See It: The Shape of Water

Many thanks to Peg for the chance to see this ahead of release. We were both saying that it will be great to see it again on a big screen. It’s del Toro, so of course it’s just a lovely lovely film on the visual level: the greens and the reds! Breathtaking. The cast of…

Film for a Friday: Woman Who Came Back

Yes, it is written like that in the title card: no article on Woman. Low budget offering from Western Television, Woman Who Came Back (1945) offers a tale of the past invading the present in the form of a witch burned at the stake who wants revenge. In New England — where of course no one was…

Review: Love & Friendship

What absolute joy this film is. The sense of fun and delight in being bad is not what one usually associates with Austen but it is exactly the reason her best observations cut so deeply. I may have to reconsider Whit Stillman. First I should admit to being a hoarder. I had not read Lady…

TOAV: Lizzie (1957)

LIZZIE (1957) Based on Shirley Jackson’s The Bird’s Nest Big tip of the hat to Noirish’s John Grant, who first tipped me off by writing about it a week or so ago, and then arranging for me to see it as I was so excited to hear of an adaptation of Jackson that I’d never…

TOA/V: Straight to Hell Returns

So I got to meet Alex Cox at the Hudson Basilica run by former Hole member Melissa Auf der Mauer (who introduced him) and see the rejiggered STRAIGHT TO HELL RETURNS so how big was my smile? Very! I love this film. I felt for years as if I were the only person crazy enough…

Tuesday’s Overlooked A/V: Härmä

Härmä In the plainlands of Ostrobothnia, Western Finland, a tradition prevails, according to which the first-born son inherits everything and the remaining offspring must fend for themselves. The law has been cast aside in many areas and groups of men, knife-wielding thugs, nicknamed ‘toughs’, control the fields. The blade rules the land. ONCE UPON A…

Switzerland: Gruyères, Giger & Fondue

Argh, as I prepare this post I hear the news that H.R. Giger has died. How very sad! The lovely anomaly of this medieval town high in the mountains is that it is also home to the museum & museum bar of Giger. I couldn’t take photos in the museum, but it was quite a…

TOA/V: Äppelkriget/The Apple War

A couple of news items: My piece on The Fall, originally written for the Spectator is now up at Medium. In fact, I have a few pieces showcased there now. The latest verses in my ongoing translation of the Viking poem Hávamál are up at the History Witch area of Witches & Pagans. Drop by…

Review: NT Live – Coriolanus

Thanks to mega-Hiddles fan Jay I got to see the NT Live production of Coriolanus with Tom Hiddleston and a very fine cast broadcast from the Donmar Warehouse all the way to Glasgow, which gave me an excuse to visit that fine city again. My visit included a stop by the Glasgow Women’s Library in…

Review: Only Lovers Left Alive

“This is your wilderness? Detroit?” “Everyone left.” A couple of people left midway through the advance screening we caught. Perhaps they were expecting Thor pyrotechnics. Already a fan of Jim Jarmusch’s work, I knew the sort of film I’d be getting—in fact, I was eager for it. Only Lovers Left Alive hooked me from the…