Category Archives: Amour Fou

Mafu Cage (1978)

AKA My Sister My Love

Director: Karen Arthur Starring: Lee Grant, Crole Kane, Will Geer, James Olson, Budar. USA. 1h 42m
Éric Westphal (play “Toi et les nuages”)

Ever so often, a film is made that’s so unique, strange and plain batshitcrazy that it sets itself apart from all the rest and nothing could be as true as this masterpiece from a seasoned director Karen Arthur. Starring two gorgeous American actresses Carol Kane and Lee Grant in their prime, set in a romantic home and alongside a primate or two it’s strange that the unspoken realisations are the key to the stroy when the visuals are so strong. Freud would stay up all night in cold sweats trying to define what’s going on are so very different it’s hard to define or digest, it is just simply great and very unsettling and utterly beautiful to behold.

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Una (2017)

Director: Benedict Andrews
Starring: Ruby Stokes, Rooney Mara, Ben Mendelsohn, Tobias Menzies .UK. 1h 34m
David Harrower (based on his play “Blackbird”)

From its moody opening juxtaposed with PJ Harverys iconic Down By the Water there’s a clear insight into how dark and difficult Benedict Andrews drama is going to be. There’s a long and complicated tale that has to be adapted from stage to screen, one that describes a relationship that too many of us couldn’t fathom and even after watching the sterling performances, it’s still a tainted pill to swallow.

Continue reading Una (2017)

Princples of Lust (2003)

Director: Penny Woolcock
Starring:Alec Newman, Sienna Guillory, Marc Warren, Julian Barratt, Lara Clifton. UK. 1h 48m

In a heated conversation between a couple of shabby fellows after a night of debauchery, a poignant line is shouted, the definition of the film title and ethos of what you have spend an hour watching… it goes something along the lines of “meeting someone fucking their brains out and when you get bored you move on”. This dry argument is a key to Penny Woolcock’s vibrantly disturbing drama surrounding the most powerful bouts of writer’s block that Paul might ever have in one lifetime.

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Fatal Attraction (1987)

Director: Adrian Lyne
Starring: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer,Ellen Latzen, Stuart Pankin, Ellen Foley, Fred Gwynne, Meg Mundy, Lois Smith. USA. 1h 59m

“So Andrew’s new girlfriend is turning out to be a right bunny boiler”
“A what?”
“You know.. Fatal Attraction.. “

This was the conversation that made me realise how influential movies have been on the English language. The term Bunny Boiler, referring to a person, usually a woman who’s a bit psychotic and clingy, was born from this literal potboiler that, when it really gets going, is hard to look away from.

Adrian Lyne went straight from 9 1/2 weeks (1986) to Fatal Attraction and then straight into Jacob’s Ladder (1990). He’s often quoted to be intrigued to make moves that create a discussion, a movie that’s not forgotten by dinner time and still arguing about it the next day is a winner for him and it’s safe to stay that this run of movies all hold a powerful grip on their audiences many years later. His ability to pull the carpet on an unsuspecting audience and touch on surreal symbolism is quite masterful.

Continue reading Fatal Attraction (1987)

Suntan (2016)

Director: Argyris Papadimitropoulos
Starring: Makis Papadimitriou, Elli Tringou. Greece. 1h 44m

Suntan is a movie that’s as slow burning as it’s lead characters’ heavily protected skin. An epic adventure into the darker races of the human condition that follows a middle aged man, who embarks to a remote Greek island to be the only doctor, but instead he thrust into a hedonistic paradise and once the holiday season beings, he finds himself shunted further into an unfamiliar world of casual free love and a dangerous obsession. Directed by Argyris Papadimitropoulos, a Greek filmmaker whose work is totally unknown to me but after watching this shocking and incredibly sad story of sexual obsession. His outlandish style,ability to capture and develop hyper real character and throw some absurd black comedy into such a serious drama, he deserves to be recognised alongside contemporaries such as Yorgos Lanthimos.

