New titles in Auteur Press’ _Devil’s Advocates_ series

Posted by Matt Foley on February 09, 2016 in Blog, News tagged with , , ,

(Devil’s Advocates)

Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Paperback / Price: £9.99 / ISBN: 978-0-9932384-7-5

Extent: 110pp / Publication: February 2016

As one of the most globally recognisable instances of 20th century Eurohorror, Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1976) is poetic, chaotic and intriguing. The cult reputation of Argento’s baroque nightmare is reflected in the critical praise it continues to receive 40 years after its original release, and it appears regularly on lists of the greatest horror films ever. For fans and critics alike, Suspiria is as mesmerising as it is impenetrable: the impact of Argento’s notorious disinterest in matters of plot and characterisation combines with Suspiria’s aggressive stylistic hyperactivity to render it a movie that needs to be experienced through the body as much as through emotion or the intellect.

For its many fans, Suspiria is synonymous with European horror more broadly, and Argento himself is by far the most famous of all the Italian horror directors, his international reputation solidified well beyond the realms of cult fandom in the 1990s with retrospectives at both the American Museum of the Moving Image and the British Film Institute. This book considers the complex ways that Argento weaves together light, sound and cinema history to construct one of the most breathtaking horror movies of all time, a film as fascinating as it is ultimately unfathomable.

About the author

Alexandra Heller-Nicholas is the author of Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study (2011), and Found Footage Horror Films: Fear and the Appearance of Reality (2014). She is a co-editor at the film journal Senses of Cinema, and a film critic on radio station Triple R with the Plato’s Cave film criticism programme. Alexandra is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Research at Swinburne University of Technology.


DA-Antichrist Cover v1.inddAntichrist

(Devil’s Advocates)

Amy Simmons

Paperback / Price: £9.99 / ISBN: 978-1-906733-41-4

Extent: 90pp / Publication: 26 November 2015

Written and directed by Lars von Trier, one of the most influential and provocative filmmakers working today, Antichrist (2009), tells a story of parental loss, mourning and despair that result from the tragic death of a child. When the film screened at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, it split audiences down the middle. Some attacked von Trier for misogyny (amongst other things), while others defended him for creating a daring and poetic portrait of grief and separation.

Dense, shocking and thought-provoking, Antichrist is a film which calls for careful analysis and in her Devil’s Advocate on the film Amy Simmons follows an account of the film’s making with an in-depth consideration of the themes and issues arising from it the ambiguous depiction of the natural world, the shifting gender power relations, its reflections on Christianity and the limitations of rationality. At the film’s heart, says the author, is a heartbreaking depiction of grief-stricken parents, a confounding interplay between psychology and psychosis, misogyny and empowerment.

About the author

Amy Simmons is a freelance writer based in Brighton, who has written for Sight & Sound, Time Out London and Little White Lies.


Dead of NightDead of Night  

(Devil’s Advocates)

Jez Conolly & David Owain Bates

Paperback / Price: £9.99 / ISBN: 978-0-9932384-3-7

Extent: 120pp / Publication: February 2016

Released just days after the end of the Second World War and a dozen years ahead of the first full-blooded Hammer horror, the Ealing Studios anthology film Dead of Night (1945) featured contributions from some of the finest directors, writers and technicians ever to work in British film. Since its release it has become widely regarded as a keystone in the architecture of horror cinema, both nationally and internationally. Yet for a film that packs such a reputation this is the first single book dedicated to its analysis.

This Devil’s Advocate navigates a ‘road map’ through the film’s individual stories, including its frame tale (‘Linking Narrative’), and considers the many themes that they provoke: from the potency of stillness and the suspension of time as devices for eliciting goose bumps, to an appraisal of the film in the very English tradition of the festive ghost story, to an analysis of the British post-war male gender crisis embodied by a number of the film’s protagonists. The book includes a selection of rarely seen pre-production illustrations for the film by its acclaimed production designer, Michael Relph.

About the authors

Jez Conolly is co-editor of three books in the ‘World Film Locations’ series (Dublin, Reykjavik and Liverpool)  His previous Devil’s Advocate concerned John Carpenter’s The Thing (2013). Jez is Head of Student Engagement with University of Bristol Library Services. David Owain Bates is a contributor to the ‘World Film Location’ series of books.


For more information on Dead of Night, the Devil’s Advocates series or any other Auteur title, please contact John Atkinson: / 01525 373896.

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