After ‘Breaking Bad’

Breaking Bad

The English-speaking world clearly falls into two groups; those who finished ‘Breaking Bad’ and those who didn’t get beyond the first episode. It takes a while to catch up with ended shows. I’ve yet to watch ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Game of Thrones’. I never saw a frame of ‘The Sopranos’ or ‘The Wire’, but […]

Mysteries and Thrillers Are Opposites


As always it took the excellent Val McDermid to point out what should have been obvious; that crime and mystery novels are left wing and thrillers are right wing. Writing in the Guardian, she points out that the crime novel gives a voice to characters who are not comfortably established in the world, while thrillers play […]

Something Strange Is Happening To What You Watch


In the century since the major film studios first settled in Hollywood, audiences have never demanded more video than they do today. In 2014, we watched an average of 163 hours of video content per month (17 hours more than in 2007). But despite the proliferation of content, consumption and access, the value of the home […]

Mind The Doors!


Remembered when they carved up London’s grand old cinemas into nasty little boxes and stuck Michael Bay films in all of them? There’s a bit of a reverse trend going on around the country at the moment. The Curzon Group is expanding its empire of high quality screens across the nation, and has reopened London’s […]

‘I Shoot People & Solve Problems’


The first time I saw Martin Butterworth at work, he was sitting cross-legged on the floor of an office above Leicester Square tube station arranging a book layout for Dorling Kindersley. This was well over 35 years ago. Martin went to New York as a magazine art director, then was lured to London to work […]

We Are All Children Now


There’s a new book out called ‘Twee’ by Mark Spitz. It’s described as a study of the first cultural movement since Hip Hop, an old-fashioned and yet highly modern aesthetic that’s embraced internationally by teens, twenty and thirty-somethings and even Baby Boomers, creating a hybrid generation known as Twee. Spitz reckons that Vampire Weekend, Garden State, […]

The Weirdest Comic Book Ever Published


The most peculiar comic books available to kids were always the lines that caught the spirit of the times. In the conformist McCarthy-era 1950s, the desire for material wealth triumphed over anything too imaginative and strange. Typically popular were the adventures of Richie Rich, the adventures of a grotesquely wealthy blond boy who was forever carting […]

This Post Could Get Me Into Trouble


To run a non-profit website you need content, and that sometimes means pulling shots from the internet. Many of the photos and all of the music I use are mine, but once in a while I get a polite note from someone who’s upset that I used their shot, asking me to remove it, which […]

Timing Is Everything, Even In Films


When a film fails, it’s amazing how often the distributor or producer says that it couldn’t find its audience because the release suffered from poor timing. Interestingly, this proves not to be the case with Clint Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper’, a smash hit in the US which reaches screens just as Chris Kyle’s murderer goes on […]

Everyone Wants To Do Something Silly Sometimes

Waterloo station

Thanks to social media, it’s now possible to stop time. Although not for any useful reason. Or not so that everyone even notices (check out the guy behind the counter):