Monthly Archives: October 2015

Those Fabulously Dreadful 50’s Monster Movies Pt. 1

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High ambitions, low budgets – it’s easy to forget how enjoyable the American SF movies of the 1950s are. In ‘It Conquered The World’ the space mission appears to be run from a standard-sized motel room, and as glaring greaseball Lee Van Clef announces that Venusians are on their way to colonise the Earth his wife […]

Films Which Have Really Peculiar Moments In Them – No.2

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Everybody remembers ‘A Spoonful Of Sugar’ from ‘Mary Poppins’, but it also has a song about investment opportunities and banking foreclosures sung by Dick Van Dyke disguised as an old man, which somebody must have thought was a good idea to drop into the film at the exact point where its climax should have been. […]

‘The Burning Man’ & ‘London’s Glory’ Arrive Next Week!

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Occasionally on this site you have to endure a spot of advertising. So; the paperback of Bryant & May: The Burning Man and Bryant & May: London’s Glory arrive together on a suitably incendiary night – November the 5th, the latter sporting this mad cutaway drawing of the Peculiar Crimes Unit by Keith Page. There’s […]

Films Which Have Really Peculiar Moments In Them – No.1

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Right in the middle of Leos Carax’s wonderfully surreal movie ‘Holy Motors’, in which an eccentric millionaire is driven around the city in order to adopt different guises, the action stops dead and Denis Lavant dons an accordion in a church. What follows is an exhilarating interlude in an already strange movie. Enjoy.

Falling Back In Love With London Part Two

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After a summer spent working/ mucking about in different European countries I returned to London with a heavy heart, but was determined to learn to love this wet, grey, punishing city again. I’d hit some exhibitions and galleries, and now, as London takes its theatre very seriously, this was my next port of call; making […]

Why London’s Green Spaces Are Not All Equal

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London remains the most verdant city of its size in the world. Its vast plane trees absorb C02 and every neighbourhood, no matter how small, has some kind of greenery in it. We have more open space than many in the countryside because much rural land is now in private hands. But London’s greenery is complicated; […]

Aren’t You Rather Young To Be Writing Your Memoirs?

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That’s what a publisher told me, paraphrasing the experimental author BS Johnson, who used that as the title of his own memoir – so how come I ended up writing two volumes of them? What happened was this. I’d been thinking of writing about growing up in a house virtually without books, in the style […]

Exercises For Writers

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No, not writing exercises, these are ways to stop you cramping up in writing, or any desk job where you’re sedentary for large portions of the day. 1. If You’re Stiff, It May Be Your Glasses Back, neck, shoulders tight after writing? Get someone to photograph you from side on. If you’re craning forward it may […]

Further Secrets Of Bryant & May Part 2

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With a collection of Bryant & May’s missing cases out in just over two weeks and a new novel on the horizon, I thought it would be worth taking another look at some of the things I build into the series that perhaps go unnoticed by casual readers. First, when I set out, I had […]

Not Crazy About The Krays?

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Quite why the Kray twins occupy such a central pillar in the legends of London criminal life is a bit of a mystery these days. Surely whatever residual glamour that was once attached to them has gone? Peter Medak made a very decent movie, ‘The Krays’, which looked as much at the women as the […]