At the cryptozoo

Independent, hand-drawn, adult animation is rare, as Sundance programmer Charlie Sextro said at the premiere of Cryptozoo, which puts Dash Shaw’s busy and quirky adventure in pretty much the same category as its subject matter. A cryptid, an early intertitle card informs us, is a creature whose existence is unsubstantiated, or who remains hidden. As in a cryptic crossword, you have to look beyond the surface to see what is really there. And a cryptozoo is where our hero, Lauren (voiced by Lake Bell) is employed as a kind of Indiana Jones swashbuckler, travelling the world to bring crypto-animals like the velue, the gorgon and the karzelek back to the zoo, where they’ll … Read more

Black Rock

Lake Bell, Kate Bosworth and Katie Aselton in Black Rock

    Three young women are chased around an island by three crazed ex-soldier guys in Katie Aselton’s boo-goes-there horror story which would slot nicely into the big book of feminist films if it weren’t for the gratuitous (oh come on) nudity. Not that there’s anything wrong with god-given nakedness. But back to the film. Directed by Aselton and co-written with her partner, Mark Duplass, Black Rock takes three old schoolfriends, Aselton, Lake Bell and Katie Bosworth, sends them off to a remote island they used to visit as kids, but not before pointing out that one of the three did something bad with another of the trio’s boyfriend some years back, and … Read more