September, and the last month of Summer of Satan. October will see the return of 13 for Halloween, while the Second Annual Winter of Discontent will kick off sometime in November. In other words, that’s my viewing choices for the remainder of 2011 roundly influenced. (Although there will be the odd classic of world cinema slipping under the net: stay tuned for a review of a certain 1966 Pontecorvo film in the next few days.)
Already, my mind turns to next year and a theme for the summer months on The Agitation of the Mind. In time-honoured tradition, I’m throwing it open to you guys. The sidebar poll has gone up, voting will remain open till the end of the year. Your choices are:
1. Summer of sci-fi. The runner up in last year’s poll, giving Summer of Satan enough competition that I thought it was worth giving it a second chance.
2. Video nasties. At one time or another, there were 72 films on the DPP’s hit list, with 39 prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act. The majority of them are now commercially available uncut. The others you have to look a bit harder for. I’ve already reviewed a couple of titles, and I’m not setting myself the stupid task of wading through the whole lot, but if this one wins, say a representative sample of a dozen?
3. Director retrospective. Sam Peckinpah, Andrei Tarkovsky, Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Fabrice du Welz have all received the retrospective treatment on Agitation. If you vote for this one, feel free to hit up the comments box and suggest a director.
4. Ten films that changed the world. In-depth articles about ten films that had a far-reaching effect beyond cinema and can genuinely be said to have made a definitive social, artistic or political change. For anyone who despairs of my predilection for exploitation films, vote for this and encourage me to raise my game.
5. Cinema as a second language. A retrospective of films directed by artists for whom cinema was not their primary medium. The author as auteur; the photographer as purveyor of the moving image; the art terrorist as documentarist. An evaluation of how one discipline informs the other.
Over to you …