Monthly Archives: July 2014

Re:View – ‘Love’

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Now that anyone can create a movie in their parents’ garage and upload it, there are a lot of stilted, dreadful films about that nobody watches. ‘Love’ may have been shot this way and while it’s not without its flaws, there’s something perversely wonderful about it. Directed by William Eubank and produced by electro-band Angels […]

Avoiding The 5 Biggest Creativity Traps

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I’ve taught in the arts field a bit (not as much as I should) and I see certain problems cropping up time and again among those who would like to write. I thought it might help if I outlined a few of the most common problems. 1. Confusing creation with production The delivery systems for […]

On The Street Where You Live

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My twelfth Bryant & May book is about a young man who becomes homeless, a rough sleeper who gets caught up in a turf war of sorts. I didn’t have to go very far for research; we recently had a new rough sleeper outside our front door. Through an unfortunate set of circumstances, I ended […]

Is There Another Way To Create A Heroine?

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They’re known as WIP films, and have been around as long as cinema. I suppose my favourite Women In Peril films would include ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, ‘Link’, ‘Wait Until Dark’, ‘The Hidden Face’, ‘Suspiria’, ‘Julia’s Eyes’, ‘Panic Room’, ‘The Hidden Face’ and ‘Penumbra’, but there are many others. One could even describe ‘Aliens’ as a WIP […]

Backstories To The Bryant & May Books No.1

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This is the start of a short series of backstories to the Bryant & May novels, explaining how I came to write them. Full Dark House My father was a scientist who worked in an experimental wartime communications unit. He and his colleagues were very young, and – it turns out – were working towards […]

Ideals On Wheels: Why Mobile Libraries Need Your Help

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There’s a vague feeling in the UK that libraries have had their day, that Oxfam and Kindle have jointly conspired to eliminate the need for borrowing books. It suits our present government to believe that private enterprise has proven effective and can reduce state spending, but if you reduce the visibility of books, you remove […]

Where Have All The Heist Films Gone?

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There’s nothing like a good robbery, so long as you’re only watching it. From the silent era onwards we’ve loved watching the fallout from a caper. A proper heist movie has to pull off a complex trick. It needs to make you care about the game-players, keep the stakes high and provide a satisfying outcome, […]

London Bridges Are Going Up

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There’s a new free exhibition devoted to London’s bridges at the Museum of London Docklands. Here’s what I’ve learned. For 1,700 years there was only one bridge over the Thames, roughly where London Bridge is today, virtually dating back to the birth of Christ (there was also a prehistoric one around Vauxhall, but no sign […]

Quality Of Life, What’s That Then?

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If there’s one magazine that seems specifically designed to get me riled, it’s ‘Monocle’, Tyler Broolay’s (can’t be bothered finding the accents on this laptop) gigantic style-bible of all things cool in the world, usually featuring decommissioned concrete factories in the Ukraine that have been turned into gin bars. A flip through the pages goes […]

Wrestling The Monster

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There was a film by Nick Broomfield about Spalding Gray’s attempt to write a new novel called ‘Monster In A Box’, which struck a horrible chord of familiarity with me. I’ve never had writer’s block as such, but I believe there are ‘easy’ books and ‘hard’ books. The former are smooth to write, come in […]