Tag Archives: feminist

Byzantium (2012)

Director: Neil Jordan
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan, Sam Riley, Caleb Landry-Jones  .UK. 1h 58m

Every few years vampires find themselves reinvented and they refuse to remove their fangs from our necks. Jim Jarmusch swung back with Only Lovers Left Alive, a revival of the romantic mixed with his own take on the eternal blood sucking genre, and it’s been two decades since Interview with a Vampire, the film that made millions swoon…

Byzantium switches between modern day and yesteryear through dreamy sequences and guttural gore as Gemma Arterton, often dolled up in numerous sexy outfits, and her supposed daughter Saoise Ronan play vampires who after years of running from hunters, end up in a dead end seaside town.  After shacking up with a timid hotelier, Daniel Mays, they set up their own brothel in his shabby establishment.

By the time the girls have settled into their new home, the authorities are taking an interest in them, but these agents have a good idea of the monsters lurking within the innocent faces and they are highly equipped to track down these undead wenches in order to make them more dead.

The strange unsettling drama will always been known as one of the new wave of modern neon movies, at times it sets itself among vibrant titles like Into the Void (20??), and yet there’s a creepy nostalgia when remote waterfalls turn into torrents of blood, but as the girls struggle through adversity in the 19th and 20th century, with and without corsets, the compelling story of power and hunger has a heavy feminist subtext that adds weight to the already fantastic adventure.  The girls are very unique from other vampires, while they are super strong and have acute senses, but their tool of the trade is a retractable fingernail which they use to kill, with this slightly feline temperament and talons the movie oozes yet another feminine thread.

” I’m never merciful, and knowledge is a fatal thing.”

-Clara

The story often stops and starts, falling over its own timeline, the girls seem to spend a lot of time sandboxing, falling in love with sick boys, updating their fries, struggling with the school system and the bittersweet gothic backstory determines why the girls hate men so much. But with such a long play time it seems to take a long time to describe what we have already guessed, and yet we still don’t really know where they are intending to go.

Certainly one for those who like a bit of mysticism and pretty visuals as much as a compelling story but don’t expect to have too many memories of the film other than pretty visuals as it frustratingly loses its personality along the way.

Rating: 6/10

TLDR

Related: Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), Enter the Void (2009)
Lists: Vampire romances Vol 1, Neon Cinema
Spotlight:  Sam Riley, Caleb Landry Jones

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Feedback (2019)

Director: Pedro C Alonso
Starring: Eddie Marsan, Paul Anderson, Ivana Baquero, Richard Brake, Oliver Coppersmith, Alexis Rodney, Anthony Head. UK. 1h 37m

After a duo of short movies Pedro C Alonso was given free range for his first feature film. Seemingly going balls to the wall with his daring psychological thriller, it turns a night of work into a night of hell for one highly secretive and very questionable DJ. Alonso seems to enjoy throwing his characters into a vivid world maximised by raging colours sound and violence, chuck in a pair of leather gloves and more eyeliner and we’d have a semi decent Giallo.

Continue reading Feedback (2019)

Annabelle (2014)

Director: John R Leonetti.
Starring.Ward Horton, Annabell Wallis, Alfre Woodard, Tony Amendola. USA. 1h 39m.

The Annabell doll scene from The Conjuring (2013) was one of the most frightening in the slightly scary supernatural mystery horror that went on to create its own warped far-from-the-truth universe and I wasn’t surprised that it became its own movie, however I was shocked that it became such a boring mess riddled with plot holes and only few genuine jump scares, that went to to spawn it’s own mini universe within the Conjuring universe, but it sells and we keep watching so who’s the idiot!?

In the Conjuring were introduced to the Warrens and their museum of creepy haunted keep you up at night stuff, including Raggedy Ann doll.. wait, the doll was changed from the original raggedy ann doll into a fucked up grimace/smiling porcelain doll which is already a thing of nightmares, and this “why-did-they-do-that” theme carries on throughout the movie as every trick in the book is employed in this dismal horror. Continue reading Annabelle (2014)

XX (2017)

Director: Jovanka Vuckovic, Annie Clark, Roxanne Benjamin, Karyn Kusama
Starring: A bunch of people.. Canada/USA. 1h 20m

Horror anthologies can be a lot of fun, what could be wrong with a collection of thrilling stories that aim to excite, shock and thrill? Usually there is little to connect the stories apart from a wrap around. But the delight in XX is that it’s a female themed horror anthology, made by women possibly for women..it’s aim is to show that girls can make horror that is just as good if not better than the boys, but instead we have a few short films which seem to revolve around some incredibly boring women and inconsistently moan about motherhood.

Horror is generally seen as a male orientated genre and this hit back was disappointedly weak. Each segment has its moments and there’s absolutely no problem with the direction and production, but if XX is trying to make some kind of statement then it failed to make it clear.

Beginning with some artistic flare from the work of Mexican stop-motion animation artist Sofia Carrillo, who makes the wrap around that consists of a small critter that travels around a run down house slowly putting pieces together to make a child, tits just another peg in the films woman role board, all the characters are mother, caretakers etc. Continue reading XX (2017)

Prevenge (2016)

Director: Alice lowe
Starring: Alice Lowe,Gemma Whelan, Kate Dickie,Jo Hartley, Tom Davis, Kayvan Novak. UK. 1h 28m

Alice Lowe returns after the brilliant collaboration with cult director Ben Wheatley in their darkly entertaining Sightseers (2012). She returns as an equally unusual character but this one is on a course of revenge with her unborn baby. Lowe might just have backed herself into a typecasted corner and to be truthful it’s okay, as she does this disturbing comedy thing way to well and we honestly need a lot more of her thing in the unpredictable British market where we like to be on the edge of wrongness. Continue reading Prevenge (2016)