Monthly Archives: April 2013

Night’s Black Agents: Jean Rollin’s The Grapes of Death and Night of the Hunted

“The most recent Jean Rollin films to make their Blu-ray debut from Kino and Redemption Films mark a significant departure for the filmmaker. Forced by financial exigencies to eschew the timeless fairy-tale quality of his early-’70s vampire films, Rollin sets … Continue reading

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The Duellists (Ridley Scott, 1977)

“An obsessively detailed chronicle of obsession, The Duellists gets a sumptuous Blu-ray transfer from Shout! Factory, along with a solid new supplement, as well as some choice carryovers from the earlier DVD, even though there are one or two lamentable … Continue reading

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Metaphor and Symbol in Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995), Spirit of the Beehive (1973), Salaam Bombay! (1988) and Los Olvidados (1950)

The four films under consideration – Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995), Spirit of the Beehive (1973), Salaam Bombay! (1988) and Los Olvidados (1950) – all develop what could be called a “root metaphor” for their vision of childhood and the … Continue reading

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“Mere Surmise, Sir”: Uncertainty in the Coen Brothers’ The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001) and A Serious Man (2009)

Both The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001) and A Serious Man (2009) utilize Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle as an organizing metaphor. Knowledge, according to this quantum mechanical interpretation, is fundamentally imprecise: the more we know about one property, the less we … Continue reading

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Something is Rotten: A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984)

“According to Shakespeare, there was something operating in Nature, perhaps inside human nature itself, that was rotten. ‘A canker,’ as he put it. Of course, Hamlet’s response to this, and to his mother’s lies, was to continually probe and dig … Continue reading

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Perishing Dreams, Forgotten Deliriums: Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977)

Before discussing Argento’s film, it might be illuminating to put it in the context of its source material. It is a widely known fact that Argento drew inspiration for his films (the so-called “Three Mothers” series) from the writings of … Continue reading

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Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal (Boris Rodriguez, 2012)

“The ramifications of killing for art’s sake have long been fair game for film treatment, especially in movies that tap the horror-comedy vein, whether the target of the humor is the reception of the resultant artworks (Roger Corman’s A Bucket … Continue reading

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