Karel Reisz – Night Must Fall (1964)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
Albert Finney stars in this 1964 psychological thriller, as a psychotic killer who murders a woman then becomes the handy man at a local house where his girlfriend works. Once there he proceeds to slowly torment the old lady who owns the house and attempts to seduce her granddaughter. Continue reading

José Ramón Larraz – Symptoms (1974)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
The official British Palme d’Or entry at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival, Symptoms is a sophisticated modern gothic horror film exploring the themes of sexual repression and psychosis.

Larraz’s dark and stylish film tells of a young woman (Lorna Heilbron) who is invited by her girlfriend (Angela Pleasence) to stay at her remote English country mansion. Events take a disturbing turn when a menacing groundkeeper (Peter Vaughan) interrupts their time together, and a woman’s body is found in the mansion’s lake. Continue reading

Christopher Hampton – Carrington (1995)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
Frail, intellectual Bloomsburyan Lytton Strachey is the unlikely hero for a movie, but congratulations to writer-director Christopher Hampton for making the essayist an elitist everyone can love.
Based on Michael Holroyd’s Strachey biography,
“Carrington” is ostensibly about Dora Carrington, an iconoclastic English painter who had the bad luck to fall irretrievably in love with Strachey, a confirmed homosexual. During their 17-year relationship that lasted until his death in 1932, they managed to live together happily, mostly platonically, sometimes sharing male lovers (one of whom would marry Carrington), but with Carrington often yearning for the sexual comfort Strachey could never fully offer. Continue reading

Richard Fleischer – See No Evil AKA Blind Terror (1971)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

A young blind woman is pursued by a maniac while staying with family in their country manor.

Storyline: Sarah is a blind girl who has returned to her home, a country manor in which all of the occupants are dead. She unknowingly sleeps overnight, among a houseful of corpses, arising the next morning to quietly creep out of bed, in order not to awaken the other members of the household. Continue reading

Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger – The Small Back Room [+Commentary] (1949)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

The Small Back Room details the professional and personal travails of troubled, alcoholic research scientist and military bomb-disposal expert Sammy Rice (David Farrar), who, while struggling with a complex relationship with secretary girlfriend Susan (Kathleen Byron), is hired by the government to advise on a dangerous new German weapon. Deftly mixing suspense and romance, The Small Back Room is an atmospheric, post–World War II gem. Continue reading

Stephen Poliakoff – Close My Eyes (1991)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Incest, architecture and messing about on the river in Stephen Poliakoff’s frank, challenging and taboo-flaunting London drama. Separated as pre-teens when their parents divorced, Natalie (Saskia Reeves) and Richard (Clive Owen) meet again after years apart. The unthinkable happens and the siblings embark on an affair. Matters come to a head when Natalie’s husband, the wealthy and eccentric Sinclair (Alan Rickman), invites Richard on a family picnic and confides to his brother-in-law that he suspects his wife is being unfaithful. Continue reading