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.
His face adorns posters and t-shirts across the world and, whilst there aren't many who can likely claim to have seen his films, there aren't many who haven't heard his name. James Dean, like Marilyn Monroe, has elevated to the status of cultural icon in much the same way that Kurt Cobain has in the music world. The poster boy for teenage disillusionment, Dean had an experimental approach to life that ran way ahead of his time.
If you don’t keep up, the filmography of Québécois director Xavier Dolan could expand into an intimidating mass. He released five films between 2009 and 2014 and already has two more in the pipeline, additionally serving as writer, editor, actor, and costume designer for several of the projects. That output, along with other extraneous facts, like his young age, has drawn headlines that sadly take attention away from what is an expressive filmography.
Rarely is a filmmaker as entrenched in infamy as John Waters. Born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1946, the king of counterculture became known in the 1970s for his creative collaborations with the equally infamous Divine and his gang of Dreamlanders. He began work as a director with a series of experimental short films including Hag In A Black Leather Jacket (1964) and the Andy Warhol-inspired Roman Candles (1966).
Legend is a word that is batted around pretty easily these days, but one person who is fully deserving of that title is Robert De Niro. One of the most celebrated actors of his generation, the New York born actor has ascended Hollywood's ranks and is now considered by many to be on par with the likes of Marlon Brando. With seven Academy Awards nominations (two wins), as well as being nominated for eight Golden Globes (one win) and six BAFTAS, De Niro is held in high regard by the industry and public alike, in spite of some questionable career decisions in recent years.
Since they first hit cinema screens in 1984, the Coen Brothers have had a firm grip on audiences and critics alike. Renowned for their idiosyncratic, high quality work, they have found themselves increasingly in demand with studios and actors, many of whom aim to make their next project a Coen Brothers film. They have written, directed and produced all of their own pictures, edited most of them, and have recently ventured into the 'gun for hire' realm of screenwriting, contributing to Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies, Angelina Jolie's Unbroken, Michael Hoffman's Gambit, and George Clooney's upcoming Suburbicon.
With Batman v Superman getting ready to take over the world, the previous incarnations of The Caped Crusader and The Man of Steel are trending once again. Some of the finest actors and directors in Hollywood have had dealings with these two superheroes over the years, but one such luminary, it seems, has never been forgiven for the way he treated the Son of Krypton 36 years ago. However, it really does need pointing out to some ardent Superfans that far from a being a hack director-for-hire, Superman II director Richard Lester is actually one of the most important names from the New Hollywood era.