There’s a lot to be seen and discovered in this masterpiece

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Original art by Abbas Mushtaq on images from “The Shining”

The first and only horror film directed by genius filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, “The Shining” hit theaters 40 years ago, in May 1980. Originally, its reception was not the best. Stephen King, the author of the 1977 novel that inspired the film, was one of its greatest critics, complaining about the adaptation. The audience might have hoped for another kind of horror and did not understand Kubrick’s approach — let’s remember that a cheap horror film like “Friday the 13th”, released in the same year, was much more successful.


“Summer of ‘42” tells a love story that was traumatic in real life

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The affair between young Hermie and mature Dorothy received an idealized film version (credit: Warner Bros.)

In the summer of 1942, when New York author and screenwriter Herman Raucher was a young boy spending a family vacation on Nantucket Island, he had a romantic experience with an older woman. That one night they spent together haunted Raucher for years. Until he decided to revisit his memories and put what happened that summer on paper.

It first became a movie screenplay, written in the 1950s; then at the same time a book and a successful 1971 film directed by Robert Mulligan. …


Feature

This overlooked British action film isn’t cited as an influence on the South Korean zombie sequel, but it’s strangely familiar…

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The creator of Coffin Joe talks about porn, pride, and regrets

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In 2012, I was invited to take part in an incredible project called Memória do Cinema (Memory of Cinema), created by Heco Produções and carried out in partnership with the Museum of Image of Sound (MIS) and the Government of the State of São Paulo. This project allowed me to interview Brazilian filmmaker José Mojica Marins, a cult artist and a true icon of horror cinema (because of Coffin Joe, the character he created and lived for decades).

Mojica was 76 years old at the time and our conversation lasted for almost three hours. Shortly thereafter, he would suffer a heart attack that left him very weak and reclusive, until his death on February 19, 2020, at the age of 82. …


The creator of Coffin Joe talks about filmmaking and censorship

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In 2012, I was invited to take part in an incredible project called Memória do Cinema (Memory of Cinema), created by Heco Produções and carried out in partnership with the Museum of Image of Sound (MIS) and the Government of the State of São Paulo. This project allowed me to interview Brazilian filmmaker José Mojica Marins, a cult artist and a true icon of horror cinema (because of Coffin Joe, the character he created and lived for decades).

Our conversation lasted for almost three hours and was filmed on September 11, 2012. Mojica was 76 years old at the time and still very lucid. Shortly thereafter, he would suffer a heart attack that left him very weak and reclusive, until his death on February 19, 2020, at the age of 82. …


The creator of Coffin Joe remembers his first movies

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On February 19 this year, José Mojica Marins died in São Paulo at the age of 82. He was one of the great Brazilian filmmakers and the pioneer in the production of Horror Cinema in the country. He was also the creator of Zé do Caixão (Coffin Joe, in English), a sadistic undertaker who, for now, is the first and only 100% Brazilian horror character — who doesn’t borrow elements or characteristics from international creatures.

Mojica had a sui generis life. Although he is remembered for directing horror films, he made a little bit of everything: erotic comedies, melodramas, westerns, musicals, and even X-Rated films. His private life, on the other hand, was too complicated to be summarized here, with multiple relationships with several women, sometimes at the same time. …


The masterpiece that changed horror cinema forever

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Released 60 years ago, in June 1960, “Psycho” is one of those films preceded by its own reputation. Alfred Hitchcock was already an established filmmaker at the time he directed it, but no studio wanted to take any chances with the project — which set a new level of acceptability for violence, deviant behavior and sexuality in American films. At the end of the day, “Psycho” was a relatively cheap production by Hitchcock’s standards at the time, but at the same time one of his biggest hits and to this day one of his well-known titles.

There are countless articles, books and even entire documentaries (like the brilliant “78/52”, by Alexandre O. Philippe) analyzing exhaustively the creating of “Psycho”, so today everyone already knows a story or two about the movie. Like the fact that real-life serial killer Ed Gein inspired Norman Bates, or that Playboy Playmate Marli Renfro was Janet Leigh’s body double in the famous shower scene. Or even the fact that it’s one of the first Hollywood films of the period to show a toilet! …


Everyone needs to start somewhere, even the masters!

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Many stars began their careers without clothes, like Sylvester Stallone and Jackie Chan, who starred in erotic films when they were young anonymous — films that later came back to haunt them when they finally became celebrities. Some award-winning and respected filmmakers also started out with pornography, such as Abel Ferrara (who directed the X-Rated film “Nine Lives of a Wet Pussy” in 1976).

Another director who turned his lenses on naked women — albeit in much more harmless productions than Ferrara’s explicit porn — was a certain Francis Ford Coppola, in the days when he was still a poor young film student at UCLA in Los Angeles. …


When an artist’s mistake becomes an urban legend

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You don’t have to be a big Disney fan to know that Donald Duck has three twin nephews named Huey, Dewey, and Louie. They have been around for some time: artist Al Taliaferro introduced the trio in the comic strip “Donald’s Nephews”, published on October 17, 1937.

But have you ever heard of Phooey Duck, Huey, Dewey, and Louie’s long-forgotten fourth brother?

If you’ve never heard of him before, don’t worry: Phooey is not part of the Disney canon and, in fact, was born from the mistakes of some artists, who ended up fueling a curious urban legend that spread among Disney fans even before the internet! …

About

Felipe M. Guerra

Journalist, independent filmmaker and a sick person. I write about cinema at https://filmesparadoidos.blogspot.com, and in here about films, books and comics.

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