Geneviève Bujold is ISABEL (1968)

Paul Almond’s ISABEL (1968) begins with a train journey across a snow-covered landscape. We watch as the film’s star, Geneviève Bujold, sits awkwardly in her seat and squirms uncomfortably in front of the camera’s unrelenting eye. She is biding her time by shuffling through a small stack of books and papers in an effort to fend off … Continue reading Geneviève Bujold is ISABEL (1968)

TOSHIRO MIFUNE, JAPAN’S JOHN WAYNE

During Toshiro Mifune’s impressive career in front of the camera he was often referred to as the “John Wayne of Japan.” Like Wayne, Mifune was a powerful and commanding screen presence and one of his country’s biggest box-office stars. His rugged good looks and macho posturing seemed to represent a distinct kind of masculine ideal … Continue reading TOSHIRO MIFUNE, JAPAN’S JOHN WAYNE

NIPPON NOIR: SNOW TRAIL (1947)

Senkichi Taniguchi’s Snow Trail aka Ginrei no hate (1947) begins with a bang. A montage of shadowy figures and fragmented images bombards viewers during the film’s opening credits while guns fire, alarms ring, windows break, trains whistle and sirens scream. We soon discover that three desperate men (Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura and Yoshio Kosugi) have just robbed … Continue reading NIPPON NOIR: SNOW TRAIL (1947)

MIFUNE: THE LAST SAMURAI (2015)

A quick search of Filmstruck brought up an impressive 24 films featuring the late great Toshirô Mifune including Drunken Angel (1948), Stray Dog (1949), Rashomon (1950), Seven Samurai (1954), Throne of Blood (1957), The Bad Sleep Well (1960), Yojimbo (1961), Red Beard (1965) and Samurai Rebellion(1967). Mifune was a giant in the world of Japanese cinema and although I’ve written a little bit about his background in the past in pieces such as Toshiro Mifune, Japan’s … Continue reading MIFUNE: THE LAST SAMURAI (2015)

CREATIVE COLLABORATION: JANE B. PAR AGNÈS V. (1988)

When Jane Birkin (Blow-Up [1966], Wonderwall [1968], La Piscine [1968], Don Juan (or If Don Juan Were a Woman) [1973], Je t’aime moi non plus [1976], Death on the Nile [1978], La Belle Noiseuse [1991])) was getting ready to celebrate her 40th birthday in 1986 she confessed to filmmaker Agnès Varda, that she had reservations about growing older. Varda, who was almost 60-years-old at the time, told Birkin … Continue reading CREATIVE COLLABORATION: JANE B. PAR AGNÈS V. (1988)

HOLLYWOOD’S FIRST WOMAN OF PHOTOGRAPHY: RUTH HARRIET LOUISE

You might not be familiar with her name but you’re probably familiar with her work. Ruth Harriet Louise’s glamorous photos of classic movie stars have graced countless magazines and book covers. Her photos helped launch the careers of many beloved actors and they offered fans an intimate look at some of Hollywood’s most celebrated icons. … Continue reading HOLLYWOOD’S FIRST WOMAN OF PHOTOGRAPHY: RUTH HARRIET LOUISE

COURAGE CONQUERS DEATH IN CHRISTOPHER STRONG

I can still recall the first time that I saw Dorothy Arzner’s Christopher Strong (1933). I was just a teenager flipping channels one lazy afternoon and suddenly the opening credits appeared on my television. I noticed Colin Clive’s name so I paused. I was familiar with the actor thanks to his role as Doctor Frankenstein and I … Continue reading COURAGE CONQUERS DEATH IN CHRISTOPHER STRONG

IN SPACE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM

For decades screaming was often the weapon of choice for women in action, science fiction, and horror films. We were expected to shriek, shout, yelp, whimper, squeal and squawk in the face of serious danger and (hopefully) a man would eventually come to our aide. So you can imagine how frightened I was when I … Continue reading IN SPACE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM

Folk Horror & Filmmaking: An Interview with Sean Garland

I recently got the opportunity to ask director Sean Garland (BANSHEE BLACKTOP, AN IRISH GHOST STORY [2016] and NOKOTAHEART [2011]) a few questions about his filmmaking career. He also generously shares some Halloween streaming recommendations for FilmStruck subscribers that should appeal to discerning horror enthusiasts. FILMSTRUCK (KIMBERLY LINDBERGS): Could you tell readers a little bit about … Continue reading Folk Horror & Filmmaking: An Interview with Sean Garland

Six Irish Tales of Terror & Imagination

Many of my favorite horror and fantasy books are short story collections or compact novelettes. Some excellent examples of this include Irish author Sheridan Le Fanu’s In a Glass Darkly, which contains his chilling vampire tale Carmilla among other fright-filled stories, or Oscar Wilde’s classic The Picture of Dorian Gray that runs a mere 175 pages (give or take a … Continue reading Six Irish Tales of Terror & Imagination

Orson Welles’s Irish Ghost Story

I love a good ghost story and some of the best ones ever written have come from the hearts and minds of Irish authors but very few of them have been adapted for the screen. Horror movies set in Ireland that feature an Irish cast are a rare commodity, which makes RETURN TO GLENNASCAUL (1953) all the … Continue reading Orson Welles’s Irish Ghost Story