DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

Jeremy Clarke

Jeremy Clarke

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 1980s. 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
Three horrific short movies
Edgar Allen Poe, psychological terror, plus a touch of supernatural and comedy. These three, very different horror/suspense shorts Lock In, Bricks and Ghosted, all scripted by Jamie Russell and directed by Neville Pierce, are dirtylicious delights - out on Vimeo from Monday 5th Feb [Read More...]

Phantom Thread
There are more things in needle and thread! Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film is a dark and sumptuous drama set in Britain about a 1950s ladies’ dress designer and the two women behind his success. And an apparition! In UK cinemas from Friday [Read More...]

It’s a small world (after all)! Husband and wife Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig are shrunk to miniature size along with many other volunteers in an attempt to cut down consumption of the Earth’s limited natural resources – in cinemas [Read More...]

The Post
The White House versus the press. Set in the 1970s, Steven Spielberg’s journalistic epic tells the story of The Washington Post and the Pentagon Papers – in cinemas from Friday [Read More...]

Eric Clapton: Life In 12 Bars
Sex, drugs and the blues: The life of famed guitarist Eric Clapton has been plagued by a catalogue of personal tragedy, obsession, addiction and rejection. Yet he was saved by his music - in cinemas from Friday [Read More...]

Our dirty questions to Kiyoshi Kurosawa
The prolific and uncategorisable Japanese filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa reveals his influences, talks about the creative processe and what genre he'll be working on next! [Read More...]

Glory (Slava)
Does honesty pay off in a society riddled with corruption? Bulgaria’s latest Oscar entry is a double character study of a sympathetic, ordinary worker and a self-serving member of the elite political class - in cinemas [Read More...]

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The latest addition to the Star Wars franchise offers a visual spectacle and is one of the series’ best entries, with new places, odd creatures and a Jedi heroine in the pole position, amongst other dirty treats - in cinemas on Thursday [Read More...]

Most Beautiful Island
Immigrants, shake your money maker! A foreigner trying to survive in New York with no money stumbles upon a opportunity which sounds too good to be true – now on BFI Player [Read More...]

Mad World (Yat Nim Mou Ming)
Mental health is no child's play: all the odds seem to be stacked against a father’s struggles to care for his bipolar adult son, in a film that's a sharp comment on Hong Kong's failure to care for the most vulnerable [Read More...]

Bill Frisell: A Portrait
Jazz guitarist Bill Frisell is a unique talent, a shy man and an extraordinary individual about whom fellow musician turned director Franz has made a remarkable film – from the Doc ‘n Roll Festival [Read More...]

Metalhead (Málmhaus)
This is hardcore! Teen compensates for her brother’s untimely death by adopting his heavy metal music albums, clothing and guitar playing, in Icelandic drama – watch it now on VoD [Read More...]

A Dirty Carnival (Biyeolhan Geori)
As GoodFellas as it gets! Yoo Ha’s gangster film compares favourably to Scorsese’s classic on many levels, an underrated dirty gem of Korean Noir – from the London Korean Film Festival [Read More...]

Daguerrotype (Le Secret de la Chambre Noire)
In the realm of the seances: French outing for Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa is a strange, meditative ghost story which straddles both cultures – watch it now on VoD [Read More...]

Two Doors (Du Gae-Ui Mun)
Is this the Korean Grenfell Tower? Threatened eviction, SWAT, lethal building fire: compelling documentary about the Yongsan tragedy in which a police raid on a group of housing protesters went horribly wrong – from the London Korean Film Festival [Read More...]

The Remnants (Gong-Dong-Jeong-Beom)
Revisiting the Korean towering inferno: follow-up doc to Two Doors, has survivors of the Yongsan tragedy released from prison to tell their side of the story and grapple with the resulting emotional and psychological problems – from the London Korean Film Festival [Read More...]

The Receptionist
Asian sex workers form a cohesive immigrant community within the wider, English-speaking London, in convincing drama from the London East Asia Film Festival [Read More...]

Perfect Blue
How do you improve on perfection? A terrific and terrifying experience that redefines the boundaries of animation, Satoshi Kon’s identity crisis psycho thriller returns to UK cinemas this Halloween [Read More...]

