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Christopher Fowler
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Our image of the police is now informed by riot footage as much as anything else. The humble copper has been through a lot of changes in my life so far. The earliest one I can remember is the TV show 'Dixon of Dock Green', which began in 1955 and ran in the UK for 21 years. But the avuncular Dixon now seems an absurd fantasy-figure, like something from the early days of Doctor Who. Ted Willis's…
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Christopher Fowler
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This is the first photograph of a woman ever taken, certainly that has survived, and dates from 1840. Photography has now vanished due to its ubiquity, paradoxically rendered obsolete by being unfettered. Like most people of my age I have a couple of shoeboxes with old photos that now belong to a different era, and have not been touched in years. The photographs in them depict awkward frozen…
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Christopher Fowler
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America's prime serious documentarian is Errol Morris, a man who does not merely recount events to a timeline but who brings a profound artistic sensibility to the gradual unfolding of truth. From 'The Thin Blue Line' and 'The Fog of War' to 'Standard Operating Procedure', the story of Abu Ghraib, Morris's films are mood pieces shrouded in layers of moral ambiguity, and thus reflect life as it is…
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Christopher Fowler
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Books. It's meant to be about books. Specifically my books. At least, that was the plan at the start - in 2008 my publisher wanted me to start a book blog and dedicate one side of it to direct selling. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I'm the world's worst networker. At a party I'll be the one on the steps outside talking to the wait-staff. In the film industry I had set our staff an agenda…
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Christopher Fowler
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How did we get from there to here? In 1940, comic book villain the Joker was introduced as a lunatic criminal with a warped sense of humour. The DC Comics universe was rich in superheroes but was never so good with villains. Superman had Lex Luther and Brainiac but Batman's Joker stood out. In the 1950s he became a whacky prankster in response to regulation by the Comics Code Authority, then…
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Christopher Fowler
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The story so far: Having had my stuff stolen I've been without my phone for two weeks and haven't missed it as much as I thought I would. Without Google Maps you have to start asking strangers how to get around, and if you say you had your phone stolen they start to think you're after money. Now a dilemma presents itself. The new phones are out, Apple having released the iPhone 11 and 11Pro, both…
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Christopher Fowler
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I try to post here on most days, but that's only really possible when I'm in Barcelona because my working hours are consistently much longer. Light, it's all about the light...shortly I return to London and try not to feel depressed about the months ahead. Sometimes I simply run out of ideas, because they're all being pumped into whichever book I'm currently working on. So while I was looking for…
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Christopher Fowler
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As we now know, with the full acceptance of the internet came a great unshackling of information and inevitably, the rise of disinformation that gave us Russian meddling, whistleblowers, Cambridge Analytica and several disastrously compromised leadership contests. The latest heroes to be turned into villains are social media influencers, upon whom advertisers pounced because they were seemingly…
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Christopher Fowler
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This is an occasional catch-up into what I've been watching (I need to turn off occasionally and stop thinking about books!). As I use an iPad more than a TV I tend to view on the move in small chunks, which is not conducive to anything too demanding and atmospheric. For films and shows that require concentration I switch to TV and sometimes Blu-Rays, because they're still unbeatable in terms of…
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Christopher Fowler
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With so much entertainment readily available (I speak as one whose first family television had two channels) it's hard for any new film, game, play or programme to get enough traction to draw in large audiences. Each terrestrial network has its own repertory company - the BBC's is so limited that you can track performers crossing from one show to another through the week - just as theatres have…
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