Blue Velvet (1986)

Director/Screenwriter: David Lynch By Roderick Heath .. David Lynch’s name is synonymous with a creative style close to a genre in itself. His is an outlandish, numinous, discomforting aesthetic, purveyed across several art forms, where the texture of dreams, and nightmares, can suddenly colonise an apparently stable and homey world, where humans peel apart and …

Continue reading Blue Velvet (1986)

The Omen (1976) / Damien: Omen II (1978) / The Final Conflict (1981)

. Directors: Richard Donner; Don Taylor; Graham Baker Screenwriters: David Seltzer; Mike Hodges, Stanley Mann; Andrew Birkin By Roderick Heath The success of Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and William Friedkin’s The Exorcist (1973) inaugurated a brief moment when Horror films were not just big business but could potentially be classy, mass-audience fare. Rosemary’s Baby …

Continue reading The Omen (1976) / Damien: Omen II (1978) / The Final Conflict (1981)

Galaxy Express 999 (1979) / Adieu, Galaxy Express 999: Final Stop Andromeda (1981)

Ginga Tetsudô Surî-Nain / Sayônara, Ginga Tetsudô Surî-Nain: Andromeda Shûchakueki Director: Rintaro Screenwriters: Kon Ichikawa, Shirô Ishimori; Hiroyasu Yamaura By Roderick Heath Leiji Matsumoto isn’t a household name outside of Japan except to fans of manga and anime, Japan’s beloved, specific styles in cartooning and animation. But for anyone who does love those art forms, …

Continue reading Galaxy Express 999 (1979) / Adieu, Galaxy Express 999: Final Stop Andromeda (1981)

The Shining (1980)

Director/Coscreenwriter: Stanley Kubrick By Roderick Heath A yellow Volkswagen Beetle winds its way along a vertiginous mountain road, a route that leads from the rational lowlands to the mountains of madness. We’ve already been introduced to Jack Torrance even though we haven’t seen him, a being enclosed in a tight bubble of metal, an economic …

Continue reading The Shining (1980)

Me, You, Him, Her (Je, Tu, Il, Elle, 1974) / All Night Long (Toute Une Nuit, 1982)

Director/Screenwriter/Actor: Chantal Akerman By Roderick Heath Chantal Akerman’s death in 2015 at the age of 65 was a wrenching moment for many movie lovers, and closed curtains on a career beloved in the most studious corners of the world cinema scene. Akerman staked her claim to such loyalty with her most famous work, Jeanne Dielman, …

Continue reading Me, You, Him, Her (Je, Tu, Il, Elle, 1974) / All Night Long (Toute Une Nuit, 1982)

Live and Let Die (1973) / The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) / For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Directors: Guy Hamilton, Lewis Gilbert, John Glen By Roderick Heath Roger Moore’s death at the age of 89 last week was a sad moment in spite of what was obviously a well-lived life reaching a natural end. There was a sting I didn’t expect in losing Moore and his image, his unshakeable veneer of savoir …

Continue reading Live and Let Die (1973) / The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) / For Your Eyes Only (1981)

The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

Director: Wes Craven By Roderick Heath Wes Craven’s career making horror films lasted over forty years, but he remained devilishly hard to contain or categorise. A former philosophy student and English professor, he often exhibited great conceptual intelligence in his work, utilising highbrow ideas like metatextuality and nested realities well before they became fashionable, as …

Continue reading The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

Heaven’s Gate (1980)

Director/Coscreenwriter: Michael Cimino By Roderick Heath Hollywood has never been kind to failure, but sometimes time is. The real “Johnson County War” was a skirmish between cattle graziers and settlers in 1890s Wyoming, and had long been a cornerstone of western folklore. In the early 1970s, this true story was suggested as the subject for …

Continue reading Heaven’s Gate (1980)