Monthly Archives: June 2015

Why Ballard’s Still The Boss

It is now six years since Jim Ballard died. In a world with few heroes, he was one of mine. He began writing short stories in 1956, part of SF’s ‘new wave’, in which space ships and intergallactic battles were eschewed in favour of 20th century problems taken to extremes. His work is therefore more […]

We’re Not What We Write

If you produce creative material for others, whether it’s books, films, art or music, the end-user wants to know a little more about you. But how much should you tell others? What happens online stays – well, everywhere. I was first published at 28, and over the years I got photographed quite a bit for publicity. […]

Nostalgia Corner: Fun Banned Stuff

Sitting inside on a beautiful sunny day of around 28 degrees, seeing everyone from my window heading to the beach, I momentarily hate my job and set research aside to get briefly lost in internet dreams. Today’s question; do modern Youngs have more fun and would I want to be a kid now. A resounding […]

Kent Comes Back

After years in an unloved wilderness, the county of Kent in Southern England is, it seems, coming back to life, but not in the way it once was. When I was a child it was known as the Garden of England, a hard-to-navigate county of winding roads, impossible-to-find villages and rivers that stood between London […]

Do Creative People Have To Be Liberals?

I once wrote a story about bigoted Christians, based on a fairly deranged husband and wife I knew in Los Angeles. I wrote it as an inverse of ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ because now it’s too easy making the villains Satanists, so I had the threat coming from the supposedly good side. Fifteen years later I’m contemplating […]

Piccadilly Picturehouse Opens with ‘Going Clear’

I should have taken a photograph at the first screening in Piccadilly’s brand-new arthouse cinema; there are none online yet, it’s that new. The Picturehouse manages to be almost hidden away at the moment – it’s behind the columns in the lower stub of Great Windmill Street, and contains a smart cafe, bar and a […]

Another Theme Tune For Bryant & May

This time it’s from Mike Wilkie, who has spelled out the four ‘Bryant & May’ syllables with an interesting 5/8 signature. It’s rather like a trick James Bernard used for Hammer’s Dracula films and again for his scored version of Murnau’s ‘Nosferatu’  – this is a little darker than Des Burkinshaw’s previously posted take on […]

Movies Set In Theme Parks

As summer films are analogous to theme park rides, it’s curious that there’s an entire sub-genre here – after all, the one thing a film can’t do is provide you with the same level of visceral thrills – or can it? The nearest I got to Disneyland as a child was ’40 Pounds of Trouble’ […]

Christopher Lee: No More Back From The Dead

They may have to bang a stake into this one to keep him down. As you age you get to watch your band of heroes dwindle. Lee was never a hero as such – he adopted rather too much of a (baritone) one-note in his performances – but he was certainly a powerful part of […]

Getting The End Of The World Right

Post-apocalypse films, eh? Bit of a hiding to nothing, the end of the world, isn’t it? The collapse of civilisation, fighting for food, desert wastelands, lost cities, all life wiped out except a small band of bickering survivors – I nearly topped myself after ‘The Road’ and haven’t been able to watch ‘The Walking Dead’ […]