‘Herostratus,’ directed by Don Levy

Movie, 1967 Intense, arty film about a struggling nihilistic poet who enlists the help of an advertising agency in order to turn his suicide into a media event. While there are some ideas which sit a little awkwardly or backfire – some of the archive footage cut into the main action seems a little heavy-handed – this is a breath-taking spectacle which despite its tricksiness, … Continue reading ‘Herostratus,’ directed by Don Levy

“Belle de Jour,” directed by Luis Buñuel

Movie, 1967 Story of a well-to-do housewife who becomes a day time call girl in an unlikely double life. This is a film which is at once fresh, though also very much of its time. The surreal elements, which revolve around the savage treatment of Belle de Jour, are mixed into a plot and pace which seem almost quaint to contemporary mores, although there’s a … Continue reading “Belle de Jour,” directed by Luis Buñuel

“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, directed by Stanley Kramer

Movie, 1967 A rather dated film exploring racial tensions in a liberal family, which feels very much like a one-location play adapted for film suing a flat, linear approach to its characters and their issues. Ultimately, there’s a happy ending and a resolution which you can see coming a mile off. Quite effective and moving for it though. The real interest is in race and … Continue reading “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, directed by Stanley Kramer

“Night of the Big Heat,” directed Terence Fisher

Movie, 1967 British character actors struggle to create suspense, with limited props in a science-fiction horror set on a remote, over-heating island. A film which could be worse, though which could be a lot, lot better, with a miscast here, an impenetrable character there, not meshing as well as they do in similar genre pictures. Even the plot, which should be key, is lost under … Continue reading “Night of the Big Heat,” directed Terence Fisher

"Ice", by Anna Kavan

Novel, 1967 Hypnotic novel about the struggle between three characters and an ecological catastrophe threatening to disrupt the pursuit between them. This is an episodic novel where themes and actions are repeated, echoed and emphasised, particularly as the main protagonist sees the woman he’s chasing flee ever increasingly away from him. Some great writing and it pays to read this one slowly, with the tension … Continue reading "Ice", by Anna Kavan

"Branded to Kill", directed by Seijun Suzuki

Movie, 1967 At times hypnotic, at times frustrating thriller about an assassin tormented by his carnal and professional desires and ambitions. A film whose surreal structure, flamboyant scenes and stunning imagery work in isolation, although don’t make for an entirely satisfactory whole. What the film has in these respects it lacks in warmth and humanity, which isn’t helped by a jerky narrative. There’s plenty to … Continue reading "Branded to Kill", directed by Seijun Suzuki