Finding a director you love can feel like quite the task. Whether it be the countless sea of film school graduates that dream of becoming Christopher Nolan, to the prior “old guard” that repeat their work over and over, the massive majority of filmmakers tend to stick to their comforts rather than genuinely reinventing the wheel. But when you do discover a director that legitimately possesses their unique view, it feels like you’re Indiana Jones, uncovering the greatest of treasures.
In the case of this cinephile, that’s how I felt when I discovered the work of Jacques Demy – a filmmaker known for his collection of American-inspired movie musicals, bold techniques, and creative use of a loud and unconventional color palette. Though most of his top-tier work came out in the 1960s, every film of his feels fresh, imaginative, and captivating – as if made today. And though many of his films are worth discussing, the one I wish to bring to your attention is Peau d’âne, aka Donkey Skin.
Continue reading “Jacques Demy’s “Donkey Skin” – A Mature Fairy Tale” →
In my film world, stories of metamorphosis are always at the forefront of my noggin. So when it came time to pick a new slice of cinema to quench that most specific of thirsts, I found myself drawn to a two-part RKO film series – Cat People, directed by Jacques Tourneur, followed by The Curse of the Cat People, directed by Robert Wise.
Now it’s important to acknowledge that, while beautifully shot, Cat People can seem like a sophisticated affair dipped in low budget paint. In fact, many of its less-than-stellar aspects might turn off the casual viewer. Yet from my angle, this iconic staple of the horror genre is more than just an examination of a mysterious monster, but rather is a much more cautionary tale. Because the terrors at the center of these films are not that of majestic transformations, but of a common experience that most women share.
To explore these ever so relevant fears, let’s take a look at the first film in the series.
Warning – slight spoilers for an almost 80-year-old film below…
Continue reading ““Cat People”: The Fear of the Feminine (Pt 1)” →