Sunday, 27 October 2013

Women in Horror Calendar

I admit was a little dubious when I saw the title "Women in Horror Calendar 2014". Singling out "women in horror" (i.e. defining contribution to a genre based on gender) is a problematic move at best. At worst, it sounds like the calendar could be more than a little exploitative.
However, this is not a project revolving around sleazy images of scream queens. Rather, the calendar has been made in support of Rape Crisis and SOPHIE. Check it out here:

https://www.facebook.com/WomenInHorrorCalendarUK

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

University of Sunderland: Cineclub Extreme event

Scholars based in North-East england might be interested in thsi event at Sunderland Uni

Welcome to Cineclub Extreme
As Jones notes “extreme” is often ‘utilised to establish where the threshold of acceptability lies…The practice of labelling an image “extreme” is […] a process of demarcating which images or acts violate current standards.’ This rhetorical device frequently frames often marginal and challenging cinema and for a variety of different reasons. In over one hundred years of cinema, the screen has reflected the very best and the very worst of human nature. From The Birth of a Nation (1915) to It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) we have rejoiced and been repulsed in equal measure with celluloid never losing its power to move or challenge the viewer.
The line that demarcates a violation of those standards and impinges on the boundaries of the acceptable is fluid. What is perceived as problematic or challenging can vary considerably from decade to decade and from country to country. Cineclub Extreme aims to provide a forum to discuss a wide variety of cinema, both historic and contemporary,  that has been deemed difficult or challenging for a variety of different reasons, examining shifts in attitude and reasons behind the demarcation and deployment of the term “extreme.”
While content may occasionally be contentious, it is not the aim of Cineclub Extreme to be deliberately provocative, and the intention is not to push the boundaries of acceptability or to deliberately offend. We aim to use the forum to critically analyse the films, and the social and political landscape that positioned them as challenging. However, because of the nature of the club, screening often difficult, frequently challenging and the most extreme that cinema has to offer, there is the possibility of offence. Please consider this should you choose to attend.

Any suggestions for future screenings, please contact Mark McKenna- info@seventhtower.co.uk

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

15 Second Review: Compliance (2012)

Not knowing anything about Compliance prior to placing it in my DVD player, I ignored the slogan 'inspired by true events' when it appeared onscreen. Having seen dozens of "based on true events" torture porn films, I expect such claims to be liberal at best. When a further caption mentioned the Milgram experiments, I presumed that the fast-food setting restaurant was a  way of narrativising Milgram's proposals. 15 minutes in, I was ready to turn the film off. The events are completely ludicrous. Having experienced prank calls in the workplace and cut them off virtually immediately, my partner was especially incredulous about the characters' actions. At around 20 minutes, I began reading about the film. As far as I can ascertain, the most ridiculous aspects of the narrative actually occurred. From that point onwards I watched the plot unfold, mouth agape at how  - Milgram or not - these events could have possibly occurred. Compliance is a terrifying reminder that the worst horrors imaginable are not just rooted in willingness to inflict cruelty, but in human fallibility and the failure to protect others from suffering and exploitation.         

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

15 Second Review: The Heat (2013)


Is there room for yet another cop buddy movie in the marketplace? Does anyone want another Sandra Bullock cop flick when we already have Miss Congeniality AND Miss Congeniality 2? The answer to both of these questions is (of course) "hell yes". Obviously not even Sandra Bullock needs a Sandra Bullock cop buddy movie, but surely anyone with any sense wants one: in my book, it is like asking whether I need another donut. Much like a donut, The Heat is not exactly surprising, but it is sweet and does not disappoint. McCarthy and Bullock have great chemistry: they fit together like sugared dough and jam (that's right, I'm going to milk this donut analogy to the bitter end - I'm not ashamed). Aside from one unnecessarily nasty line about a clam knife, the script is light, fluffy fun and has a gooey centre. I'd better stop now: the phrase "taken into custardy" just crossed my mind.