Aliens and Butterflies
The Duke of Burgundy, It Follows, Ejecta
To mark the February release of Peter Strickland’s masterful, sensuous S&M lesbian relationship study The Duke of Burgundy, we explore the theme of butterflies in cinema over the next three months. These fluttering symbols of ephemeral beauty also make a brief appearance in a new DVD release, Michael Winner’s The Nightcomers, a startling prequel to The Innocents/The Turn of the Screw, starring Marlon Brando.
Also out at the cinema are two of the films that impressed us most at festivals last year: David Robert Mitchell’s creepy, intelligent chiller It Follows and James Ward’s convoluted SF tale Coherence.
In home entertainment releases, we review David Cronenberg’s early classic Rabid and Stanley Kubrick’s heist debut The Killing as well as Canadian SF horror tale Ejecta, scripted by Tony Burgess (Pontypool), for its North American release. We also take a look at Shin'ya Tsukamoto’s latest film Fires on the Plain and we have a comic strip review of pinky violence series Stray Cat Rock, starring Meiko Kaji.
After its recent screening at the 12th London Short Film Festival, erotic portmanteau Silver Shoes is also released on DVD, and its director, Jennifer Lyon Bell, tells us about feminist porn and the role clothes play in sexual identity. In Alter Ego, author Stevan Alcock is not Veronika Voss. Plus, we look forward to check new films by Guy Maddin and Peter Greenaway at this year's Berlinale.■