Monthly Archives: February 2013

A Dead Good Guide

Crime readers have their work cut out trying to navigate the complexities of crime writing. As a reviewer even I get lost sometimes in the intricacies of the field, so Dead Good Books is a useful tool. It’s a well laid-out, user-friendly site that acts as a terrific lure for readers who need a reliable guide to […]

Re:View – ‘Holy Motors’

Cinema once had a fine history of surrealism, from Luis Bunuel’s entire output to Charlie Kaufman’s brilliant ‘Synechdoche New York’, the genius work that I’m still staggered was ever funded. Bunuel, of course, was friends with Salvador Dali – if you haven’t read his biography, ‘My Last Breath’ you really should, or at least watch […]

Is This London’s Narrowest Street?

I always thought that Bridges Place, just off St Martin’s Lane, was the narrowest street in London, as my shoulders touch both walls as I walk through it, but in Emerald Court, near the back of Red Lion Square, I failed the shoulders test and had to turn sideways to pass. Does anyone know of […]

More London Paradoxes

This has been bugging me for a while, and finally crystallised on Saturday, when we made a shopping trip across London. The intention was to go to a designer warehouse sale in unsalubrious Finsbury Park, but we ended up going via Chelsea and Kensington. So – the first paradox; London, the richest city on the […]

Has New Media Killed The Fringe?

According to recent press reports, the once-bouyant London fringe is dying despite new plays getting great critical notices, and while social media is being blamed nobody is looking to the real reason. When Time Out’s original magazine folded at the end of last year, London’s listings were lost – to be honest, the paper had […]

Get Your Freak On

I’ve just finished proofing my scurrilous memoir about my career in the British film industry. This is the rough of the cover (I’ve now seen the final version, but don’t have a copy of it). Most books about British films are rather earnest about popular cinema, and rarely link the experience to the times. I […]

Why Some Ink Remains Invisible

Recently I had a conversation with a translator about why certain European books don’t make it to these shores as reprints. We were discussing ‘The War of the Buttons’ in particular, and he pointed out that its politically incorrect language has dated the book and made it difficult to translate for modern British audiences. I […]

Proof That The End Of The World Is Nigh

1. Vested interests successfully persuade public that global warming doesn’t exist. (Nature) 2. Lightning hits Vatican after Pope resigns for first time in 600 years. (Religion) 3. SARS-like virus jumps between humans for first time. (Pestilence) 4. Mona Lisa in Louvre proven not to be original. (Art) 5. Andrew Lloyd-Weber planning new show. (Taste) 6. […]

How London Got Lumbered With The Shard

While the Gherkin proved to be London’s cuddliest skyscraper, taken instantly to heart by Londoners, The Shard (commonly known as ‘Sauron’s Tower’) has been pretty much universally reviled as an out-of-proportion eyesore that has ruined the horizons of the city. Yet, incredibly, it was green-lit by anti-skyscraper councillors who thought they were outwitting developers by […]

A Few More Moments From Iceland

So, here we have geysers and waterfalls and the astonishingly vast Gullfoss, which looks like the opening scene of ‘Prometheus’ (which was filmed in Iceland), our guide scaling a crevasse in an attempt to retrieve my mobile, the Blue Lagoon spa and a shop window (couldn’t go there without taking a shot of one of […]