Imaginary archives in Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight

Demon Knight sustains this brash pace where it make-pretends expecting the viewer to already know what's up, and so does wonders playing into the inherent strangeness of the anthology format where it can neither conventionally begin nor end, but must instead convince that it is already fully formed and that its best days are behind it.… Continue reading Imaginary archives in Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight

The digital image as virus in Dawn of the Dead (2004)

We're going to the mall It makes complete sense but then it's so gratifying that like Fleischer's experimental Inkwell shorts or Cage's Imaginary Landscape No. 1, the early adopters of digital did such significant work teasing it out as a medium before it became the invisible norm: Lynch's bit rot, Mann's real-time hyperconnectivity, Snyder's virus. Dawn of the Dead's opening… Continue reading The digital image as virus in Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Kanye’s Gospel pt 1: On surfaces

On surfaces Graduation announces a thread that would become more obvious from that point forward: the investigation of surfaces. West’s first two, which add 'live' instrumentation to the sample-rich template of his commissions, also stage a conversation between the mediated times of musical authorship and listening: the crackle of vinyl reveals itself every listen not… Continue reading Kanye’s Gospel pt 1: On surfaces

Witchcraft, loneliness, and missing women in Jessica Hauser’s devastating Hotel (2004)

Hausner returns to the 'direct shot' its sense of framelessness, a formal rigour that has the space, the subject matter, invade ours. This is significant in Hotel because it is a latent sense of what has and will happen in the space that constitutes its subject matter, which all bears on that which is photographed as present.… Continue reading Witchcraft, loneliness, and missing women in Jessica Hauser’s devastating Hotel (2004)

Ari Aster is still horror’s least empathetic filmmaker

It's an exciting roadmap for a film, threading Scandinavian design fetishism, 'European roots', cynical sensitivity to cultural insensitivity (enlightened centrism), overexposed images dramatising the domination of the natural in both concept and order by linen and whitewashed halogen faces, and the pernicious conservatism of certain strains of bourgeois hippiedom. Staging the conflict between professionally polite… Continue reading Ari Aster is still horror’s least empathetic filmmaker

Hallmark horror and Dolls (1987)

Dolls expands horror's imagination of animism beyond antagonism to draw more eerie and enduring conclusions about action and memory within animate space. If it was made today it would be a sci-fi thing about pervasive computing and algorithmic selves outlasting the user, (which, sure, it also is) but without that surface vocabulary it reveals affect rather… Continue reading Hallmark horror and Dolls (1987)