Marketa Lazarová

At its core, Marketa Lazarová is the story of two rival clans in early 13th century Bohemia: the primitive Pagan raiders the Kozlíks, lorded over by a brutal patriarch; and the slightly more civilized Lazars, led by an opportunistic father who, while unwilling to participate in the bloody raids perpetrated by the Kozlíks, is more than happy to swoop in after the fact and scavenge for anything he might think could be of value.

Legend of Suram Fortress

One of the great joys of watching movies from countries and cultures with which I have maybe, at best, a passing familiarity is discovering their language of film — both in their mainstream as well as their fringes. There is a thrill in discovering how differently one country, one region, one filmmaker can interpret how…

Cultural Gutter: Hebrew Horrors

A new Frolic Afield! I’m back on Cultural Gutter writing about the rarity of Jewish horror films. Hebrew Horrors looks at two horror films that are set within the realm of Jewish folklore: 1920’s well-regarded and somewhat controversial Der Golem, and the little-known Yiddish-language horror film The Dybbuk.

Viy

My odyssey through the strange world of Russian fantasy films began in earnest many years ago, when I moved to a prominently Russian and Ukrainian neighborhood and started prowling around the DVD stores of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Up until then, I’d caught glimpses of this strange and wonderful looking avenue of cinema in the form…

Troll Hunter

I cannot count “point of view” films among the styles of film making for which I possess much tolerance. Aside from rarely being the least bit convincing as “found footage,” relying as they do on the conceit that assorted people would continue to film an incident long after the extreme danger factor would move just…