The mixture of love and crime has proved fertile ground for filmmakers throughout the history of cinema, attracting great directors such as Victor Sjöström (The Outlaw And His Wife, 1918), Fritz Lang (You Only Live Once, 1937), Luchino Visconti (Ossessione, 1943), Nicholas Ray (They Live by Night, 1948), and Jean-Luc Godard (Pierrot Le Fou, 1965); as well as proving the basis for the entire genre of film noir, as well as any number of tales of amour fou.
The popularity of such material has endured through recent times in films such as Michael Lehmann’s Heathers (1988), which will be re-released later this year, and Tony Scott’s True Romance (1993). The films selected for this season see couples either willingly participating, or at the very least proving complicit in that most heinous of crimes, the act of murder. Mixing genre work with fact-based films, the purpose of the season is not to glamorise this connection (and there are consequences for each pair’s actions), but to provide a snapshot view of both the artist’s and the audience’s never-ending fascination with those two great totems of life, sex and death.
Introduction and notes on individual films by Kevin Coyne, except where indicated.
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