Author: Nathaniel Gingrich

The Pick of Online Film: ‘Prisoners’

I first saw Prisoners during its theatrical run back in 2013. It was a day that sticks out in my mind for a couple reasons. The first being that I encountered the film while attempting to remain inside of the cinema complex from opening to close. The whole thing was an experiment I had thought up for my creative nonfiction class, catch the first film of the day and then try and make it to the last screening that evening without arousing too much suspicion. I ended up seeing five films over the course of that experiment, but the...

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The Pick of Online Film: ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’

Over the last few weeks I’ve done quite a few of these Picks of Online Film, and to be honest you might be able to see a bit of a theme running through them: most of them contain at least elements of horror. And that’s not a coincidence, I like horror movies, I like movies that have bits of horror in them, and I even like movies that’s sole purpose is to make things just unsettling enough to be uncomfortable—looking at you Escape from Tomorrow (2013)—but I haven’t done very many comedies. And that’s for good reason, writing an...

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The Pick of Online Film: ‘It Follows’

There’s a theory in horror film circles that there’s two types of fear: horror-fear and terror-fear. Horror-fear is confining it traps us within our own psyches thus making us yearn for reassuring safety of companions. The process of thinking goes, “if I just have another person with me I’ll be safe”. Think of slasher films like Halloween (1978) or the machinations of the Saw series; these are the types of movies you watch with your buddies, the social aspect of feeling fear together comforts you all. The other type of fear is terror-fear. Terror-fear is expansive and paranoid, causing...

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The Pick of Online Film: XX

The horror genre often serves as a crucible for the film industry; countless directors, writers and actors found their start in the proving ground of the thriller. And so it seems especially poignant to note that, at the feet of Wonder Woman’s continued worldwide dominance, some of the horror genre’s most effective, fresh ideas over the past few years have come from the minds of female directors. One only has to look back to Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook, (which has previously featured in culturised’s Pick of Online Film series) and Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at...

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The Pick of Online Film: Escape from Tomorrow

To watch Escape from Tomorrow (2013) is to watch a film that shouldn’t exist. Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with the subject matter, although it does delve into some uncomfortable spots. It’s not a film that’s been drastically neutered by the censoring agencies (although there are a few clever misdirects), and there weren’t any major stars to wrangle or diva demands that the filmmakers were forced to overcome. The reason that Escape from Tomorrow shouldn’t exist, is that it almost the entire film was shot without permission (guerilla style) in Disneyworld. Furthermore, it’s a slow burn, simulacra-busting nightmare...

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The Pick of Online Film: ‘Coherence’

One of the great joys in life for film buffs is finding those little known gems that flew under the radar. Not necessarily cult classics (though they have the potential), which require a devoted following that pushes them into the zeitgeist usually far after the movies’ original releases; I’m talking about the deep cuts, well made movies that exist on the fringe. Coherence (2013) is one such film and now, thanks to magic of online streaming, it’s available to just about everyone. I was lucky enough to see Coherence back in 2014 at a film festival in Manchester, which...

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The Pick of Online Film: ‘Cape Fear’

For this week’s Pick of Online film, we’ve got a two-for-one special for you: two different films – an original and its remake – both available for your viewing pleasure on the World Wide Web and both critically acclaimed in their own right. They are the J. Lee Thompson 1962 original Cape Fear and its Martin Scorsese-helmed 1991 remake. Both films are adaptations of the novel The Executioners by John D. Macdonald, which was originally written in 1957. The source story revolves around the lives of two men: convicted felon Max Cady, and attorney Sam Bowden. Cady was witnessed...

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The Pick of Online Film: ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’

It seems hard to believe, but Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) is now over a decade old. This little-Spanish-movie-that-could took Guillermo del Toro from the pride of fanboys and Mexican cinema to the elite of Hollywood auteurs. What elevates Pan’s Labyrinth, and justifies its inclusion as this week’s Pick of Online film here on culturised, is its innovative combination of both a wartime and fantasy tropes to create a unique cinematic experience. Pan’s Labyrinth (or El Laberinto del Fauno to use its Spanish title) is a study of fantasy and choice in a world preoccupied with combat. Set in 1944, five...

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