Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
It’s the issue they didn’t want you to read! Sight & Sound avoids the censor’s scissors, but can’t resist the sinster draw of Prano Bailey–Bond’s wicked yet darkly beautiful Censor.
Mark Kermode joins Bailey–Bond in discussing the 1980s tabloid frenzy surrounding so-called ‘video nasties’ – unrated VHS horror releases that snuck past the beady-eyed BBFC – and her debut feature Censor, an 80s period piece dripping with paranoia and psychological scares.
Also, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas refutes the claim that horror is “fundamentally unladylike” by tracking the genre in female filmmakers’ work throughout film history, and Kim Newman highlights six of the best British ‘nasties’.
If you can bear to keep looking, there’s more from Newman, who takes on Mary Whitehouse et al and presents a history of the ‘video nasty’ moral panic – which the ever-measured Daily Mail deemed “sadism” and “rape of our children’s minds”.
Then a change of speed, from hysteria to history. Kelly Reichardt transports us to 1820s America in First Cow, her take on the dawn of capitalism in the Pacific Northwest. Speaking to Ryan Gilbey, Reichardt espouses the virtues of slowness: “You can take your time. It’s the difference between showing an audience something, and letting an audience see something.”
21-year-old Suzanne Lindon wrote her debut feature Spring Blossom when she was 15, and directed it at 19. James Mottram spoke to Lindon, daughter of French actors, about her love of dance and her film’s age-gap romance.
Geoff Andrew gets lost in Nashville. Recalling his first trip into Robert Altman’s sprawling portrait of 1970s America, Andrew tentatively crowned it the greatest American film since Citizen Kane – but has this feeling remained?
And from our archive, a 1974 interview with Jack Nicholson, in which he speaks to John Russell Taylor about directing, collaborating with Roger Corman, the social responsibilities of being an actor and America’s waning interest in arthouse cinema.