John Carpenter

The 5 Best Movies to Buy or Stream This Week: ‘A Girl Walks Home,’ ‘Everly’

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For the second week in a row, one of last year’s terrific indie genre movies is hitting Blu-ray (for us physical media diehards; never give up!) and Netflix (for you streamers; I do not understand you but I embrace you) on the very same day. This week, the gem in question is A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, and it’s joined on the new release shelf this week by an entertaining, blood-soaked shoot-‘em-up and re-releases of a Renoir classic, a ‘70s coming-of-age fave, and one of the most iconic action movies of the 1980s.
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The Stories Behind 10 Unused Film Scores

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This month is dedicated to horror master John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York) at BAMcinématek, which is celebrating his oeuvre in conjunction with the release of his first solo album, Lost Themes. “Lost Themes was all about having fun. It can be both great and bad to score over images, which is what I’m used to. Here there were no pressures. No actors asking me what they’re supposed to do. No crew waiting. No cutting room to go to. No release pending. It’s just fun,” the filmmaker stated. “[Lost Themes is] little moments of score from movies made in our imaginations.” In keeping with the theme of “lost” music, we examined the stories behind several unused film scores. These are the soundtracks that didn’t make the final film for one reason or another. Listen to several excerpts, below.
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10 Fascinating Films Set in a Single Location

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Sisters are reunited at a secluded estate in the woods in Mona Fastvold’s brooding, restrained study of family dysfunction in The Sleepwalker. “The unplanned sibling visit turns into a socially awkward weekend getaway. There’s table banter and after-dinner dancing (to instrumental Yo La Tengo) in the vast, lamp-lit parlor,” writes Jordan Hoffman for The Guardian. “These scenes glide along, evolving into near surrealism once our characters turn in for the night and succumb to the titular somnambulism.” Relying on emotional performances, the remote house serves as the movie’s primary location — a striking manifestation of the sisters’ “self-contained universe” — where the dark family history unravels. We look at other films that find their inspiration from single locations, reflecting the interior world of their characters.
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Flavorwire Interview: Kim Gottlieb-Walker on Capturing John Carpenter’s Landmark Horror Classics

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Her work has taken her from the Free Speech Movement in California and the underground press to the golden age of reggae (capturing Bob Marley) and a Jimi Hendrix interview in 1967 (her candid portraits of the singer are featured in the Hendrix “bible,” Classic Hendrix). But photographer Kim Gottlieb-Walker’s encounters with celebrity weren’t limited to music. She became the set photographer for filmmaker John Carpenter, capturing stills of his iconic genre films — including Halloween, The Fog, Escape from New York, Halloween II, and Christine. Her behind-the-scenes images offer insight into one of cinema’s masters of horror — a maverick artist who has thrilled and chilled us since 1974. The Carpenter photographs are the subject of a newly released book from Titan Books, On Set with John Carpenter. We recently spoke with Gottlieb-Walker about the making of Halloween, being a woman in a male-dominated industry, and the greatest Carpenter film faces.
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Why ‘Halloween’ Is the Greatest Horror Franchise Ever (Even Though It Isn’t)

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It’s hard to imagine the kind of rights clearances and materials logistics that must’ve gone into Shout Factory and Anchor Bay’s new box set Halloween: The Complete Collection; it assembles ten films (and their copious special features) that were made over 31 years by several different studios and independents. Yet all those legal hurdles were cleared so that Halloween fans could have every single iteration of the series in one compact box — although it’s almost a pyrrhic victory, since the most striking impression from viewing these films alongside each other is how wildly inconsistent the series is. Halloween is my favorite horror franchise, but there’s more than one movie in the series that’s awful enough to make me question that very devotion. But then again, aren’t all horror franchises like that?
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10 Great Movies That Appear In 10 Other Great Movies

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There are all sorts of reasons to see Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Ali: Fear Eats The Soul (debuting this week on Blu-ray, via The Criterion Collection), but here’s the one that finally clinched it for me: when they go see it in Middle of Nowhere. By inserting the earlier film into a later one, Nowhere’s director, Ava DuVernay, isn’t just telling us something about the kind of people who inhabit her story; she’s also savvily commenting on the kind of story she’s telling. And she’s not the only filmmaker to employ this very clever trick.
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Why the Slasher Movie Was the Quintessential ’80s Horror Subgenre

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Horror films channel the fears and fervor of modernity, acting as reflectors turned against their viewers. They’re the most epochal form of escapism of the last century. Take, for example, James Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein, which uses monsters and madmen to depict the internal torment of repressed sexual orientation at a time when homophobia was the norm, or Psycho and Peeping Tom, which explore the identity suppression and psycho-sexual struggle of the McCarthy era (to which The Wicker Man would provide a gleefully perverse epilogue in 1973). John Carpenter’s Halloween presents suburban banality and parental tyranny — no pot, no premarital sex, be home by nine — personified as a living urban legend in Michael Meyers. David Cronenberg’s skin-tighteningly creepy Shivers, and later his remake of The Fly, capture the fear of disease and bodily disintegration. The fear of communism permeates Invasion of the Body Snatchers (both of them), while Carpenter, always happy to usurp the conservative norm, portrays the fear and paranoia of communism, rather than communism itself, sinisterly in The Thing.
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