film freak

Paying To See Dreams

This was Cinerama, UK-style – in what is now the Prince Edward Theatre, Old Compton Street, Soho. A triple-screen-wide experience served by mostly lousy films, it was a fad that didn’t last as long as the current one for 3D. With the cover of my ‘Film Freak’ book heading for press and plans for the […]

The Next Big Thing

It’s spreading like a virus, or possible a minor rash, but I’ve foolishly agreed to encourage an author round-robin that goes like this… The Next Big Thing works by getting an author to answer these ten questions on his blog. He then tags five authors to do so the week after. Which presumes the author […]

Looking Back Part 2

The thread on the last entry ‘Don’t Look Back’ was hilarious, especially the way it morphed from Liv Tyler to Andy Murray, so I thought I should continue. The photos above span thirty years. (I think the one with Doug ‘Pinhead’ Bradley is on the shoot for our dentist horror short with Charlie Boorman.) The […]

If You Liked ‘Paperboy’, You May Like ‘Film Freak’…

When I delivered ‘Paperboy’ to Simon Taylor, my editor, he took it on the chin very bravely – I had just jumped genres yet again to turn out something entirely unexpected – a biography about a would-be writer growing up in a house without books. Much to my surprise – and everyone else’s – the […]

Am I The Only One Who Doesn’t Love ‘Mad Men’?

I understand why the chattering classes are excited about the new Mad Men season, but find it difficult to share their enthusiasm. The clothes, the cocktails, the smokes, the cynicism, the moral compromises, I get all that, but it’s slow-moving, rather obvious and, being telly, very soapy. It’s also designed to make you love their […]

Suddenly It’s The Seventies!

The traffic is gridlocked, the tubes are on strike, Old School Labour is returning, there’s rubbish in the streets and – oh, tramps are back, remember them? There’s going to be a major terrorist attack and a winter of discontent brought about by swingeing cuts. And despite emancipation, some kind of beauty pageant is holding […]

Why Smoking Stays Cool

A new survey shows that kids in the UK are smoking back to their old levels a decade ago, and nobody is entirely sure why. Evidence that anti-smoking messages make young people more likely to light up has been mounting for eight years, with one group of researchers finding that “quit smoking” campaigns appear to […]