Category Archives: surreal

Hvítur, hvítur dagur / A White White Day (2019)

Director: Hlynur Pálmason
Starring: Ingvar Sigurdsson, Ida Mekkin Hlynsdottir, Sara Dogg Asgeirsdottir. Iceland. 1h 49m

It doesn’t take long to get a good grasp of the top talent in Iceland, not only does a majority of the movies released there really hit a nerve and the industry continues to release one banger after the next, but with such a tiny population you’re going to see a lot of repeat offenders and not surprisingly a lot of the more popular faces have buckets of incredible talent and some of those come together in this study of grief.

Continue reading Hvítur, hvítur dagur / A White White Day (2019)

Tonkei shinjû – Pig Chicken Suicide (1981)

Director: Yoshihiko Matsui
Starring: Naomi Hagio, Takahiro Hattori, Toshihiko Hino .Japan. 1h 31m

Like a rare and obscure borja wine, the history of Yoshihiko Matsui’s film making is sporadic but filled with really unusual gems, with themes of suicide, the understanding of love blended with cannibalism and genuine strange behavior you’ll always know who you”re watching and often question why you’re still watching. For me this unreal expression is one of the blessings of cinema, seeing something genuinely new that is al altered, heightened sense of the world around you. At times you’ll almost be able to feel Matsui’s message through the combination of imagery, a feeling of an idea that doesn’t need language for expression, or you might be left scratching your head wondering what the hell is going on.

Continue reading Tonkei shinjû – Pig Chicken Suicide (1981)

Shutter Island (2010)


Director: Martin Scorsese Starring:Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsle, Max Von Sydow, Patricia Clarkson, Ted Levine, John Carroll Lynch, Elias Koteas USA. 2h 18m

Scorsese is a legendary director but more often I find I can work out his films from the get go and this one I called in the intro and then didn’t enjoy a single second of the movie because for me it was so clear what was going on. But in hindsight I can see the appeal for anyone who didn’t clique what was going on, it must have been gripping and playing on all of their emotions.

Continue reading Shutter Island (2010)

Dark Knight (2016)

Director: Tim Sutton
Starring: Robet Jumper, Anna Rose Hopkins, Rosie Rodriguez, Karina Macias .USA. 1h 25m

Dark Night is an incredibly slow movie. Not necessarily a film in slow motion or involving lengthy still shots, but one which whimsically dances around the mundane sequences in the lives of it’s subjects instead of explaining exactly why they are important. The (unwanted) insight into the lives of a group of people who are all present on the night of a screening of an infamous Batman film that would go so terribly wrong when a deranged individual opened fire with bullets and tear gas. Many people will be more than aware of the case, one of the biggest one man shooting events in living memory. Tim Sutton has managed to bypass the hype and politics by somehow going back in time outlining the normaily before the shooting, trying to pay homage to the victims and show how fragile life is in a moody thought provoking arty drama, frequently highlighted with Robert Jumpers haunting stare.

Continue reading Dark Knight (2016)

Norfolk (2015)

Director: Martin Radich Starring: Denis Menochet, Barry Keoghan, Goda Letkaustie. UK. 1h 23m

Sometimes cinema can be drab and unkind, which is the unnerving feeling you’ll end up with after watching Martin Radich’s Surreal coming of age art house drama.

The downtrodden ,depressing atmosphere permeates from the screen, as a father attempts to protect and train his son. While living off the grid in a remote rural location the two have strained relationship, mulling around their isolated home, their only connection is watching tv together. Unbeknowst to the son, a job from the past has caught up with his father and now their lives are in danger and one more murder must be commited, just one more contract or one more act of revenge.

