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Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

The Act of Seeing

I’m chuffed, to say the least, that Screen Education has chosen my piece, The Act of Seeing: Cinema, Ethics and Responsibility, as one of the feature articles on their website for edition No. 91 of the magazine.

This was a mind-twister of an article and, given the breadth of subject matter, I enlisted a number of expert interviewees to put forward their opinions. Huge thanks to Matthew Beard, Steve Thomas, Stuart Richards and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas for lending their voices to this ongoing debate. Their contributions have helped make this particular article a work of which I can be very proud.

‘The Act of Seeing’ also functions as a partner piece to my previous article, ‘To Watch or Not to Watch, That is the Question’, examining similar ethical considerations on watching cinema but from a different angle, which you can read online at Diabolique.

I urge you to subscribe to Screen or purchase a copy so you can share in the many other insightful film articles this edition has to offer.

From the Drain (David Cronenberg, 1967)

This piece was written at the beginning of 2017 but, inexplicably, I failed to post it to my website. Me bad.

But I’m proud to say this is, likely, one of the most substantial/lengthy articles written about David Cronenberg’s second short film, From the Drain, to appear online at the very least. I am willing to be proven wrong and would, in fact, be very interested in reading someone else’s take on this surreal mind-fuck.

Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, one of the editors at Senses of Cinema, asked me to undertake this challenge as part of the journal’s tribute section of the March 2017. Titled ‘Love Letters: 1967’, this section included articles about filmmakers who would later become big players on the cinematic landscape but were only just emerging in short form in that particular year.

The likes of David Lynch, Seijun Suzuki, Joseph Losey and Norman Jewison also had ‘love letters’ written to them by a variety of talented folk. It’s well worth perusing them all. But, first, help me make sense of David Cronenberg’s enigmatic mind.

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Hagsploitation Film Festival

Some people may call this sub-genre of films ‘psycho-biddy’, others may call it ‘Grande Dame Guignol’ but, however you want to say it, ‘Hagsploitation’ is not a dirty word.

I’m extremely proud to be presenting as part of the Cinemaniacs’ Hagsploitation Film Festival, in what we believe to be the first ever celebration of hagsploitation in the world.

On Friday 12th to Saturday 13th January 2018, a cluster of superb films that shines the spotlight on some of history’s most legendary leading ladies, bigger than the films themselves, will be screened at Backlot Studios in Southbank, Melbourne.

I am privileged to be speaking about Joan Crawford in William Castle’s under-rated Strait-Jacket (1964), although I’ll also be joining Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Sally Christie to provide sweeping adoration for The Women of Hagsploitation in a panel discussion.

Browse the program and book tickets now.

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RAW DVD with exclusive Blu-ray extras

Julia Ducournau’s sensational coming-of-age directorial debut, RAW, is now available on DVD from Monster Pictures.

Included on the Blu-ray release are a number of exclusive extras, including my audio commentary with Julia and our in-discussion featurette, Raw À Votre Goût.

Other extras include Quick Bites with my much-loved radio cohort, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas; Australian premiere discussion with Kier-La Janisse; and a whole lot of other delicious features.

All biases aside, this is one of my DVD releases of the year…

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A Bicentenary with Bite: Revisiting Dark Age

Having transformed my living room into a set for the special Umbrella Entertainment blu-ray release of Long Weekend, the unstoppable Lee Gambin got the band back together to do it all again.

This time, in a discussion titled ‘A Bicentenary with Bite: Revisiting Dark Age’, Lee Gambin, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Sally Christie and I turn our loving gaze to the Australian horror delight Dark Age (1987) – directed by Arch Nicholson, starring John Jarrat, David Gulpilil, Burnam Burnam and Nikki Coghill.

Dark Age nearly disappeared into the annals of lost cinema so, luckily, Umbrella Entertainment is continuing their loving work and giving this film the blu-ray special edition treatment that it deserves.

You can buy it and make it yours by clicking below…

(And immense thanks goes to Ben Gurvich for the camerawork and Justine Ryan for her able tech assistance).

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MIFF Talks – Triple R Outside Broadcast

This Monday 7th August at 7pm, our radio show Plato’s Cave will be transported from the Triple R studio to one of my favourite Melbourne spaces, Forum Theatre (or MIFF Festival Lounge), where we’ll be broadcasting live in front of a film-hungry audience on flicks at the 2017 Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).

Since Thomas Caldwell will be assuming his own MIFF duties, joining the all-star (?) lineup of Cerise, Alex and I will be original Plato’s Caver, Tara Judah, flying all the way from the United Kingdom for the privilege. She’s a good egg.

We are not the only ones from Triple R broadcasting from the MIFF Festival Lounge. Things will be kicking off at 4pm with Fee-B-Squared and Maps going live-to-air with a number of guests, including the legendary Steve Kilbey from The Church.

Come along, nab a booth and a beverage, and hear some good radio, including us PC gals gabbing on like a foursome of witches drinking cups of tea (thanks to Alex for the featured image). Admission is free.

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Long Weekend blu-ray extras

Umbrella Entertainment put a lot of love into this blu-ray release of an almost forgotten Australian classic, Long Weekend. Sally Christie, Lee Gambin, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, videoographer Ben Gurvich and I tried to match this love with our panel discussion in the extras.

I hope you like it as much as we do…

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Cinemaniacs’ presentation of The Fly

In September 2015, Lee Gambin and the wonderful team at Cinemaniacs in Melbourne, Australia, asked me if I would be interested in introducing their screening of David Cronenberg’s The Fly (1986)Continue reading “Cinemaniacs’ presentation of The Fly”

To Just Survive as the Final Girl is Not Victory

Reflecting on Women in Horror Month, Kate Robertson speaks with me and fellow Plato’s Cave critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas  for 4:3 film journal about the gender politics of Dario Argento, found footage cinema, the ‘Final Girl’ and many other exciting things.

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