Classical Music In Movies

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Admit it – when you saw the above picture a piece of music popped into your head, didn’t it? When Stanley Kubrick added a Strauss waltz to ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ he created the most famous classical music/movie juxtaposition in film history. It wasn’t a new technique in Europe; ‘Elvira Madigan’ had used Mozart and […]

Re:View – ‘Birdman’

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You’ll hear much talk of this as we run up to Oscar season, with good reason. Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, director of ’21 Grams’ and ‘Amores Perros’, has created something so unique in this comedy-drama that it feels he’s pushed the boundaries into a new kind of filmmaking. I ran through his credits on IMDbPro and an […]

Saying ‘Non’ To Skyscrapers

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‘You live here?’ said the hot dog seller incredulously. ‘I thought it was only office workers and students.’ This was the response I got from the chap who was preparing my mid-morning coffee at a stall in King’s Cross. ‘Yes,’ I told him, ‘go one street back from the station and you’ll find a kind […]

The Eureka Moment

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Today the T-shirt says it all. I’m not having any Eureka moments. Staring out of the window is what I often have to do as part of my job. And today, the worst part, the staring bit, is here again. A runway of blank white paper stretches before me. I’ve delivered a new novel, and […]

Re:View – ‘Nightcrawler’

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Writer/director Dan Gilroy’s debut feature is a stylish LA night-noir that comes on like Scorsese and plays out like a cross between Michael Powell’s ‘Peeping Tom’, ‘Network’ and ‘Taxi Driver’. Films with disturbing lead characters are tricky to pull off – how do you make an audience care? Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a bug-eyed, intense, delusional thief […]

More London Books

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  I said I wouldn’t cover any more London books because their publication was becoming too frequent, but these three really deserve a mention. First up, Richard Slater’s ‘London People’ is really lovely. He spent five years photographing different ceremonies, celebrations and rituals around London, from an Iranian festival to a druid equinox parade on […]

Goodbye, Dan

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There will be no usual post today because I just read that Dan Terrell, longtime friend of this site, has passed away. To have someone you’ve never met write so eloquently, vividly and intelligently on so many subjects makes that person a good friend. Distance is unimportant – like minds can cross universes. Thank you, […]

Have Yourself A Sentimental Christmas

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Unlike the US Superbowl ads, which have a wildly celebratory tone, here in the UK we’ve lately developed a grotesquely over-sentimental streak about Christmas, centred mainly around ads for supermarkets. And like everything else here they offer up a paradox; no longer about flogging oven chips or peas, they’re about vague concepts like loneliness and […]

Friday Puzzle: Where Is This?

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Clues: There never seems to be anyone there. You can walk in off the street without paying anything and wander about. It’s not a museum, and nobody lives there. It’s very central, but in a really horrible area close to the Houses of Parliament. Yes, those are Hogarth prints on the walls. And part of […]

Next Bryant & May ‘Not Killing Off A Minor Character’

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I suspect that somebody, somewhere (possibly in the US) saw the manuscript of ‘Bryant & May and the Burning Man’, and leaked the story’s new direction. However, they had the good grace to hold something back. So no, I’m not ‘doing a Springfield’ and killing off Crusty the Clown’s father – there are some real […]