Monthly Archives: June 2010

Newbies Start Here

Looks like we’ve picked up some new readers! That’s a welcome sign, and saves me sodding about on Facebook. Just to orientate you, the Blog is the heart of this rather atypical author’s site. Here you’ll find a hard core of redoubtable and erudite commentators, a few slightly batty readers, and plenty to argue about. […]

Has Horror Been Eclipsed?

There’s a man sitting opposite me reading ‘Twilight’. He’s about forty, and is wearing three-quarter length camouflage trousers and a sleeveless top. This, I realise, is the core market my publisher wants me to chase. Those of us who have spent a long time in love with horror in all its forms have been feeling […]

Directors 1: Alain Resnais

Alain Resnais was born in 1922, and his latest film ‘Wild Grass’ has just opened to great reviews. Outside of France, Resnais still retains the image of the haughty auteur he developed after ‘Last Year At Marienbad’ or ‘Hiroshima Mon Amour’. But with over forty films to his credit he has hardly ever stopped working, […]

An Incoherent Truth

It’s commonly said that the America Left starts where the European Right ends. In this country we enjoy having a good laugh at Fox shill Glenn Beck, the Michael J Pollard-lookalike who makes sure that any liberal argument set before the American people is shouted down in an avalanche of cliched hysterics, but he’s having […]

Book Winners

Okay, Colin from St Albans or Mr J West from Dublin, you both placed reviews of ‘Bryant & May Off The Rails’ – Mr Lancaster kindly donated his for the fun of it – but if either of you would like to claim your signed first edition, I’ll need you to post your addresses here…no […]

Goodbye To The Blockbuster

Jaws, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman, Spider-Man, Transformers, Mission Impossible. For the past three decades the Hollywood blockbusters have rolled up at the height of summer, the tentpole releases that drive families from hot streets into cold cinemas. But now there are strong indictions that the time of the Hollywood blockbuster is over. The action-packed […]

Re:View – Andrew Marr’s History Of Modern Britain

The problem of looking at history you can recall (or have heard about from your folks) is that you probably don’t feel you want to see it rehashed as a TV series or a book. Your memories, you think, are enough to remind you of the grimness/ mistakes of the past. But Andrew Marr adds […]

English Crap At Sports: Official

It’s eerily quiet on the streets tonight – no cheering, no vuvuzelas, just a strange empty silence. That’ll be the sound of England being crap at sports again, then. It’s not even a remorseful silence, because nobody really cares. We’re never surprised when we slam out of the World Cup or fail at the quarter […]

The Birth Of The Critic-Proof Movie?

A quick straw poll of friends yesterday made me realise that none of us has paid to see a film this year so far. Okay, we’re all connected to the industry and consequently don’t have to pay, but there’s a difference between being invited to a screening and actively finding a movie and forking out […]

Sick In The City

You’re allowed 35 bad air days in London under EU rules but we just hit 36, making us the most polluted city in Europe – this is a severe embarrassment for the Mayor, who has failed to make any headway with the problem. A recent report by the House of Commons environmental audit committee included […]