Category Features

The 10 Best Films of 2017

Another year, another 10 movies that define why we love cinema. 2017 was such a strong year for film releases that many excellent movies failed to make our Top 10.

Honorary shout-outs then to such must-sees as Wind River, IT, Mother!, Una, A Silent Voice and Wonder Woman. Great movies all, all pipped to the post by the titles below.

Whatever brow-furrowing misbehaviour 2018 brings, one sliver of good news is that cinema should remain in fine shape. From what we saw at the London Film Festival in October, at least three five-star movies will be released next year.

But, without further ado, here is Electric Shadows’ 10 Best Films of 2017…


  1. Brawl in Cell Block 99

Writer/director S...

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Tears and Laughter: Women in Japanese Melodrama

From Monday 16th October to Wednesday 29th November, the BFI Southbank will be showcasing the Sight and Sound Deep Focus season, Tears and Laughter: Women in Japanese Melodrama.

Exploring Japanese cinema’s Golden Age with a distinctly female focus, across thirteen films it features the great Japanese actresses from the 1940s to the early ‘60s and the emerging New Wave.

Audiences will be familiar with some of the directors included in the season, such as Yasujiro Ozu, Mikio Naruse and Kenji Mizoguchi. But, Tears and Laughter highlights the work of such legendary actresses as Setsuko Hara, Machiko Kyô, Hideko Takamine and the extraordinary Kinuyo Tanaka, the only woman who also directed films during the Golden Age.

As with other Sight and Sound Deep Focus seasons, this is an opportunit...

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2017’s London Film Festival Walks On The Wild Side

For movie lovers, October is London Film Festival time. Specifically, Wednesday 4th to Sunday 15th October this year.

Now in its 61st year, organisers have ditched including the number in the name, favouring the trendier sounding BFI London Film Festival 2017.

Whatever the moniker, the festival is guaranteed to deliver first rate films over 12 celluloid (and digital format) stuffed days.

While there are big hitters amongst the 242 films screening from a whopping 67 different countries, this year we’re most excited by the darker end of the festival.

Still present are the typical galas and strands. Andy Serkis’ directorial debut, Breathe, is the Opening Night Gala...

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FrightFest 2017 Round-Up

Horror Channel FrightFest 2017 has come and gone. Like any good horror icon, it will be back. But, let us take time to reflect upon a suitably wild eighteenth year for the festival. For the first time we have decided to round-up FrightFest with a series of awards. Awards which we hope will provide a flavour of what FF 2017 was like. So, until FrightFest 2018…


BEST “INTRO & Q&A” AWARD– Jennifer Tilly, Cult of Chucky

“I’m here now, bitches!” If we learnt one thing at FrightFest 2017, it’s that an intro to a movie and said movie’s Q&A will go insane if Jennifer Tilly is in the room. A force of nature, when director Don Mancini was late announcing her she burst onstage with, “I have a thing about people starting without me. But, I’m here now, so continue Don, I would love ...

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Todd Tucker Talks The Terror of Hallow’s Eve


You may not have heard of Todd Tucker, but you will certainly have seen his work. A Hollywood make-up artist for over twenty-five years, he has worked on such films as Pirates of the Caribbean, Watchmen, The Boy, Ouija: Origin of Evil and more.

Tucker is also co-founder of movie make-up and prosthetic company Illusion Industries. So, the man knows something about fantasy films. All of which is why his latest outing as a director, The Terror of Hallow’s Eve, is a winner.

A tale of bullied young horror movie fan Tim, and the accidentally deadly deal he makes with a malevolent spirt to get revenge, it’s an affectionate funhouse frightener with characters you can root for.

Tucker’s film is also an unabashed homage to classic 80s movies in the John Carpenter and Steven Spielberg tradition...

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Must-See Movies at FrightFest 2017

Horror Channel FrightFest 2017 sees the UK’s premiere fright n’ fantasy film festival turn 18 years old. For any British horror fan, “18” is the rating that promises real terror; red, raw and spicy.

FF2017 looks to be just as juicy.

From Thursday 24th – Monday 28th August, FrightFest will showcase 64 movies across five screens at London’s Cineworld Leicester Square (formerly The Empire Leicester Square, the festival’s past stomping ground) and Prince Charles Cinema.

In a veritable cinematic santa sangre, there will be: 20 world premieres; 22 European premieres; 18 UK premieres. And the return of old favourites. To get even more excited, check out this sensational sizzle reel.

Kicking off the festival is Don Mancini’s Cult of Chucky, follow-up to the gleefully nasty Curse o...

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Nolanverse: 10 Ways to Spot You’re Watching a Christopher Nolan Film

Dunkirk marks Christopher Nolan’s 10th theatrical outing since debuting 19 years ago with the impressive low-budget thriller Following.

Across an extraordinary filmography, Nolan has gone into deep space, deep inside the mind, redefined the superhero movie and may have just done the same for the war film.

His film’s tackle different genres, but crossovers remain in the Nolanverse. Fittingly for the 10-film director, here are 10 ways to spot you’re watching a Christopher Nolan Film… (warning: contains multiple spoilers)


  1. Time Goes Screwy

Christopher Nolan is the only blockbuster filmmaker with a touch of the theoretical physicist about him. Notably, an elastic approach to time, which rarely runs linear in his movies.

The director set out his stall with Following and its old-schoo...

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2017 – A Hot Summer for Movies?

Summer movies. They promise so much, yet so many times deliver so little. Terminator: Genisys, Jason Bourne, Suicide Squad anyone?

But, eternal optimist Rich Phippen takes an idiosyncratic, partially cautious look at films coming up over the summer period that may very well buck the trend and become warm weather hits.

MAY

Colossal (release: 19th May)

If you want to put your money on the sleeper hit of 2017, look no further than this monster movie with a twist. Gloria (Hathaway) has lost her job and boyfriend, and moved back to her hometown in upstate New York to lick her wounds. But when she gets there, and turns on the TV, she discovers a giant monster is wrecking Seoul in South Korea...

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Shell-Praiser: A Defense of Ghost in the Shell

SPIRITED REIMAGINING

(Spoiler warning: key plot points from Ghost in the Shell 2017 revealed in this feature)

Mired in whitewashing accusations since 2015 when Scarlett Johansson was announced in the lead. Subject of sustained online fan fury. Mediocre US box office Paramount Studios acknowledged was partly due to this controversy.

Is now a good time to admit I’m a fan of this incarnation of Ghost in the Shell? A reason for this being because of how it addresses its own casting and the surrounding debate? Please give me time to outline the case for the defence.

From Masamune Shirow’s 1989 manga, to Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 anime, its 2004 sequel Innocence, the Solid State Society and Arise spin-offs, Ghost in the Shell is constantly evolving and reworking its themes.

Themes of identity flu...

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Electric Shadows Oscars 2017 Blog-along

01.31 – Welcome to the first Electric Shadows Oscars blog-along.  A stream of consciousness over the next 4hrs+ at the spectacle of Hollywood’s biggest night.  Currently Justin Timberlake is singing a selection of songs and celebs are looking awkward (see: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman).  Interesting start… should have been The Lonely Island doing Humble or Incredible Thoughts.

01.36 – First political joke.  Jimmy Kimmell says we are being watched by hundreds of countries that now hate us. Funny joke about Mel Gibson, “you’re looking great, I think the Scientology is working.”  Reference to Matt Damon passing up Manchester by the Sea to star in his “Chinese ponytail film” The Great Wall, a film which went on to lose $80m dollars.

Kimmell’s opening monologue genuinely funny...

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