space, suburbia and architecture: constructing tension in film

“There is a distinct difference between "suspense" and "surprise," and yet many pictures continually confuse the two. I'll explain what I mean. We are now having a very innocent little chat. Let's suppose that there is a bomb underneath this table between us. Nothing happens, and then all of a sudden, "Boom!" There is an…

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eighteen years on: behind the scenes of almost famous (2000)

18 years on and Cameron Crowe's coming-of-age drama/comedy Almost Famous (2000) still deserves celebration (here, in the form of behind the scenes pictures, as shared by Crowe himself on twitter). Although these photos originally surfaced in 2015, they are still striking for their refusal to extract the viewer out of the universe of the film…

‘a nightmare fairytale etched in neon colour’: suspiria (1977) and its alternative film posters

  An innocent American ballet dancer's excitement at being accepted to a prestigious Berlin dance school turns to terror when she discovers that the institution is a cover for a murderous coven of witches. A nightmare fairytale etched in neon colour, Dario Argento’s witchy shocker Suspiria remains the most famous of all Italian horror movies.…

notes on maniac (2018)

[spoilers] retrofuturism and mental illness Cary Fukunaga's Maniac (2018) is a visual journey that takes us along multiple planes of expedition. Leading separate lives in the same retro-futuristic universe, Annie Landsberg (Emma Stone) and Owen Milgrim (Jonah Hill) are involved in the latter stages of a pharmaceutical trial for a drug that strives to rid…

saved! (2004): satirising 00s fashion

Saved! (2004) is a criminally underrated translation of high school experience, friendship and faith and the fabric that weaves them all together. Although it is surprisingly unknown, at least in relation to the fame and popularity of some of its lead actors (Jena Malone, Macaulay Culkin, Patrick Fugit), it withholds its status as a cult…

‘high school’ films: a modern renaissance

In his MTV interview at Toronto International Film Festival 2018, Timothée Chalamet speaks to Josh Horowitz about his experiences filming Beautiful Boy (2018) and what it means to be a young actor today. It can be seen here. He says, "What was amazing last year was that I felt like audiences are yearning, thirsty for films…

john berger and susan sontag on story-telling

In their 1983 Talk to Me (which can be seen here), artist and art critic John Berger and writer, philosopher, essayist and filmmaker Susan Sontag deliberate each other's, and articulate their own, versions and definitions of the art of story-telling. Sontag claims that at the 'very centre of the whole enterprise of story-telling there is the…