I have always been a cinephile and I enjoy watching movies according to the current season; since I am a huge fan of Halloween, I watched John Carpenter’s 1978 Halloween movie when I was fifteen years old and every October I like to discover new horror movies or rewatch my favorite ones.
While I usually prefer horror movies that veer towards the thriller genre, I find it cathartic to be able to observe from a distance some of humanity’s ancestral fears.
I tend to watch all kinds of horror movies but I generally stay away from the ones that are too disturbing (even though I have come to appreciate a few slasher movies among the classics, like the Scream series).
I have rounded up five favorite movies to watch for Halloween; most of them are available on DVD/Blu-Ray or on streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
1) In Fabric (Peter Strickland, 2018): I recently watched this underrated horror gem on Prime Video and I enjoyed it beyond my expectations. The story revolves around a cursed red dress as it switches from owner to owner, with devastating consequences for the people who purchase and wear it.
The movie is set at the beginning of the 90s but its atmospheres and set designs are very reminiscent of the 1970s; it is a satyrical horror that serves as a critique of extreme consumerism and self-image obsession, also touching on the subject of our bosses’ excessive and sometimes ridiculous analysis of our workplace. The vivid color palette and overall atmosphere reminded me of Dario Argento’s Suspiria, a masterpiece of the horror genre which I included on this list as well and whose electronic score by Goblins is very similar to the In Fabric soundtrack by Cavern of Anti-Matter. Some critics have also stated that it would be a great watching experience for people who enjoy filmmaker Ari Aster’s movies.
I work in the fashion industry so I really enjoyed watching a horror movie about fashion, and I think many people will appreciate the narrative and symbolism of a movie that has humorous notes in it as well.
2) Near Dark (Kathryn Bigelow, 1987): this was Kathryn Bigelow’s first movie and I think it was masterfully directed, to the point that I didn’t notice this was her directorial debut. Not only is this a movie with vampires as main characters, but also it is a road movie that has excellent cinematography and gothic vibes; it was mainly shot in Arizona and the wonderful desert landscapes contribute to making it a horror western, something very unique in its genre.
It’s that time of the year when the Venice International Film Festival (Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia) takes place.
Held annually in Venice, Italy, it is one of the biggest film festivals worldwide and one of the oldest, since it was founded in 1932.
I studied acting for a few years while working in the fashion industry and I later switched to photography because the whole machine surrounding the business was giving me anxiety and I felt I didn’t love what I was doing anymore; I was more interested in other forms of art, as I wanted to stick with fashion and pursue photography as a hobby and a freelance job.
During those years I had the chance to attend two of the Venice Film Festival editions, both in 2015 and 2017; the first time I was there with a friend who was showcasing an independent film in the Venice Days section (apart from the Official Selection, there are other award categories like Horizons, Lion of the Future and Glory to the Filmmaker Award). The Lido di Venezia (Venice Lido), where the festival takes place, is part of the Venetian lagoon, on the Adriatic sea, which is famous for its golden sand beaches. The highlight of the experience for me was watching the movies; I consider myself a cinephile so it was exciting to see movie previews, especially because some of the ones screened in Venice are usually among the highest-anticipated of the year.
“This is London. Someone has died in every room in every building and on every street corner in the city.”
Yesterday I finally watched Edgar Wright’s thriller/horror movie “Last Night in Soho”. I had been wanting to watch it since it first was presented in Venice about a year ago, so I was very happy when I found out it was part of the movie selection for the 11th edition of the “Cinema at the Priamar Fortress” nights in Savona, Italy, where I am spending part of the summer. It was a very successful program as they screened plenty of movies from the past year and I recommend anyone spending the summer in Liguria to see at least one movie at the Fortress; it was magical to watch the film under the stars, immersed in the quietness of the place. The audience is very respectful of the screening that it’s taking place and it reminded me of my movie-watching experience at Locarno Film Festival .
“Last Night in Soho” was screened for this edition’s closing night. I won’t go into details about the plot because I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but the movie is essentially about Eloise, a girl who enrolls at the London College of Fashion in order to become a fashion designer; when she rents a bedroom in the city she finds herself experiencing vivid and increasingly scary visions of an aspiring singer named Sandie, who happened to live in London during the Swinging 60s. Nothing is as it seems and the glamour hides something more sinister, so Eloise finds herself witnessing a reality which is far more darker.
The first week of August in 2017 I had the pleasure to live one of the greatest weeks of my life. I was living in Lugano during that time, so I was eager to attend the 70th edition of Locarno Film Festival.
Locarno Film Festival is held annually in Locarno, Switzerland, and it is the most important Swiss film festival. Like the main film festivals (i.e. Cannes, Venice, Toronto…), it screens movies in different sections, both competitive and non-competitive; this includes documentaries, shorts, retrospective programs and avant-garde films. The festival’s main partners are Swisscom, laMobiliare, UBS and Manor, while the municipalities of Ascona and Locarno are the destination partner. The top prize of the festival is the Golden Leopard, which is awarded to the best film in the International Competition, along with other prizes like the Prix du Public (Audience Award) and the Leopard of Honor (Career Achievement). In addition, it awards numerous minor prizes and it also awards the Green Pardo WWF (in collaboration with WWF), praising the movie which best reflects the environmental theme in any of the competition sections. For this edition, the Artistic Director was Carlo Chatrian, who maintained his role until the following year. The President of the Jury was Olivier Assayas, director of masterpieces like Personal Shopper and Sils Maria.
I got to attend the festival with an accreditation due to the fact that I was working in collaboration with a friend journalist, so I was very happy to watch as many films as possible. I was there almost everyday and traveling from Lugano is about 45 minutes by car; I was thankful for that because hotels are so expensive in Locarno during the Festival week.
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