by Dan Fields
First published February 09, 2012 by the California Literary Review
Yes, Academy, That’s What We Should Be Talking About
Discussion of what the Academy Awards overlooked has been unusually lively this year. This seems curious with such a respectable list of confirmed nominees, but as it turns out the list of contenders from 2011 could be (and should be) far more impressive. After all the fuss over Steven Spielberg, Michael Fassbender, and Drive, there’s been one collective snub to rule them all this year.
At the inducement of lavish critical praise, I made a special trip to see Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin, adapted from Lionel Shriver’s novel of the same name. The film stars Tilda Swinton as Eva, a mother dealing with the fallout of her firstborn child’s unspeakable crime. Okay… it’s not an outrageous SPOILER, since heavy hints begin dropping early on, to reveal that Continue reading →
by Dan Fields
First published February 04, 2012 by the California Literary Review
Hammer’s New Horror Recalls Simpler Times
In one of the most basic types of horror story, an outsider arrives in a small country village on business, only to find himself treated with suspicion and quiet hostility by the locals, until he discovers that they are living in fear of something they dare not mention. In these situations, it pays to listen to the superstitious, the bereaved, and the seemingly mad. But nobody ever bothers until it’s too late.
The new adaptation of Susan Hill’s beloved ghost story The Woman In Black hearkens to a bygone age when many of the best horror films hung on this no-frills premise. The third or fourth major effort by newly revived Hammer Film Productions, this is so far the most reminiscent of its studio’s golden age. Continue reading →