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Frame Of Mind
Gothic horror is usually thought of as a period subgenre, with lavish costumes and grand sets. Gothic horror movies are also generally considered to be older classics, like Nosferatu or Frankenstein. Even modern gothic horror movies are either set in past centuries, like Crimson Peak or The Woman in Black, or deal with the making of those older classics, such as Shadow of the Vampire or the appropriately entitled Gothic. But every once in a while, there comes a modern gothic horror movie set in its actual time. Flowers in the Attic fits into this mold.
In the rapidly declining world of print journalism, newspapers are known for their different sections. There’s the news and politics section, the funny papers, the sports page…and the obituary column. Obit takes a good look at the surprisingly lively writers who are responsible for producing the content for that last section.
Cinema Fearité Presents ‘Rollerball’ – A Slightly Futuristic Dystopian Movie From The Seventies That Could Have Been Made Today
Science fiction is a nebulous thing. It can be heavily futuristic, or it can take place “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” Or sometimes, it can take place just barely in the future, giving the audience a glimpse of almost an alternate timeline of history. It is one of these worlds in which 1975’s Rollerball takes place.
Documentaries about subcultures are usually fun because they give the viewer a glimpse into a world that they might otherwise have never even known existed. The new film from Jon Manning, Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter Tribe does just that, and does it in a way that is both informative and entertaining.
Cinema Fearité Presents ‘Shadow Of The Vampire’ – The ‘Real’ Story Of The Making Of A Horror Classic
In the years after the writer’s passing, Bram Stoker’s estate was very protective of his intellectual property. So, in 1922, when German expressionist filmmaker F.W. Murnau was denied the rights to do an adaptation of Dracula, he did one anyway – but he had to change the name of his lead character from Count Dracula to Count Orlok, and had to refer to the count as a Nosferatu instead of a Vampire. And the silent classic Nosferatu: A Symphony of Terror was born. More than seventy-five years later, in the year 2000, music video director E. Elias Merhige (who, appropriately enough, worked with Marilyn Manson, among others) made a movie about the making of Nosferatu called Shadow of the Vampire.
It’s that time of year again! For what it’s worth, here are my ten favorite movies of the year. As always, these are my favorites, and the results of the other writers at FilmFracture may vary.
Cinema Fearité Presents ‘Night School’ – Semi-Hilarious Proto-Slasher From The Director Of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’
Most horror movies are meant to be terrifying. Some, like Student Bodies or Saturday the 14th, are comedies first, going for laughs before scares. And then there are those movies which were made seriously, but wind up packed with unintentional laughs in addition to the thrills and chills. Night School is one of these films.
American rock and roll music is seen as a smorgasbord of musical influences, borrowing liberally from both European and African sources. But the influence of the Native American culture on rock music has rarely been acknowledged. Documentarian Catherine Bainbridge (who also explored Native Americans in Hollywood movies with Reel Injun) and cinematographer Alfonso Maiorana (who worked with Bainbridge on the TV series “Mohawk Girls”) explore the Indians that have had an impact on rock and roll in their fascinating new movie Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World.
A couple of years ago, Cinema Fearité explored a glorified student film from 1984 by now-music documentary filmmaker Gorman Bechard (Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements, Every Everything: The Music, Life & Times of Grant Hart) called Disconnected. Well, in 1987, Bechard followed up the crazy Disconnected with the equally crazy Psychos in Love.
After getting his start in nonfiction television, documentary filmmaker John Scheinfeld has carved out a nice little niche for himself in the music film world with his The U.S. vs. John Lennon and Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?). Keeping up the momentum, he now explores the life of jazz saxophonist John Coltrane in his newest film, Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary.
In the horror world, there are a handful of movies that are household names, movies that are well known by even those who aren’t fans of the genre. Movies like Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and Night of the Living Dead have transcended the genre and have leapt into the vernacular of everyday cinema. Then, there are films that are just as legendary, but are only revered and worshipped by the insiders, the hardcore horror fans. Suspiria is one of those movies.
Revisiting old technologies can be fun. The analog warmth of vinyl records sounds better than the harsh digital compression of CDs. The feeling of flipping the pages of a good book in your hands beats the hell out of scrolling through that same book on a tablet. And, as any avid movie collector will tell you, VHS tapes often have way cooler artwork than their DVD/Blu-ray counterparts. But no one ever thinks about that other lost form of communication – the typewriter. No one, that is, until music video director-turned-documentarian Doug Nichol made California Typewriter.
Last weekend saw the passing of the influential filmmaker Ulli Lommel. One of the freshest voices of the New German Cinema movement of the sixties and seventies, Lommel collaborated with both Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Tenderness of the Wolves) and Andy Warhol (Blank Generation) throughout his career, but he is best known by horror fans for his 1980 proto-slasher The Boogey Man.
Hampton Lansdon Fancher. You may not recognize the name, but you are no doubt familiar with his work. His biggest claim to fame is that he wrote the first drafts of the script for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, but he also had an extremely prolific career as a b-level character actor. But even behind the scenes, Fancher has led a fascinating life. So fascinating, in fact, that his filmmaker pal Michael Almereyda (Experimenter) made a movie about him. That movie is called Escapes.