Continue reading Norfolk (2015)

L’étrange couleur des larmes de ton corps \ The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears (2013)

Director: Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani
Starring: Klaus Tange, Ursula Bedena, Joe Koener .France / Belgium / Luxembourg. 1h 42m

This deeply surreal and lavish bizarre movie from French duo Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani take a step further into dreamy symbolic realms than their previous Giallo Esque romp, Amer, a project which excited cult-movie fans a few years back, both share an experimental blend of imagery with heavy Giallo tones eroitic vingnettes commenting on gender and sexuality with it’s withed dialogue and richly opulent architectural decadence that hides the identity of a killer. On returning home Dan (Tange) finds his girlfriend missing, assuming that she’s met a terrible fate he searches for clues as the world around him begins to flourish with fragmented images of horror and fear. Continue reading L’étrange couleur des larmes de ton corps \ The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears (2013)

Antichrist (2009)

Director: Lars von Trier
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg . Denmark, Germany, Italy, France, Italy, Poland, Sweden. 1h 48m

This made a very interesting date night, a reconciliation with an ex and a movie filled with sexual violence and gnostic connotations, but in all honesty we both read that there were crazy genital mutilation scenes and being the sick twisted couple we were, we actually wanted to see this together, on top of this any film with Charlotte is usually a bit nutty and even with all this knowledge we were still a bit mystified and shocked at this dark and distinctively effective movie. Continue reading Antichrist (2009)

Street Trash (1987)

Director: James M Munro
Starring: Mike Lackey, Bill Chepil, Vic Noto, Mark Sfreeazza, Nicole potter, Jane Arakawa, Pat Ryan, Bernard Perlman, RL Ryan, USA. 1h 31m

Cinema can be used for many things, most films are there to purely allow it’s viewers to switch off and eat some popcorn, highlight a great night out, others are more contemporary and are tool used to expand esoteric ideas and philosophy, then there’s street trash an almost plot less movie with lots of slimy stuff oozing out of low lives in New York while they do stuff but it’s delivered in such a unique way that it’s gained a solid cult following and is a guilty pleasure for many.

James M Munro initially crafted a short movie with the same title back in 1984 and expanded the abstract story into a full feature length however there’s hardly any addition to the plot. The gooey film is still just about a group of winos drinking contaminated booze and slightly borders on the sub comic in Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing called Nukeface Papers where the destitutes begin to drink toxic waste and get up to crazy shenanigans.

Continue reading Street Trash (1987)

Deep Dark (2015)

Director: Michael Medaglia
Starring: Sean McGrath, Anne Sorce, Denise Poirier .USA. 1h 19m

I’m starting to get a feel for Uncork’d Entertainment, they champion the lower budget productions but there is a certain je ne sai qoui, a little element of the risque within each of them, the first one that caught my eye was the romp in the woods with a oily pagan deity in Clawed it was labored at times but provided an interesting viewpoint, the last gem was Dead by Dawn (2020) set in a holiday home in the wilderness, but with a very different cabin siege feel about it, however not as many axe wielding psycho’s as the cover may have suggest, it remains an original story blended with some talent however the effects budget was really spared, but I found a lot of charm in the vicious cabin in the woods thriller. But each movie seems to have an edge of brilliance but without a lavish budget to back it, however they remain really watchable and I’m thrilled to see the numbers growing. Continue reading Deep Dark (2015)

ABC’s of Death 2 (2014)

Director: Various
Starring: Too Many To Mention .Worldwide. 2h 5m

I was one of the few who really adored the ABC’s of Death (2012) and was gleefully happy to stroll right into part two. It’s pretty much in the same vein as the original movie,however it comes together a tad better with a quainter intro and title cards, there still the unwritten guessing game of trying to work out what the letter stands for and often it’s a surprise at the end of the short.

Everything is covered in one or more movies, sadness, gore, violence, romance, and some intellectual questions which all float around in the genre of horror. However there’s been a slight shift with movies such as this series, Southbound and the VHS trilogy which really hit on a very black humor, clever ideas and shocks to get their audiences to squirm, not relying on the old tried and tested forms of horror for something a little more hipster and experimental with longer cuts, ad more involved set ups. ABC’s of death has this overriding theme however each film is very very different in it’s composure and execution, I’m going to give you an example of my cream of the crop.

I’ll try and keep it spoiler free.. Continue reading ABC’s of Death 2 (2014)