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Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Alexandra Heller-Nicholas is a writer, broadcaster and film critic from Melbourne. She is co-editor of the film journal Senses of Cinema, co-host of the Triple R film criticism programme Plato’s Cave, and the winner of the 2016 Australian Film Critics Association Award for Best Review of an Individual Australian Film. Alexandra is the author of four books on horror film, gender and bodies in crisis including Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study (McFarland, 2011), Found Footage Horror Films: Fear and the Appearance of Reality (McFarland, 2014), Devil’s Advocates: Suspiria (Auteur, 2015) and Cultographies: Ms. 45 (Columbia University Press, 2017). Since 2003 she has published over a hundred reviews, essays, feature articles, interviews, book chapters and reference book entries, and has recorded commentaries and written essays to accompany home entertainment releases from Madman, Siren, Masters of Cinema, Blue Underground and Arrow Films. Alexandra is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Research at Swinburne University of Technology.

City I call home: Melbourne

Twitter handle: @suspirialex


Type of cinema I am most passionate about:

Cult, horror and exploitation film.

A film that changed me is:

Dario Argento’s Suspira because it made dangerous ideas beautiful.

Cinema excites me because:

Even in the hands of maniacs it can be radical, intoxicating and exquisite.

My career highlight was:

Publishing my first book on rape-revenge film.

The future of film criticism is:

Embracing film history to help keep ideas about cinema moving forward

Film criticism is important because:

At its best it stops the form collapsing into pure commerce, reminding us how important it is as both an art form and cultural phenomenon

The film I'm most looking forward to at MIFF is:

Is it cheating if I say the whole Gaining Ground programme?!