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)

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

Fear of Flowers: Under the Blossoming Cherry Tree (1975)

“Without people, a forest of cherries in full bloom is not pretty, just something to be afraid of.” - Ango Sakaguchi Although typically described as a horror film, Under the Blossoming Cherry Trees (1975) defies simple categorization. This grisly adult fairy tale, currently streaming on FilmStruck, is a strange amalgam of traditional Japanese theater, folktales, ghost stories, social … Continue reading Fear of Flowers: Under the Blossoming Cherry Tree (1975)

THE LIVING AND THE DEAD: L’ECLISSE (1962)

While recently rewatching Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Eclisse (aka The Eclipse, 1962) I received the sad news that George Romero had died. The celebrated Italian art-house auteur and the American director behind the hugely popular Living Dead franchise aren’t typically associated with one another but I suspect that Antonioni’s work may have inspired Romero early in his career. In The Cinema of George … Continue reading THE LIVING AND THE DEAD: L’ECLISSE (1962)

The Children Are Watching: Ruminations on The Pumpkin Eater (1964)

The term ‘auteur’ is rarely associated with Jack Clayton. When critics and film scholars refer to the British director by name they usually describe him as being a “talented craftsman” or “skilled technician.” Credit for the extraordinary look and feel of Clayton’s best films is typically attributed to the skilled cinematographers (Freddie Francis, Oswald Morris, … Continue reading The Children Are Watching: Ruminations on The Pumpkin Eater (1964)

REIMAGINING A CLASSIC: WERNER HERZOG’S NOSFERATU

We live in the age of remakes and prequels. Every month Hollywood rolls out an easily recognizable title that’s been repackaged and recast with a plot that’s all too familiar. The horror and science fiction genre has been hit the hardest by these reimagined movies that all too often fall extremely short of the original … Continue reading REIMAGINING A CLASSIC: WERNER HERZOG’S NOSFERATU

DEVIL’S ADVOCATE: ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968)

Rosemary’s Baby (1968), which is streaming on The Criterion Channel at FilmStruck throughout the month of March (2017), is rightly hailed as one of the best American horror films of the 1960s. It begins and ends with a mother’s lullaby but the unsettling story of Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse is anything but soothing. Mia Farrow and John … Continue reading DEVIL’S ADVOCATE: ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968)

RECONSTRUCTING FRANKENSTEIN: SPARK OF BEING (2010)

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which was originally published in 1818. Shelley was just 19 years old when she first conceived of this classic piece of Gothic fiction, and since the book’s release it has been adapted for the large and small screen many times. One of the most unusual … Continue reading RECONSTRUCTING FRANKENSTEIN: SPARK OF BEING (2010)

Reasessing the Critical Response to PEEPING TOM (1960)

When you mention PEEPING TOM (’60) to classic film fans the response is typically “That’s the movie that ended Michael Powell’s career!” and a quick Google search will unearth countless critics and film historians repeating a similar refrain. While it is true that PEEPING TOM received a brutal lashing from the British critical establishment that … Continue reading Reasessing the Critical Response to PEEPING TOM (1960)