2018 – Rewind and Re-View

Time thwarted us and we didn’t get chance to write up a review of 2017. We weren’t going to allow a second year to pass without forcing our opinion of how the year in cinema shaped up on the cinema-going public.

2018 may have seen politicians outdo themselves in dumb-fuckery and the world was put on final notice regarding climate change. But, amidst the wreckage there were pleasures to be had. Many of them found within the dark confines of your local picture house.

Here are some of the most notable moments. But, to match the mood of the year, we’ll open on a downer…


WORST FILM OF THE YEAR – You Were Never Really Here

Lynne Ramsay’s adaptation of Jonathan Ames’ novel is not bad in the sense that it is poorly made...

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Night of the Living Dead 50th Anniversary – The Electric Shadows Podcast

To mark the 50th anniversary of Night of the Living Dead, The Electric Shadows podcast looks back at the brilliance and influence of George A. Romero’s horror masterpiece.

The film that invented the modern horror film, we look at what made it so radical back in 1968, a year riven with civil riots violence, assassinations and the Vietnam quagmire.

We look at why it has endured, and the copyright foul-ups that inadvertently lit the fuse for zombie apocalypse tales that would explode some forty years later when The Walking Dead became a phenomenon.

Romero’s early career in advertising and directing inserts for Mr Roger’s Neighborhood. The influence of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend on Romero’s fiendishly fine tale of murder and mayhem...

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Director: David Yates

Writer: J.K. Rowling

Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner, Jamie Campbell Bower

Cert: 12

Running time: 134mins

Year: 2018


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What’s the story: When dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Depp) escapes justice, Newt Scamander (Redmayne) unites with his old wizarding schoolmaster Albus Dumbledore (Law) to stop the villain’s plan to enslave the “No-Maj” (i.e., no-magic) world.

   

What’s the verdict: So arrives the second of a planned five films in the Fantastic Beasts (and Where To Find Them) Harry Potter prequels, based on a Hogwarts textbook of the same name.

With the Fantastic Beasts movies following eight previous Potter outings, we are firmly in lucrative franc...

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Stan Lee, Suspiria & The Crimes of Grindelwald – The Electric Shadows Podcast

Episode 52 of The Electric Shadows Podcast sees Robs Daniel and Wallis pulling a late night recording session after viewing Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Fittingly, talking from half-past midnight onwards, the pair are uncharacteristically disciplined as they cover a variety of topics. Despite there being a lot to jaw about in the ep.

First up, the pair pay tribute to Stan Lee, the godfather of modern superheroes and Western comics who sadly passed away this week.

After discussing Suspiria on the previous episode when rounding up the London Film Festival, the Robs discuss Luca Guadagnino’s remake again now that Mr Wallis has seen it. We recommend listening to both episodes for a full appreciation of what both Robs think of it!

As a main course, they move onto Fantastic Beas...

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Vincent Kamp’s The Long Game Exhibition

 

At Electric Shadows, we like art of all stripes. Particularly when that art is infused with an achingly cool sense of noir. A painter who has recently grabbed our attention is Vincent Kamp.

For his latest solo exhibition, on Thursday 8th November Kamp will turn Mayfair’s Clarendon Fine Art gallery into a den of iniquity, featuring wily card sharps, inked mobsters and gun-toting barmaids.

Comprising thirty new paintings and featuring a cast of twenty characters, The Long Game tells the story of a high stakes poker match that ends badly.  For one night only, the cast will be present, alongside ‘the narrator’, re-enacting the story to create a unique interactive experience for the viewer.

Acknowledged as one of Britain’s most evocative and exciting new figurative artists, Kamp is fas...

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London Film Festival 2018 Round-Up – The Electric Shadows Podcast

In Episode 51 of The Electric Shadows Podcast, Robs Daniel & Wallis looks back at the movies that impressed them at the BFI London Film Festival 2018.

Rob Daniel valiantly battles through a heavy cold to impart his movie opinion. Rob Wallis, being younger and of a generally tougher constitution, is on finer form.

Movies discussed range from the thrilling (Widows, Suspiria), to the moving (If Beale Street Could Talk, They Shall Not Grow Old) to the plain batsh*t crazy (Sorry To Bother You, In Fabric, Mandy).

The Robs reveal what their two fave films of the festival were, plus the one true stinker they both endured. What to know what these films are? Listen on…



To check out Rob Wallis’ movie writings, head over to: www.ofallthefilmsites.com

Twitter: rob_a_daniel

iTunes Podcast: The ...

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Halloween (2018)

Director: David Gordon Green

Writers: David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, Jeff Fradley

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Haluk Bilginer, Rhian Rees, Jefferson Hall, James Jude Courtney, Nick Castle

Cert: 18

Running time: 106mins

Year: 2018



What’s the story: 40 years after the events of Halloween, Laurie Strode (Curtis) must protect daughter Karen (Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Matichak) from unstoppable killer Michael Myers when he escapes from prison.

What’s the verdict: For a franchise with an unkillable boogeyman, a 40th anniversary movie was always likely. Less certain was if said movie would be any good.

Halloween’s 1998 20th anniversary instalment, H20, was a worthwhile reuniting of Jamie Lee Curtis and her most enduring co-star...

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2018 London Film Festival – Mid-Festival Round-Up

An exquisite torture when attending the London Film Festival is working out how many movies can be viewed over the twelve days before physical shut down occurs. Two or three a day seems reasonable. But, with 225 feature films showing (plus a further 160 shorts), 24 or 36 movies begins to seem like small beer indeed.

A first amongst first world problems, we know, but there is so much to feast upon and so little time. And sleep tends to encroach at some point (typically around day 4).

What is genuinely good fun is seeing how the disparate films can be bunched together. What themes emerge across the movies? Below are our observations of this year’s London Film Festival at the midway point.

Sure, it is arbitrary as all hell – key films we were unable to attend include Vox Lux, Beautiful Boy...

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Suspiria (2018)

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Writers: David Kajganich (script), Dario Argento, Daria Nicolodi (1977 script)

Cast: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton Angela Winkler, Lutz Ebersdorf, Mia Goth, Chloë Grace Moretz

Cert: 18

Running time: 152mins

Year: 2018



What’s the story: 1977, Berlin. Susie Bannion (Johnson) arrives at the Markos Dance Academy, not knowing it is run by witches.

What’s the verdict: Remake Suspiria at your peril was the consensus opinion. Director David Gordon Green realised that and abandoned his attempt, having more success with 2018’s Halloween remake-sequel. Darren Aronofsky paid homage in Black Swan rather than tackling head-on.

Dario Argento’s 1977 horror masterpiece is too delirious, too of-a-moment, too one-man’s-vision to be effectively replicated decades later...

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Fahrenheit 11/9

Director: Michael Moore

Writer: Michael Moore

Cast: Michael Moore, Donald Trump, Rick Snyder, Emma Gonzalez, Alexandria Occasio-Cortez, David Hogg

Cert: 15

Running time: 128mins

Year: 2018



What’s the story: Michael Moore looks across America to see what paved the way for Donald Trump becoming President.

What’s the verdict: Michael Moore’s explosive new film is a paean to the grassroots activism that has mobilised in the face of Republican and Democrat indifference and corruption.

For Donald Trump is not Moore’s only target. Indeed, he is correctly depicted as a conniving opportunist able to see self-gain in a wrecked system. The film presents an urgently argued account of the road he took to seize the White House.

Moore is master of editing found footage into a compelling narra...

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