Scream Blacula Scream, Black Holes and More: My Films of the Week #18

As a lifelong cinephile, I have always consumed a copious amount of films. In this new feature, I keep track of the films I watch during the week. (Also, Click here to buy my book of thoughts on film, Eye of the Beholder, on Amazon!)

 

Everbody Flies
dir. Tristan Loraine, Beth Moran
2019, UK

A documentary about the little-known issue of air toxicity on commercial flights. Everybody Flies is driven by former airline captain Tristan Loraine, who is the film’s investigator and co-director and whose everyman persona adds a powerful charm to what is an eye-opening film.

 

Archipelago
dir. Félix Dufour-Laperriere
2021, Canada

Animated essay documentary reflecting on the origins of Quebec and what makes a piece of land a region or a community of people. But all that flies over one’s head and the movie is best when simply viewed as a beautiful succession of various styles of animation.

 

Mayday
dir. Karen Cinorre
2021, USA

A young woman is catapulted to a picturesque war ground on an endless and timeless battle of the sexes after a spectacular storm. A fusion of genres – namely fantasy cinema and war movies – with feminist vibes. However, serious flaws in the logic and psychology of the movie make Mayday feel incredibly empty, if not downright superficial.

 

Scream Blacula Scream
dir. Bob Kelljan
1973, USA

The sequel to 1972’s blaxploitation horror film Blacula. It’s curiously well filmed and, in many ways, a necessary counterpart to white-dominated American mainstream cinema. However, it doesn’t amount to much more than you would expect from its title.

 

Cash on Demand
dir. Quentin Lawrence
1961, UK

A bank robbery thriller from the fabled British horror studio, Hammer. Despite its restrictive runtime, the stagey nature of the movie and its almost complete lack of legitimate tension makes this a rather underwhelming if not downright dull work.

 

Landscapes of Resistance
dir. Marta Popivoda
2021, France/Germany/Serbia

A documentary about one of the first women Serbian partisans, mixed with the filmmaker’s own thoughts about contemporary activism. Meditative in nature with a suggestive sense of timelessness enhanced by a lack of archive footage. But does this type of film legitimately work in establishing a direct connection with the spectator in 2021? Or is this just a watered-down short film? The jury is out on that one.

 

Black Holes
dir. Laurent Nicolas, David Nicolas, Kavos Van Der Meiren
2017, France/USA

Interesting computer-animated science-fiction short about how a spaceman’s life is turned upside down by the appearance of a strange melon. Stylish and interesting but considering all the incredible talent involved, including music from Flying Lotus and Mr. Oizo, this is little more than the typical cult short animation of its kind.

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