Released during a surge of slick horror films that took place inside the perceived safety of the protagonist’s own home, James DeMonaco’s The Purge (2013) was a flawed curiosity that replaced spooks and monsters with a political system that set the American people against each other. It wasn’t until 2014’s The Purge: Anarchy, however, that the series really hit its stride as it pulled the characters into the streets and constructed a context in which the titular, annual killing spree is used to suppress the poor and the homeless.
Director: Roberto Rossellini
Written by: Sergio Amidei, Federico Fellini (Rome, Open City). Sergio Amidei, Klaus Mann, Federico Fellini, Marcello Pagliero, Alfred Hayes, Vasco Pratolini (Paisan). Roberto Rossellini, Max Kolpé, Sergio Amidei (Germany Year Zero)
Starring: Aldo Fabrizi, Anna Magnani, Marcello Pagliero (Rome, Open City). Carmela Sazio, Robert Van Loon, Dots Johnson (Paisan). Edmund Moeschke, Ernst Pittschau, Ingetraud Hinze, Franz-Otto Krüger, Erich Gühne (Germany Year Zero)
Roberto Rossellini could be considered the focal point of the Italian neorealist movement; while he wasn’t the first director to contribute, he is certainly one of the most highly regarded and prolific of the artists working in that period. His loosely linked War Trilogy, collected here, and filmed in the five years after the end of World War Two is a centre piece of the movement, with Rome, Open City as well known and loved as Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves.
Till Kleinert’s The Samurai is a bizarre film; sitting on the fence between genres, toying with expectations and blanketing a psychosexual culture clash under the influence of Germanic fairy tales. It is Gimm for the modern age, filled with repressed desires, sudden bursts of violence and the underestimated coming through.
In the film a young policeman, Jakob (Michel Diercks), struggles through his daily routine. He is belittled by his colleagues and the youths in his town and his main duty consists of hanging bloody bags of meat from trees in the wood to keep a wolf away.
In the wake of the huge success of 50 Shades of Grey, Nucleus Films’ Marc Morris sees a future for mainstream erotica and is on hand to lead you through the seedy world of cinematic titillation
On the 13th April Marc Morris and Jake West, probably best known now for their two Video Nasties documentaries, released 50 Shades of Erotica into the world; the DVD is comprised of 50 trailers from some of the best slices of erotica that cinema (foreign, mainstream and arthouse) has given us. From Borowczyk’s The Beast to Oshima’s In the Realm of the Senses, every fetish, every dark desire is catered for in one entertaining package.
Directors: Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement
Starring: Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement, Jonathan Brugh
What We Do in the Shadows has enjoyed an impressive level of critical acclaim since its release. Written and directed by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) its part satire of the vampire genre and part broad comedy about four housemates; including one, Petyr, who is 8000 years old and bears a striking resemblance to Count Orlok.
Director: Fred Cavayé
Starring: Vincent Lindon, Gilles Lellouche
There’s a confusing trend where modern vigilante films are compared to Taken instead of Death Sentence, the far superior, yet underrated Kevin Bacon vehicle which offered a gritty take on the genre, more comparable to Death Wish. Taken on the other hand, even the first instalment, is too polished and just a touch too easy. That special set of skills is surely an unfair advantage. Vigilantism shouldn’t be glorified, nor should it be relatively run of the mill for the character.
Director: Vittorio de Sica
Starring: Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni
Vittorio de Sica is probably best known for Bicycle Thieves,which tops many a critic’s ‘Best of…’ list, but this beautiful and, for the most part, understated melodrama is a wonderful entry in the latter part of his career.
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard
Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves is a movie so slow moving that the vice-tight grip it holds over the viewer is only noticeable as the finale approaches. It is an exploration of extremism for a cause, the futility of these actions and the consequences for the perpetrators.