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Koirat eivät käytä housuja / Dogs Don’t Wear Pants (2019)

Director: J P Valkeapää Starring: Pekka Strang, Ester Geislerova .Finland. 1h 45m

Sometimes those big life events can shake a person from one life into another, after moving through a period of massive grief and shock, J P Valkeapää’s lead Juha (Strang) finds himself in some sort of sado sexual purgatory, a surreal life path, which happens to become fantastically gripping in this somewhat violent dark comedy.

Dogs Don’t Wear Pants is one of the ultimate sad stories. It begins after the lowest part of Juha’s life, his soulmate had died after a tragic drowning accident. Struggling on with his crippling grief he does his best to look after his teenage daughter and keeps his head down at work. There are hints that Juha is already a bit of a perv, no idea what life was like before, we can only assume his creative adaptation of self gratification is new as he tries to find some kind of satisfaction alone.

Continue reading Koirat eivät käytä housuja / Dogs Don’t Wear Pants (2019)

Love at 2nd Sight (2020)

Director: Adim Williams. Starring: Frederick Leonard, Peggy Ovire, Onny Micheal, Rita Arum, Philldella Yve, Adim Williams. .Nigeria. 5h +

Falling in love just might be the easy part in this explosive Nigeria classic, not only do a couple of friends both find the women of their dreams, they manage to lose them due to irrational reactions and lack of attention and empathy.

Frederick Leonard plays an attractive bachelor, who’s hooked up with an old flame and within months of reuniting they are getting married. The love is lost and all goes bad on the wedding night when his new bride wakes up, and before she’s got her faculties together and in a total daze, she’s asking to be paid for her nightly rate! Utterly shocked Frederick realises he’s married ex prostitute, disgusted and pained verbally beats the woman down, leaving her in their hotel suite with some cash, the message is clear, the arrangement is over. At her most vulnerable state her best friend also takes advantage of her and ashamed she moves on with her life.

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Impossible Monsters (2019)

Director: Nathan Catucci
Starring: Laila Robins, Santino Fontana, Dennis Boutsikaris. USA. 1h 24min

Part of the charm of Impossible Monsters is that it plays with ideas of sleep and dreams without really alluding to many of the schemas behind the expansive theology and science behind this complicated field. Often advertised as a film dealing with nightmare dreams and sleep paralysis, I don’t remember seeing much about it, and instead Impossoble Monsters falls into a rabbit hole of dark sexuality and crime de passion, ideas surrounding the opedious complex and a tutor who gets caught up in the murder of one of his students as the lines begins to blur between reality and a Ken Russellseque dreamworld. Continue reading Impossible Monsters (2019)

The Landlord (1970)

Director: Hal Ashby.
Starring. Beau Bridges, Diana Sands, Pearl Bailey, Walker Brooke, Lee Grant, Louis Gossett Jr. Marki Bey USA. 1h 52m.

When a director makes his debut there’s a strong possibility that they are aiming to make the biggest impact of their career and I believe Hal Ashby did just that with his cultural clash comedy drama that insists that we all look within and think without prejudice as we grow as people, which is what happens to his privileged and naive lead, Elgar (Bridges) as he “runs away” from and attempts to become a landlord. Continue reading The Landlord (1970)

My Wife My Life (2020)

Director: Ugezu J Ugezu
Starring:Frederick Leonard, Queeneth Hilbert, Tana Egbo Adelana, Chinyere Wilfred, Ugo Spunky Obioha. .Nigeria. 4h +

Frederick Leonard stars as a man who has it all, and this puts him in the front running and he’s hit on daily by many beautiful women, but he’s an honourable man and only has eyes for his darling wife Cindy (Adelana).

His overbearing mother is intent on ending his marriage and for him to marry a girl that she chooses, seeing the current union as going against her will and therefore null and void, she spends her waking hours, actively running schemes behind their backs to shroud their marriage in doubt and fear, and doesn’t think twice about telling Cindy that she would like to see her dead… charming! Continue reading My Wife My Life (2020)