Movie Moments 3: The Artist

The Artist

  It’s been too long since we had a film clip. If this isn’t the most uplifting way to end a film since Edward Woodward got deep-fried in the Wicker Man, I don’t know what is. After a movie filled with the pains and pitfalls of rising and falling fame, the couple find their mojo…take […]

Starry Eyes


I’ve been waiting for a New Millennial Hollywood horror film now since, well, the turn of the century. There have been a few green shoots in films like the wonderfully bonkers ‘The Nines’ and the hideously claustrophobic ‘Buried’, while most of the really original work has been coming from Spain, South America, Korea and even […]

Mental Movie Moments 2: Tutti-Frutti!

Carmen Miranda 5

Used as a weapon to draw South American support for the war in Europe, Carmen Miranda had an odd career which saw being forced to her play on her image of a sexualised, then de-sexualised ‘easy’ Latin girl. When photographs surfaced of her infamous wardrobe malfunction (which theoretically should have further played into her sexy […]

How To Make Things Frightening


Although I’ve written fewer of them in the last few years, I’ve always enjoyed a good supernatural story or film. In the last few years, the genre has become lost, without much of a way forward. Once it reflected simple fears of darkness and unknown lonely places, but subtlety is required to build the right […]

The Most English Films Ever Made


The rubbish line-up of the Oscars this year set me thinking, not that I set any store by these awards; any supposed system of excellence that could ignore ‘The Wizard of Oz’, ‘Singing In The Rain’ and ‘Vertigo’ isn’t worth bothering with – If you were to look down the list of most popular British […]

Mental Movie Moments 1: Snake Shake


I thought that from time to time we’d have a peculiar bit of celluloid here, preferably something not too well-known or recently seen. To start the ball rolling I stumbled across Debra Paget seducing a very realistic cobra with her, um, charms in this extraordinary clip from Fritz Lang’s ‘The Indian Tomb’.  

Mixing Art And Pleasure


The Fun Part ‘In every job that must be done there is an element of fun…’ Thus spake Mary Poppins, and it can apply even in the most serious and thought-provoking stories. By ‘fun’, I mean that the reader/viewer/listener must be rewarded a little for the effort of paying attention. Every work of art is […]

Mine’s A Double: Films About Doppelgangers


I’ve always written characters in pairs – it’s an unintentional recurring theme throughout my books. My mother was a twin whose brother died at 4 years of age from diphtheria (a now virtually forgotten illness), I have a brother to whom I’m very close, and I tend to form strong attachments with opposites for very […]

Another Childhood Hero Leaves


When I was a kid I wanted to be Rod Taylor. He had a square jaw, a chin-dimple, twinkling eyes, wide shoulders, an Australian accent and a sense of fun about him, and he was therefore far more interesting than Hollywood heroes, most of whom I had no way of relating to. I score a […]

Re:View – ‘Kajaki’


There’s a famous Edwardian quote about Afghanistan, that the more you leave the country alone the better things are for everyone. This has been borne out by a number of war films in the last three or four years, and while many were good (I couldn’t say ‘enjoyable’) they still teetered on the gung-ho militaristic […]