Secret Slidings

Robbe-Grillet, I am Divine, The Beast

Led by Toby Amies’s deeply human portrait of former gay underground icon Drako, aka The Man Whose Mind Exploded, July is all about documentaries focusing on extraordinary lives. While Finding Vivian Maier shines an overdue light on the former Chicago nanny turned secret street photographer, Jeffrey Schwarz’s I am Divine revitalises the cult queer icon famous for his appearances in John Waters’s early films.

Also returning to the big screen are two great works of cinema, in very different styles: Orson Welles’s mirrored mystery noir The Lady from Shanghai and Seijun Suzuki’s yakuza delirium Branded to Kill, also released in a dual format Blu-ray/DVD edition this month.

Other July home entertainment highlights include the BFI’s much anticipated Alain Robbe-Grillet box-set, Jeremy Gardner’s horror drama The Battery, and the second instalment of Video Nasties. As part of our ongoing celebration of Walerian Borowczyk we review two of his masterpieces, The Beast and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Miss Osbourne while in Short Cuts we look at his ground-breaking animation.

Ahead of their summer event, we have an interview with the team behind female-friendly London erotic film night La Freak Smut Cinema. In Alter Ego, author Emma Jane Unsworth is Tina from Sightseers while Oh! Gunquit take over this month’s Film Jukebox. Our latest Dominion of Canada report focuses on independent comedy The Animal Project and our Cine Lit column looks at Italian film in the fascist era, the new wave of TV series and Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill!.

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The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology

The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology (Strange Attractor Press) brings together Bill Morrison's chemical ghosts, 50s bad girls, apocalyptic evangelical cinema, Spanish zombies, Japanese nihilists and David Lynch's soundtracks of decay. 'Superb - a masterly accomplishment. Beautifully produced - and its content and vision could not be more accurate and timely.' - Peter Whitehead. Read the reviews.

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Walerian Borowczyk: To mark the first major UK retrospective of his work, we celebrate the flamboyant brilliance of Polish director Walerian Borowczyk, exploring his ground-breaking oeuvre with a feature on Borowczyk's fascination with motion and animation, The Motion Demon, a comic strip survey of his career as a board game, and reviews of melancholy meditation on sex The Streetwalker and elegant medieval tale Blanche.

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The Fright Theorem: Ted Kotcheff and Terry Gilliam: Alex Fitch talks to Ted Kotcheff, the director of ‘lost’ cult classic Wake in Fright (1971), and to Terry Gilliam, whose new film The Zero Theorem is released this month.

Film4 FrightFest 2014

Film4 FrightFest 2014

Opening with Adam Wingard’s much anticipated homage to 80s slasher/action flicks, The Guest, and closing with heady American SF puzzler The Signal, Film4 FrightFest has announced the programme for its mammoth 15th edition (64 films, 5 screens, 11 world premieres, 16 countries represented!), taking place at Vue West End on 21-25 August 2014.

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