Jeremy Clarke (Writer)
With more than three decades of writing experience, Jeremy will take you on a fascinating tour of cinema reclaiming the dirtiest treasures from all corners of the world
Jeremy Clarke has been writing about movies in various UK print publications since the late nineteen eighties. He’s excited by movies which provoke audiences, upset convention and make people think. He doesn’t buy the idea of mere entertainment – at the very least, if a movie doesn’t challenge the viewer in some way it may simply confirm audience prejudices and bolster the status quo. Which seems pointless. He wants to be pushed, taken into new ways of seeing.
There are probably as many ways of seeing as there are films made. Can a Hollywood blockbuster show us a new way of seeing? He thinks it can, although so many fail in the task, blocked by a system understandably more interested in generating financial revenue than in provocation. The rough edges get worn smooth for the purposes of easy mass consumption, innovative elements excised in the pursuit of homogeneity. But sometimes, fragments of something new and unsettling get through. Go to the other, independent end of things and you may have more luck. However the less mainstream the film the harder for it to reach even specialised audiences let alone mainstream ones. Yet unique visions can and do reach cinemas and other platforms to find their audiences.
So, what is cinema? The Robot Maria coming to life in Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927). The shooting dead of the heroine’s mother in Bambi (Walt Disney, 1942) A corridor of human arms pointing the way to a castle visitor in La Belle Et La Bête (Jean Cocteau, 1946). The violence of lipstick on lips in Black Narcissus (Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger, 1947). The rings of a tree cross-section indicating a time before the heroine was born in Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958). The narrator’s recurring dream of a mysteriously falling man at the start of La Jetée (Chris Marker, 1962). The gun barrel/dripping blood ident which opens the Bond films (Maurice Binder, 1962). The street inside Shock Corridor‘s asylum (Samuel Fuller, 1963). The hero’s explanation to a co-star that “I’m talking to the audience” in Pierrot le Fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965). The prehistoric beast prowling a burning Mexican cathedral in The Valley Of Gwangi (Ray Harryhausen, 1969). Two heads pulling each other apart in Dimensions Of Dialogue (Jan Švankmajer, 1992). The never-ending staircase of history in The Orchestra (Zbigniew Rybczyński, 1990). Gang members falling off speeding bikes onto unforgiving road surfaces in Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988). The pietà at the end of Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg, 1988). The Möbius strip that comprises Lost Highway (David Lynch, 1997). The ghost idol singer skipping along a housing block balcony in Perfect Blue (Satoshi Kon, 1997). The journey into darkness which is The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005). The outlawed, Iranian, female football fans in Offside (Jafar Panahi, 2006). The claustrophobic family environment of Dogtooth (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2009). The seated figure coming to life at the banquet table in Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, 2006). The traumatised North Korean interview subjects of Camp 14: Total Control Zone (Mark Wiese, 2013). The reboot of religion in The Brand New Testament (Jaco Van Dormael, 2015).
It’s all there. You just have to know where to look!
Jeremy Clarke’s writing on movies currently appears in Reform magazine and All The Anime among others. He has covered cinema and animation in various UK print publications since the late nineteen eighties. Print journalism being a pretty dirty business, many of the magazines in which his work has appeared regularly are sadly now no longer with us, notably Films And Filming, What’s On In London, Manga Max (formerly Manga Mania), Home Entertainment, Starlog (UK edition), Top (the Tower Records magazine) and Third Way magazine.
You can get in touch with Jeremy on twitter @ukjeremyclarke.
Other posts by Jeremy Clarke
Dunkirk is a film miracle: read Jeremy Clarke's verdict of what he describes as "the likely film of the year" and a gauge of "British conformism, value judgments and prejudice" - in cinemas Friday [Read More...]
Genocidal Organ (Gyakusatsu Kikan)
Playing dirty war games: US troops carry out raids in war-torn European countries where genocide has been socially engineered, then relax off-duty to pizza and television - out in cinemas [Read More...]
The Boy And The Beast (Bakemono no ko)
A tale of two worlds: a young boy is abducted into the parallel Beast Kingdom in order to be apprenticed by their future ruler, then as a teenager becomes torn between the two societies - in cinemas [Read More...]
Guess who's behind the wheel tonight? Baby and his music. He's in the hands of fate, but he's not going to hand himself over on a plate - dirtiest music thriller of the year is in cinemas now! [Read More...]
In this Corner of the World
A shock to the system: animation examines a young Japanese woman’s life in wartime up to and including the atomic bombing of Hiroshima - in cinemas this week [Read More...]
My Life as a Courgette
French stop-frame animation about a young boy admitted to an orphanage following the accidental death of his mother deals with deep-seated social issues - in cinemas now [Read More...]
The Red Turtle
Japan’s Studio Ghibli backs a European-made animated tale without dialogue about a man marooned on a desert island and... a red reptile - in cinemas May 26th [Read More...]
Should I stay or should I go? Smart thriller wherein a man’s life is literally split in two as he chooses between an ill-advised road trip to Vegas or staying at home with his hated stepfather - now on DVD and VoD [Read More...]
The latest Alien franchise is an effective horror sci-fi, teeming with shocks, scares and twists, but it lacks the mythological depth of 'Prometheus' and the twisted sexual connotations of 'Alien' - in cinemas at midnight on Thursday [Read More...]
Tuning the pump organ: Japanese thriller in family drama clothing has a man’s old friend just released from prison teach a child how to play a music instrument, to devastating consequences - in cinemas this week [Read More...]
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Hollywood eye candy with grime lovingly rubbed into its very fabric: second outing for Marvel franchise Guardians Of The Galaxy is unexpectedly and refreshingly dirty and subversive - out in cinemas [Read More...]
An extraordinary portrait of teen angst, framed by the character of a boy obsessed with vampires and set in a bleak and soulless housing estate in New York [Read More...]
In the streets and shopping malls of a Japanese city, an unstoppable man punches his way through anyone who stands up to him and fights. You too will be punched in the face! Out now on Blu-ray and DVD [Read More...]
I am Michael
James Franco plays real life gay rights activist, magazine publisher and blogger Michael Glatze who undergoes a crisis of identity and religion to become a straight, married Christian pastor - out now on DVD and VoD [Read More...]
A Silent Voice
Groundbreaking and innovative Japanese drama about school children, bullying, remorse, isolation and self-loathing. And it’s animated. [Read More...]
She’s white, he’s black, they’re urban, he needs to meet her parents who live in a house on a huge estate out of town. His question: are they racist? - now now DVD, Blu-ray and VoD [Read More...]
The Creeping Garden
You wouldn’t make a documentary about slime mould unless you found it fascinating. These two filmmakers clearly do so and their enthusiasm is likely to win you over [Read More...]
An obsession with the Bible drives a Russian secondary school student towards dark designs in a film with both religious and political ramifications. [Read More...]
A docudrama covering the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, the citywide manhunt that ensued and the lives of professional and ordinary citizens caught up in that day and its aftermath - now on iTunes [Read More...]
Trainspotting’s four male protagonists run into each other two decades later; the outcome is a nostalgia fest over-reliant on the convoluted plot and gimmicks of the original film [Read More...]
Endless Poetry (Poesía sin Fin)
Jodorowsky’s second film in his autobiographical cycle takes up where The Dance Of Reality left off, following his life in Chile as a young man as he defies his family to live as a poet - out in cinemas on Friday [Read More...]
Scorsese questions and tests the unwavering faith of the hidden Christians of Japan, and our allegience to the director remains just as steadfast - read our verdict on the director's latest movie, out on New Year's Day [Read More...]