MAPACA & Witches

MAPACA kicks off today and the rest of the week will be a blur obviously because of ISSS Surrealisms, too. Yes, I am grateful that my two presentations do not overlap (though both are Saturday, argh). I am grateful, too, that I know ISSS panels will be viewable for a couple weeks after the conference…

Film for a Friday: Derek (2008)

Today in films I can’t believe I’ve not watched before, I watched Derek via my local library Kanopy account which has far more films available than my campus account does. Though it limits me to five a month, the wretched pace at which I have managed to watch films lately means that I have not…

FFF: The Mystic (1925)

THE MYSTIC (1925) Tod Browning’s silent film can be watched on the ‘tube. Sometimes it shows up on MUBI, too. Of course it involves the ‘spook racket’ and grifting, two things I am fascinated by always. The film opens in the familiar ambience of the traveling carnival, where Aileen Pringle plays the titular role of…

Neo-Noir: Julia (2008)

JULIA (2008) dir Erick Zonca An A-list star takes a role in a crime film that offers a chance to slum it as a low-life in a downward, drunken spiral amongst the neon flicker of dive bars and low-rent flop houses. A recipe for Oscar-bait — well, if you’re male. If you’re Tilda Swinton, not…

Review: The Witch of Kings Cross

THE WITCH OF KINGS CROSS Writer/Director: Sonia Bible The story of Rosaleen Norton is not very well known outside Australia, even among the pagan world. I was lucky that a friend who was a huge fan introduced me to her art in the 90s. Powerful stuff, it is, too. With occult, spiritualist, and surreal art…

Film for a Friday: The Sensual Nature of Sound

THE SENSUAL NATURE OF SOUND (1993) 4 Composers Laurie Anderson, Tania León, Meredith Monk, Pauline Oliveros Dir: Michael Blackwood Yes, getting the most out of my Kanopy account and distracting me from being on a treadmill so I don’t just think about the capitalist grind of our lives in the midst of a pandemic. Also…

Who’s Afraid of Kathy Acker?

Who’s Afraid of Kathy Acker? Everyone apparently: all the edge lords who should embrace a unique voice of pain and punk ethos; all the punk writers who want to champion a rebel voice and a fuck-you attitude; all the sex-positive feminists who want to celebrate our bodies and the right to express our truths however…

Film for a Friday: The Sorrows of Satan

Thanks to Angela (check out her fab writing at the Cultural Gutter), I was introduced to this interesting novel by the famous-but-largely-erased author Marie Corelli. The Sorrows of Satan was a sensation upon its release and a scandalous bestseller, so it’s typical that it has been overlooked despite its broadly appealing topic — Faustian bargains…

Film for a Friday: The Scoundrel (1935)

Yes, the end of grading is in sight! Here’s an entertainment for you that manages to be both tart and sweet — or possibly leaning over into sappy a bit by the end. However, the script by Ben Hecht and Charles McArthur positively sings at its best — especially since the best of those lines…

Screwball: It’s Love I’m After

Yesterday I listened to the Cinema Junkie episode on screwball comedies with CineBeth and the Nitrate Diva. I was delighted to learn about films I didn’t even know in addition to some old favourites. Screwball comedy is just the thing for these stressful and worrying times: after all they were born in a time of…