Ben Wheatley

Toward A Ballardian Future

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The problem with J G Ballard, from a filmmaker’s perspective, is that he does not tell stories. He suggests futures and new psychologies. His characters are ciphers, his plots are liminal and his prose is exquisite, none of which makes him easy to adapt. Spielberg made a fine job of ‘Empire Of The Sun’, although […]

Why Ballard’s Still The Boss

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It is now six years since Jim Ballard died. In a world with few heroes, he was one of mine. He began writing short stories in 1956, part of SF’s ‘new wave’, in which space ships and intergallactic battles were eschewed in favour of 20th century problems taken to extremes. His work is therefore more […]

Science Fiction Movies: A Great British Tradition?

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Speculative film fictions are intrinsically connected to open-minded American culture, from ‘Them!’ to ‘Star Wars’, but in its buttoned-down way the UK too has always been fascinated by science fiction. We’ve produced many of the greatest SF writers in the world, and yet at first glance it seems that this tradition has not been followed […]

Re:View – ‘The Borderlands’

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Oh good, another found-footage scary movie – but wait, this one’s different because for once there’s an entirely reasonable explanation for the cast covering everything on film. And the way it’s been covered, while not exactly cheating, certainly suggests that a film editor has cut the footage together for theatrical release. And more good news, […]

Re:View – ‘Sightseers’

Ben Wheatley’s follow-up to ‘Kill List’ was always going to be tough. That film melded Mike Leigh’s approach to naturalistic acting with Hammer supernatural shenanigans to great effect, and it’s much better on a second viewing. This time he seems to have taken on another ghastly/funny Mike Leigh play, ‘Nuts In May’, and combined it […]