Max Von Sydow – Five Farewells: Citizen X

For the longest time, Max Von Sydow was one of those perennial “faces” in film. You know, the ones who show up and make you go “Hey! That’s the guy from…” I’m speaking of my personal experience of course. As such, he was never someone that I was particularly looking for when I picked out movies at the video store, or took recommendations from one of my High School French teachers. For the life of me I can’t remember how we got into something of a contest – recommending movies to each other that had not seen theatrical release in Australia. The goal was to go obscure, but still give a hook to convince one another that the movie was actually worth watching. Continue reading

Esoterica – Outland

Two words: Sean Connery

Do you really need anything more?


Year: 1981

Writer/Director: Peter Hyams

Starring: Sean Connery…and seriously who else do you need!?!!?

In the years following the 70’s, sci-fi cinema had a fairly steady audience, what with the meagre contributions made by flicks like Star Wars (have any of you seen that one?…not bad). As such, it became a reasonably good way to ensure that people would pay for a ticket if your next romantic comedy also featured some manner of shape-shifting alien. Continue reading

Esoterica – Cube


Year: 1997

Director: Vicenzo Natali

Writers: Andre Bijelic, Vicenzo Natali & Graeme Manson

Starring: Maurice Dean Witt, David Hewlett, Nicole de Boer

It is a rare treat for me when I get to come to a film completely fresh – without any hint as to what will unfold over the next two hours. It is a rarer treat still when coming into a movie this way sees me leaving it dumbstruck at just how good it was.

Cube was just such an experience – and as such I find myself incredibly reluctant to say too much about it, for fear of spoiling the fun for you. Continue reading

Esoterica – The Hidden

Ok; first off, my apologies to Al for being tardy in bringing in the articles. Life is busy etc. and we’ve been buried and etc. and the rolling stone kills the early worm da da da… but at least I could’ve called.

Secondly my apologies to you, my loyal readers. I should never let… uhh… wait…

If you’re reading this, do think you might consider becoming loyal?

I’m sure we all feel the pressure of things getting on top of us, and that, unfortunately, often means that the first thing to go out the window on any given week are the recreational type things we enjoy, but just don’t end up having time for. I know I should be making them a priority, but I’ve also gotta keep the wolf from the door and the parasites from invading my body and using me to subjugate the rest of humankind.

Speaking of which:

Continue reading

Esoterica – The Thirteenth Floor

The Thirteenth Floor

Year: 1999

Director: Josef Rusnak

Writer: Daniel F. Galouye, Josef Rusnak & Ravel Centeno-Rodriguez

Starring: Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol & Armin Mueller-Stahl

“You can go there even though it doesn’t exist.”

Throughout the 90’s it became almost expected of fans of sci-fi – “geeks”, if you will – to be vocally derisive of certain types of movies.

Most specifically, those movies that sprung from the creative efforts of that decades dynamic duo of Hollywood: Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich.

Without wanting to burn through too much time explaining who they are, allow me to simply illustrate in three easy steps. Continue reading

Esoterica – Enemy Mine

Anyone out there remember Wizard magazine? You know, the fairly long running publication for comic book news and prices which spent the entirety of its existence becoming progressively less interesting and highly prone to upsetting nearly everyone in the four-color world. No? Hardly surprising since Garub Shamus thermite plasma’d his bridges with such terrifying efficiency that the destructive effect has actually rippled back in time so that we may be spared painful memories.

But before ripping off subscribers and attempting to convince comic-book readers of twenty years that what they really wanted to read about was professional wrestling, Wizard experimented with a series of specifically targeted pop-culture magazines under their imprint. Toyfare was, relatively speaking, a hit and stayed around for a while.

and gave us this. So… that’s kinda cool

A much lesser known attempt was Sci-Fi Invasion, which only ran for four or five issues, probably giving you some indication as to the quality of its content. But, from the darkness, there is light. Or, more accurately, from crappy writing there is a worthwhile recommendation (which is something I pray about every one of my posts). Continue reading

Esoterica – Metropolis

Here, at the commencement of a New Year, is a time when so much new stuff lay ahead to look forward to. For many people, it is inevitably a time when we look back at what has been…if only to figure out exactly where it was in the past it all went so wrong.

Thus the New Year is simultaneously a time of reflection & anticipation – and if you’re the unfortunate soul who has little to anticipate, then it is the time make the Old things New again.

And so with that tenuous philosophical tether, allow me to take a New look at an Old film – something that perhaps you have anticipated watching at some point in your life; something that the title of “esoterica” was, quite simply, made for. Continue reading