horror movies as far back as I can remember,’ said actor Benicio Del Toro. ‘The Universal horror movies were the first films I knew the titles of [as well as] the names of the actors in those films.’[1] All the way back in 1931 Universal Pictures stumbled upon a commercial ...

“I am the saint of blasphemy” | The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

In 1988 the Martin Scorsese Biblical drama The Last Temptation of Christ was released by Universal Pictures under a storm of protest. There were calls for the film to be banned, and that any cinema in America that dared screen the film be boycotted. Controversy around religious features was, of course, nothing new. In 1979 ...

“All that cold blackness” | The Abyss (1989)

A United States submarine runs aground near the Cayman Trough, following an encounter with an unidentified object. With both Soviet submarines and a violent hurricane fast approaching, the crew of a deep-sea drilling platform are co-opted to assist a naval mission to secure the submarine. When the hurricane hits, and contact is lost with the ...

“We’ll go for a jolly ride!” | The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad (1949)

A wealthy but impulsive toad squanders his estate purchasing the latest in high-speed recreational vehicles. A cowardly school teacher is pursued through the night by a terrifying spectre. Two highly disparate stories, both based on classic works of literature, and both put together into one single animated feature film. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr ...

“As a species we’re fundamentally insane.” | The Mist (2007)

An eerie mist descends upon a quiet Maine town. Before long it is discovered that the mist is populated with nightmarish monsters, trapping a group of townspeople inside their local supermarket. Once trapped inside, however, it turns out that the biggest threat to their survival may not be the creatures in the mist at all ...

“You’re so cool, Kung Fu” | House (1977)

As with all national cinema industries, Japan has seen a variety of highs and lows. If the 1950s and the 1960s were the golden age of Japanese cinema, then the decade that followed is probably best considered the industry’s ‘dark age’. The 1970s witnessed a staggering contraction in the Japanese film industry: audiences dwindled away, ...

“Filigree, apogee, pedigree, perigee!” | Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

It is the year 1940. An apprentice witch-in-training attempts to master a spell that will enable her to animate soldiers’ uniforms and send an unstoppable magical army into Nazi Germany. Her quest to discover the correct words for the spell take her from rural England to London and back, with a side-trip to an animated ...