Offscreen Notes

  • William Peter Blatty, RIP, (January 7, 1928 – January 12, 2017)

    January 17th, 2017

    American author and filmmaker William Peter Blatty has died at the age of 89. Blatty’s novel The Exorcist is perhaps the single most influential and defining horror creation of the 20th century. With the recent reboot of the classic tale of religious and psychological horror as a television series, Blatty’s influence continues strong into the 21st century. Even though the creative history between the Roman Catholic Blatty, and the director of the adaptation, William Friedkin, an atheist Jew, was fraught with differences both spiritual and aesthetic, in the end it was a perfect marriage. A perfect union of two creative minds who, over the years, came to understand and appreciate their creative differences. Blatty was also a film director of considerable talent, especially his uniquely operatic and theatrical debut film, The Ninth Configuration. The Ninth Configuration was based on a novel by Blatty and adapted by him to the screen as a novel blend of psychological art therapy horror. The film is wonderfully literate, visually sophisticated and blessed with one of the most remarkable male casts of character actors ever put together: Stacey Keach, Jason Miller, Scott Wilson, Neville Brand, Ed Flanders, Moses Gunn, Robert Loggia, Joe Spinell, Alejandro Rey, Tom Atkins, and Richard Lynch. And then there is The Exorcist 3 and the hospital corridor scene. Perhaps the single greatest jump scare in horror history. Blatty’s place in the horror pantheon is secure.

  • Music & Moving Image Conference

    October 21st, 2016

    Conference: Music & the Moving Image on May 26 – 28, 2017.

  • Preview of the FNC 2016

    October 2nd, 2016

    With around 380 films and events to choose from, a little guidance may be necessary to help you decide what to watch at the 45th edition of the FNC. Click here:

  • H.G. Lewis RIP: September 26, 2016.

    September 28th, 2016

    Horror legend passes on at age 87 on September 26, 2016. A year after the Grand Guignol theatre shut down its doors forever in 1962 Lewis took over the mantle of goremeister with his groundbreaking Blood Feast (1963). Horror was never quite the same. Lewis followed Blood Feast with Two thousand Maniacs! (1964), Color Me Blood Red (1966), A Taste of Blood (1967), and others. Lewis’ films were never the slick article but showed the hand of an exploitation wizard, always pushing the envelope for taste and trying to offer audiences the type of sensationalism they would never find in mainstream cinema. R.I.P. Lewis. http://www.denofgeek.com/us/movies/herschell-gordon-lewis/258744/a-tribute-to-herschell-gordon-lewis-forever-the-godfather-of-gore

  • Curtis Hanson: 1945-Sept. 20, 2016

    September 21st, 2016

    Hollywood director-writer Curtis Hanson, like many others, got his start working with Roger Corman, writing the Lovecraft based The Dunwich Horror. Hanson’s breakthrough film was LA Confidental (1997), though he had a string of effective thrillers in the late 1980s, and early 1990s (The Bedroom Window, Bad Influence, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle). Hanson died of natural causes.

  • Abbas Kiarostami Dead at Age 76 (1940-July 4, 2016)

    July 5th, 2016

    Cinephiles all over the world are mourning the loss of arguably the greatest filmmaker of his generation, Abbas Kiarostami. We are particularly touched here at Offscreen because of what he has meant for the journal since its inception in 1997. By then Kiarostami had established himself as Iran’s greatest cinematic export, and was recognized in 1997 by Cannes with its top award, the Palme d’or for A Taste of Cherry. My own introduction to Iranian cinema came a few years before this when a few Iranian film students introduced me to the riches of their National cinema. Kiarostami along with Makhmalbaf were two of the first filmmakers they told me to watch. As such Kiarostami and Makhmalbaf became my guides into a whole new cinema culture which has continued to enlighten and entertain me for over 20 years now. Kiarostami’s death, though not unexpected —a current Iranian student told me a few months ago that he was very sick— is still a shock, and more importantly, sad because of the realization that there will be no more new Kiarostami films. Things do not get much sadder than that for a cinephile.

  • RIP Prince

    April 22nd, 2016

    A death that has come too early in his life, at age 57. Interview with Prince on Larry King Live.

  • Tony Conrad, Experimental Artist Dead at 76

    April 11th, 2016

    Jonas Mekas’ brief tribute

  • Colin Low: 1926-Feb. 24, 2016

    February 26th, 2016

    A legend and pioneering force in Canadian cinema has died at age 89. Low was a mainstay at the NFB and was a pivotal force in making them such a National treasure. Through Hors Champ‘s hosting of a special retrospective in Montreal I was fortunate to meet Mr. Low and was struck by his astuteness and self-effacing nature. Click to read two articles featured on Low in this past issue.

  • Don Owen: 1931- Feb. 21, 2016

    February 24th, 2016

    Canadian pioneer feature filmmaker Don Owen is dead at age 84. Owen, along with Larry Kent, was a trailblazer for the fiction film industry in Canada, directing the first NFB fiction feature in 1964, Nobody Waved Goodbye. Listen to this excerpt of Don Owen talking about his art.

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