Monthly Archives: December 2014

Another Rare Author Returns

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Never say this blog is not ahead of the curve, me hearties. First it points you to Hans Fallada’s astonishing ‘Alone in Berlin’, only for the book to be announced as an upcoming Emma Thompson film, and now, after years of nagging people about the wonderful, obscure writer Michael McDowell, I’ve discovered that all of […]

Mornington Crescent: Still Peculiar

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To round off the end of the year, here’s a fresh update on one of the first posts I ever made on his blog, which is now – incredibly – seven years old. Mornington Crescent. I blew them up in it, then moved them out of it, but it’s still a great little building. Elderly […]

Best & Worst Films Of The Year

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It’s a safe bet that no-one will look back on 2014 and regard it as a classic year for Hollywood, which, as always, went where the money was – this time looking to the East, as films inserted locations and stars from China, Japan and India in an effort to increase revenue in those growing […]

On Being A Multiple

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  This is Chris Fowler. He’s not me, by the way. But he bears my name and is probably a lot smarter than I’ll ever be. This charismatic guy is a respected American sportscaster working for ESPN who happens to share my name. I have a common name. Taxi drivers make one of two jokes about […]

Scotland Yard’s Black Museum Gets The Public Go-Ahead

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I’ve mentioned the possibility here in the past, but now the rumours have been confirmed; Scotland Yard’s so-called ‘Black Museum’, which houses the exhibits from Britain’s most notorious crimes, will go on display once it has found a sponsor and a venue. The renamed Crime Museum is to raise funds because of government cuts. Until […]

The Wonderful World Of Nativi-Tat

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The news this Christmas that a biblical mistranslation is responsible for the idea of Christ being born in an inn stable comes as no real surprise to me. Because I know Christ was born beside a jacuzzi, and I have proof. If you’re looking for really mind-boggling religious rubbish, head for the Catholic Mediterranean countries, […]

The Forgotten Dickens Christmas Books

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In a strange way, popularity was the worst thing that could have happened to ‘A Christmas Carol’. After performances by Charles Dickens himself, a long history of bowdlerised versions, parodies, satires and remakes eventually led to the Muppets, by which time the story’s fierce sense of social injustice had vanished. We tend to forget now […]

The Rich Are Another Country

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There are times when not being American helps you take an outsider’s viewpoint on a true story; I came to ‘Foxcatcher’ knowing nothing about the peculiar life of John ‘Golden Eagle’ du Pont (played here by an unrecognisable Steve Carrell), from one of the richest families in the US, but I imagine a lot of […]

Tim Burton’s Monument To Mediocrity

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Tim Burton’s directorial style has never been very sophisticated or subtle. That’s fine; neither was Ken Russell’s, but he combined sound and imagery brilliantly. Burton started out with the childlike colour explosions of ‘Pee Wee’s Big Adventure’ and ‘Edward Scissorhands’, and only fell down when he reined in his sense of the absurd. ‘Sweeney Todd’ […]

It’s Going To Be A Box-Set Christmas

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It’s been a strange year for film, with mainly weak blockbusters, no decent Hollywood comedies and no strong horror movies. A further retreat into sequels and reboots has set the pattern for the future, and only Universal is doing something fresh, ditching the 30 year-old idea of the tentpole release to concentrate on a smaller, […]