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 …

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Night at the Crossroads (La Nuit de Carrefour, 1932) / A Day in the Country (Partie de campagne, 1936)

Director/Screenwriter/Actor: Jean Renoir By Roderick Heath Sometimes a famous name can be a boost or a burden. Or just a name. As the son of one of the most lauded Impressionist painters, Jean Renoir’s attraction to cinema gave the young art form an aura of matured sophistication, but might well have also lifted a few …

Continue reading Night at the Crossroads (La Nuit de Carrefour, 1932) / A Day in the Country (Partie de campagne, 1936)

Green for Danger (1946)

Director/Coscreenwriter: Sidney Gilliat By Roderick Heath Outside London, 1944. During the second, lesser-known but very bloody Blitz turned on the city by Hitler, V-1 bombs, nicknamed “doodlebugs” for the insectlike drone of their rocket propulsion, rain on southern English. These flying weapons are a unique blend of the amusing, for the sound of their jets …

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Communion (aka Alice, Sweet Alice; Holy Terror, 1976)

Director/Coscreenwriter: Alfred Sole By Roderick Heath One reason horror genre fans look back to the 1970s with such keen nostalgia is not simply because lots of horror films were made, but because so many different varieties of horror film were made, before the arrival of the slasher flick late in the decade permanently skewed the …

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Shutter Island (2010)

Director: Martin Scorsese By Roderick Heath Author Dennis Lehane’s specimens of ethically, physically, and psychologically assailed masculinity have many similarities to those troubled men who have littered the cinema of Martin Scorsese. Lehane’s byzantine 2004 psycho-thriller Shutter Island, however, didn’t seem like the kind of material that would immediately appeal to the great American director …

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The Trouble with Harry (1955)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock By Roderick Heath A children’s skipping rhyme from the same corner of London where Alfred Hitchcock was born: Jack the Ripper’s dead And lying in his bed He cut his throat with Sunlight soap Jack the Ripper’s dead. To me, that’s Hitchcock’s background and sensibility in a nutshell—the alternations of awful violence …

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