Before We Vanish (Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha)
Loving the alien: three humans claiming to be aliens steal ideas from people’s heads as they prepare for their race’s forthcoming invasion, in an unabashedly bizarre blend of comedy, romance and sci-fi – from the London East Asia Film Festival [Read More...]

The Fortress (Nam Han San Seong)
Korean period, winter war movie in which a besieged King, his court and his army decide whether to negotiate or fight as the enemy approaches – the opening film in the London East Asia Film Festival [Read More...]

ManHunt (Zhuibu)
Celebrated Hong Kong director John Woo builds one incredible action set piece on another, perfectly integrating them into his visual storytelling and bravura cinematic style, this time set in Japan - a late addition from the BFI London Film Festival [Read More...]

Memoir Of A Murderer (Sal-In-Ja-Eu Ki-Eok-Beob)
A k-thriller with a memorable premise: serial killer with Alzheimer's suspects man dating his daughter is also a mass murderer - from the BFI London Film Festival [Read More...]

Wrath Of Silence (Bao Lie Wu Sheng)
Fist of parental fury: mute villager fights hard to find his missing son in rural China, in a film teeming with extraordinary social commentary and... fighting!!! From the BFI London Film Festival [Read More...]

Oh, mother, mother, what have you done??? Find out everything you ever wanted to know about the 78 set-ups and 52 cuts that comprised the infamous shower scene, in this very dirty doc about Psycho - on DVD and BFI Player [Read More...]

Urban dystopia has never looked as colourful as in this fast-paced, street-smart, animated, French-Japanese co-production - from the BFI London Film Festival [Read More...]

Pecking Order
Who’s got the Eggs Factor? Chicken breeders compete both for best bird in show and to run the local bird club in this eggstraordinary New Zealand documentary – in cinemas [Read More...]

On Body and Soul (Testről és lélekről)
See you in my dreams! Golden Bear winner is an oneiric romance set against the unlikely backdrop of an abattoir - now showing on Mubi [Read More...]

Maverick visionary Aronofsky’s psychological horror has a spoonful of Polanski, a dash of Hitchcock, a pinch of Kubrick and even a squeeze of Ken Russell, all topped with a sterling cast – it just premiered at Venice and is out in cinemas on Friday [Read More...]

Your Name (Kimi no Na wa)
Do you know what it feels like for a girl? Urban teenage boy and countryside girl repeatedly swap bodies overnight, as fate draws them together through a meteor strike. Makoto Shinkai’s breakout animation returns to cinemas, and is now for the first time in IMAX [Read More...]

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power
The movie Trump and May DON'T want you to watch: follow-up documentary sees Al Gore travel the globe to explore the latest developments on climate change, and the message is terrifying - in cinemas [Read More...]

A Ghost Story
Despite the movie title, this flick starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck is not your average ghost film, but instead a slow-burning and provocative essay on the meaning of existence - on all major VoD platforms [Read More...]

The Ghoul
Officer Jekyll and Mr Hyde - psychological thriller weaves a complex web of characters and a police procedural which folds back in on itself. Welcome to the strange, confusing and compelling world of The Ghoul - now on BFI Player [Read More...]

Wish Upon
Deep dive into the wishing NOT well!!! Teenager stumbles upon a Chinese music box that makes wishes come true – unaware that it also extracts a horrific price for each deed - from Friday [Read More...]

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 - finally on DVD and Blu-ray [Read More...]

Baby Driver
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 (Ma Vie de 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 - now on DVD and Blu-ray [Read More...]

The Red Turtle (La Tortue Rouge)
Japan’s Studio Ghibli backs a European-made animated tale without dialogue about a man marooned on a desert island and... a red reptile - now on DVD and Blu-ray [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...]

Alien: Covenant
The latest Alien franchise entry 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' - finally on iTunes! [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...]

The Transfiguration
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...]

Destruction Babies
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...]

Get Out
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...]

The Student
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...]

Patriot’s Day
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...]

T2 Trainspotting
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...]

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