Visceral Complicity: Teruo Ishii’s Inferno of Torture

By Jeremy Carr. The emphasis on carnage hardly indicates what is truly the film’s more disturbing content, namely its brutal treatment of the women.” Teruo Ishii’s Inferno of Torture is a difficult film to assess. On one hand, it fails to live up to the bold assertions made by Arrow […]

An Uneasy Homecoming: on Alan Ball’s Uncle Frank

By Zoe Kurland. Uncle Frank takes many leaps of faith to peddle a strong message of self-love, yet leaves us with a forced reconciliation, tying a sloppy bow around a very unwieldy, amber-tinged package.” Alan Ball’s latest film, Uncle Frank, opens in the midst of a South Carolina summer. A […]

Nostalgia Falls Flat: Sylas Dall’s They Reach

By Elias Savada. They Reach offers slow build up and small jump scares. Too much music, not enough imagination, although the direction is adequate.” They Reach starts like a low-budget road trip reboot of the sadly departed Supernatural tv series (well, two guys in a station wagon, with a gun […]

In Cinema’s Genes – Comics and Pop Culture: Adaptation from Panel to Frame

American Splendor (Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, 2003) A Book Review by Thomas Puhr. The collection’s 19 contributors deftly sidestep the ‘Are superhero movies cinema?’ debate – which usually leads to pointless semantic hair-splitting – and instead focus on diverse examples (from American Splendor, to Modesty Blaise and Scott Pilgrim) to illustrate the […]

Keeping the Peace: On David Freyne’s Dating Amber

By Zoe Kurland. The film is redeemed by its overall heart, precious bouts of whimsy, and, above all, the care given to moments of quiet when the battle recedes into the background.” The year is 1995, and a group of Irish soldiers (the 57th battalion, to be exact) has just […]

The Ghosts of Guilt: On Bryan Bertino’s The Dark and The Wicked

By Zoe Kurland. A true sense of terror hums through the film, though Bertino gives us many clues but few conclusions….” In an early scene in Bryan Bertino’s The Dark and The Wicked, the Straker siblings, Louise (Marin Ireland) and Michael (Michael Abbot Jr.) sit on the porch of their […]

The People vs. Larry: Battling a Downloadable Demon in Come Play

By Rod Lott. If only it could be less silly…. Is there an app for that?” While the invention of the cellphone has forced filmmakers to get more creative in keeping their characters in peril, few have been able to figure out how to use the mobile device as an […]

Essential for Fans, and Even the Accusers: Apropos of Nothing by Woody Allen

Directing Scarlett Johansson (an Allen defender) on the set of Match Point (2005) By Ali Moosavi. Apropos of Nothing is an immensely entertaining, funny, often touching, openly confessional memoir…. It is essential reading for fans of Woody Allen and his films. Even those accusing him of being a pedophile, rapist, […]