Want to know more about John Frankenheimer’s criminally overlooked monolith of paranoia, SECONDS (1966)?
SECONDS by Jez Conolly and Emma Westwood, part of the Constellations series of sci-fi cinema books, is available from your favourite book pusher but you can also buy direct from the publisher, Liverpool University Press.
It may be the best film you’ve never seen. So watch now then digest this tasty monograph.
THE NIGHT PORTER (dir. Liliana Cavani, 1974) is one of those films that is well-known. But for all the wrong reasons, and not for good reason either. This means it’s often languishing at the bottom of ‘to watch’ lists when it should be promoted to the top.
Not only is it a marvel to see Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling at the top of their game here, but it is a extremely touching, rawly human love story – surprisingly so, and uncomfortably so for many, which sadly means a remarkable piece of cinema is simply dismissed as exploitation.
To take on the self-appointed task of defending THE NIGHT PORTER on The Projection Booth with Mike White and Kat Ellinger was challenging and, although I don’t usually listen back to my podcast appearances, this is one where I decided to replay snippets and see if I rose to that challenge. I was pleased by what I heard, and even more pleased to hear Kat’s insights (she is definitely one of the best commentators on classic cinema working today).
So, why not have a listen yourself? With a little bit of luck, we might help you see THE NIGHT PORTER through fresh eyes and ‘get under its skin’.
On Sunday 7th August 2022, I hosted a Q&A with filmmaker Sophie Hyde, actor Daryl McCormack (pictured left) and Emma Thompson (pictured right) following a special advanced screening of GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE at Cinema Nova.
And what an occasion it was! The audience was pumped, the film was feel-good fab, and we were all left floating on air (mainly due to Dame Emma’s enigmatic presence). Here’s photo evidence…
Joining Alex von Hofmann and Kym Logan on their That Reminds Me Of podcast recently was a reunion of sorts, given Kym and I worked together in a former life. So, it’s little wonder that we spent 1.5 hours discussing the ins & outs of the film MEN and other assorted film banter.
I didn’t realise I was going to appear on camera as part of this recording, which gives our chat a decidedly relaxed quality. A blessing, maybe? I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
And as an added ‘bonus’, there’s an extra 30 minutes of me banging on about me, which you can watch right here…
Time got away from me, so consider this post a belated shout-out for Cinema Nova’s Film Club screening of MEN, starring Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear (brilliance x 2!), which saw me join host KoKo for a post-film audience discussion.
This event possibly involved far longer ramblings from me than anticipated, given the film rendered the audience semi-mute but – hey – that’s the sign of a good film, I say.
I will take this as an opportunity to encourage all foolhardy filmgoers to give this one a shot – not for the lily-livered but worth it if you don’t mind a bit of folk-body-horror.
This will be the first time I’ve seen ALL THAT JAZZ on the big screen so it’s likely I’ll be crying with joy (something I do often when I attend good cinema). Come along and cry 😭 (or dance 👯♀️) with me.
To call Second Sight releases ‘breathtaking’ is something of an understatement. Just when I think they’ve outdone themselves, they come up with another. This time, it’s a special 4K UHD & Blu-ray edition of DRIVE (dir. Nicolas Winding Refn, 2011).
I’ve contributed to the booklet of this special edition where I do my best to posit DRIVE as a fairytale. Do you agree with me? I’m willing to consider your arguments once you’ve read the essay.
People often pigeonhole me as a horror commentator but my interests are wide and varied, so it was particularly thrilling for me to step into the shoes of a bass-playing, young Emma to speak for an hour or so about the multi-award-winning documentary on the Harlem Cultural Festival of ’69, SUMMER OF SOUL (2021). The invitation to do so was extended to me by Maurice and Bernie from See Hear Podcast.
What’s possibly more exceptionally notable is that I have appeared on Episode 95 of this podcast, which – yes – is only five episodes shy of 100, and a remarkable milestone in terms of the labour-versus-financial return of these podcast endeavours. Throw them your cash, I say!
Listen to our podcast and watch this wonderful documentary.
According to David Black, I’m an Oz Femme Fatale! Makes me want to wear glittery red shoes, click my heels and say “There’s no place like home”. But I think I’m more the Wicked Witch of the West(wood) than Dorothy
Producer Sam Katzman was a genius when it came to churning out cheap exploitation flicks that returned on their minuscule budgets in spades. He brashly ventured into anything he thought could turn a buck, from 1950s TV serials to films on rock ‘n’ roll and juvenile delinquency.
THE GIANT CLAW sits within his work in the Atomic Age monster movie sub-genre and delivers generously with a ‘plucked turkey’ monster so ridiculous you can’t help but love it. The other films featured in the boxset are THE WEREWOLF, CREATURE WITH THE ATOMIC BRAIN and ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU.
I only hope that Cerise and I managed to do THE GIANT CLAW justice in acknowledging the spirit in which it was made i.e. with tongue-in-cheek fun (or should that be ‘tongue-in-beak’?).
And because I can’t get enough of THE GIANT CLAW, here’s my gift to you…