In the brilliant and insightful documentary A History of Horror, British writer and actor Mark Gatiss explores the horror genre throughout many countries. While discussing British horror cinema of the 1960's, Gatiss uses the term 'folk horror' to describe a short but very curious subgenre. The films that make up this genre are unmistakably British and owe a large debt to the trail blazers of horror cinema in Britain:
The words “North Korean cinema” have traditionally invoked images of staid, humourless propaganda movies each more concerned with exalting the virtues of the nation’s glorious leaders than sculpting cohesive narratives. For those who have looked into the films emanating from the secretive Asian country it is possible to conclude that, in some instances, this description is rather unnervingly accurate. Many of these stereotypes exist for a reason.
Some of you may have come across Helene "Leni" Riefenstahl, so I hope you'll forgive the introduction for those who haven't. Born in 1902 in Berlin, Germany, Riefenstahl defied gender norms and became one of the most successful documentary filmmakers of the 1930s. At a time when most industries, especially film, were dominated by men, Riefenstahl found herself not only directing films but developing new techniques which influenced cinema up to this very day.
Like a variety of genres in Hollywood, animation is a growing field that has been significant in various forms of media. There have been successful corporations across the globe that are not only skilled in putting hand-drawings and computer graphics to motion, but are also creative in their storytelling. Pixar Animation Studios is a vital example of an exceedingly successful animation company with an abundance of projects that have become cultural favourites.
With technological developments taking hold in Hollywood, perhaps the most prominent has been the use of motion capture. Motion capture is a technology that syndicates computer-generated effects with human performance. The idea, particularly within the science fiction and fantasy genres, is to produce further realism on part of an actor’s approach to a role and how they portray it.
In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock saw the future. The British director had been a force in cinema since silent films, but the 1950's were by far his most successful decade at the movies. He churned out blockbuster after blockbuster, all filmed in gorgeous color with top Hollywood stars like James Stewart, Cary Grant, and Grace Kelly.
With a Finger in Each Ear, We March Blindly On The Vietnam War, which had begun as a geopolitical chess match in the 1950's, escalated into a full blown land war in 1965 when President Lyndon Johnson authorised the use of American ground troops to help South Vietnam defeat the Communist North. More than any conflict in the 20th Century, Vietnam segregated America into a civil war of ideals. The burgeoning counterculture rejected and rallied against it, even denouncing the troops themselves.
When Vêra Chytilová sadly passed away in March of last year, cinephiles across the world mourned the loss of a truly passionate and original filmmaker. Chytilová was the dangerous iconoclast of the Czech New Wave. Both the BFI and Second Run DVD decided that the world must know of her work outside of her nihilistic masterpiece Sedmikrasky (Daisies, 1966), and as such the BFI ran a series showing many of her films at their Southbank cinema, and Second Run released two of her films, Pasti, Pasti, Pasticky (Traps, 1998) and Fruit of Paradise (1970), on their excellent DVD line.