This is a Film Klub entry that covers two films: Les Maîtres Du Temps (1982) and Gandahar (1987) both created by the French animator René Laloux. For the anglophones out there, you might remember these films by their English titles; The Time Masters and Light Years. Both films were originally done in French and then overdubbed for the English versions of the films.
Laloux is also well known for his debut animated film, Fantastic Planet.
The reason for stuffing two films into one entry, beyond sharing the same creator, is that last night I finally got around to viewing the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, which was actually quite interesting to watch, namely due to Jodorowsky’s intense, animated nature throughout the film’s interviews as well as the way the original artist drawings were presented (animated from the original stills) as well the synthesizer-heavy soundtrack by american punk/hardcore musician Kurt Stenzel.
This entry is based on an event I call a “happy accident”, in where I stumbled across this film accidentally. It was around two or three years ago now and I was up late some weeknight on my own. We had a film-on-demand service where the film selections were generally odd B-Movies that we included in the package with no logic as to why these movies were included in the package.
The Shout was in there, and I basically chose to watch it because (a) it had interesting cover art, (b) John Hurt and Susannah York were in it and (c) I recognised the director’s name; Jerzy Skolimowski. He had done other films I recognised, including the 1970 film Deep End, a coming-of-age type of film about two young adults (one being a young Jane Asher) who worked in a public bath house in West London.
Back to the film on topic… The Shout fits into a category I call “British folk horror”, which are films with either somewhat pagan themes, hauntings or witchcraft that take place in the British countryside and, well, are very British. The Wickerman is an obvious favourite, and so are TV serials from around that time like Children Of The Stones or Sky. The film itself is based on a short horror story by the classic British poet and novelist, Robert Graves.
So, this little corner of the website has been in the deep freeze for around, oh, six months now. It’s not like there’s been nothing to post. There’s literally a cathode ray tube army of films that I could in theory stuff into this thing but to be honest, I just haven’t had the time between all the music happenings, work (design) happenings and getting-off-the-computer-and-doing-non-computer things happenings.
To kick this Film Klub section into some action, I thought I’d post a little overview about a great film in a category that I call “sci-fi punk”: Repo Man! It’s a pretty common film in North America, and it’s likely most people I know back home that have a vague interest in this sort of thing have seen it but it isn’t so commonly viewed in Europe.
Let’s change up things a bit here and write about a film that’s a) been produced within the last 10-15 years and b) that’s got a sense of humour to it, especially after the last two entries in this Filmklub section have been a bit heavy handed. I actually do have a complex sense of humour (well, at least I think I do) that teeters in the colour “black” quite a bit.
The Saddest Music In The World, which premiered in 2003, is likely the most well-known films by Guy Maddin, a director based out of Winnipeg, Canada. All of his films have a very trademark style, which emulates the old expressionist silent films of the 1920s and pairs them up with a more fantastical, cut-up art school sensibility. I saw the film shortly after it came out and I have to admit I was only vaguely aware of him before that time, and I mainly endeavoured to see the film merely based on the seemingly monumental weight of the film’s title. “What is the saddest music in the world? What an odd title…”
At the very beginning of the year I had procured a copy of a Ken Russell biography with the ridiculous title of Phallic Frenzy. It was found in a charity shop in some distant London suburb called West Wickham. Actually, there were a number of interesting books found there but this is the one I’ve started reading. Given that I thought it would be grand to log in an entry about my favourite of Russell’s films, and I’ve seen the majority of them.
Whereas Russell’s more familiar “trademark” work revolves around music, in particular giving a campy, rock-n-roll spin to classic composers complete with lots of sexualised, surrealistic symbolic imagery, Altered States, while keeping a lot of those trademarks, is a more sinister science-fiction based film.