Category Archives: New Releases

Cat People DVD release

Here, Puss Puss Puss…

Matthew Carter squares up to ailurophobia

When RKO Radio Pictures were feeling the pinch from the excesses of Citizen Kane, a directive for a meat and potatoes B-movie landed on Val Lewton’s lap. Jacques Tourneur stepped up as director and DeWitt Bodeen produced the screenplay. Using sets from Orson Welles’s The Magnificent Ambersons, Tourneur and Lewton created an entirely new genre: noir-horror-sex-thriller. Continue reading Here, Puss Puss Puss…

Dare to be Wild still of Cork coast

Dare to Be Wild

The problem with a film based on a real story is that you always know how it is going to end.

Mary Reynolds (Emma Greenwell) wants to enter the Chelsea Flower Show with her wild Celtic garden and win the gold medal. To do this she needs the help of reluctant botanist  Christy Collard (Tom Hughes), £250,000 in sponsorship, and to convince the show to accept her entry. Continue reading Dare to Be Wild

The Samurai Trilogy

Spank The Monkey looks at Criterion’s new release of a neglected landmark in Japanese cinema.

samurai-trilogy

Musashi Miyamoto is the Samurai. No, scratch that: Musashi Miyamoto is the Samurai. For generations of Japanese, this 17th century wandering swordsman has been the ideal representation of the country’s warrior class. A painter, an author, and a swordsman who won over sixty duels: if he didn’t already exist, someone would have had to invent him. And even though he did exist, people have been inventing him anyway: for centuries Japanese culture has repeatedly taken the bare bones of his story and manufactured new myths out of it. Continue reading The Samurai Trilogy

Departure

Sarah Slade looks at a beautiful retread of an old theme.

 

Alex Lawther and Juliet Stevenson in DepartureThere isn’t much that is new about Departure. An English family rattle around their French holiday home, replete with colour-washed walls, Le Creuset everything and a lovely collection of china. An enigmatic stranger appears and there is a sexual awakening. Everybody goes home, wiser, sadder and ready to face the future. It’s a theme that has been explored in many ways, by many film makers over many years. You could even say that middle-class angst in Aude is quite a safe topic for first-time director Andrew Steggall, but that would detract from what is a rather beautiful, sensitively acted film. Continue reading Departure