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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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Stars make love fully dressed and shrug off bullets as if they were mosquito bites One of the problems with present-day entertainment is that Hollywood long ago won a determined and heavily funded cultural war. American lifestyles dominate global TV and film to the point where we hardly see anything else. I've watched too many films set on the US west coast, watched too many angry men firing guns…
28 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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Not everything needs spelling out. During America's Great Depression, MGM and Warner Brothers made a fortune from relentlessly upbeat musicals. After Watergate came a slew of films that explored and explained how things became so broken. And now, when the young are facing the kind of crises they really shouldn't have to worry about until mid-life, everyone's seeking not just fantasy escapes but…
11 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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It was rather like a smart wake. I had missed the news of the illustrator Vic Fair's passing some while back, so this week I attended an exhibition of his work, held in Lauderdale House, a Tudor mansion built in 1582, visited by Charles II and lived in by Nell Gwynn, set in Waterlow Park, Highgate. Many of his old friends had gathered there - none of us had seen his work en masse in decades. Vic…
15 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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Writers are allowed to make shit up. What made me decide to set one of my first short stories in New York, when at that point I hadn't been to America? It felt right for the tale but I got the details wrong. Luckily a good editor bailed me out and made it more authentic. 'Write what you know' is terrible advice, since many young broke writers don't know a lot, so their stories are too often set in…
8 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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I still remember very clearly what it's like to be an outsider, thinking that although I wrote I was not a real writer. I imagine all authors go through this stage except the most supremely self-assured. At one of my very first publishing parties, I found myself among a group of Very Assured Ones who were discussing new books. I felt a little out of my depth because the VAOs all worked for…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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It seems we all enjoy stories about the Inarticulate Male. On TV they're never women, who might be clumsy ('Miranda') or venal ('Nighty Night'), but are never incoherent. Males, particularly funny ones, have a long history of being annoying and hard to understand, from British TV shows featuring forgetful, confusing Harry Worth and Charlie Drake's 'The Worker' ('I want to be a lady 'cause I ain't…
17 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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Parents are getting older. They're waiting longer to have children and, it seems among my friends at least, are having trouble conceiving. Or as my doctor put it bluntly, 'a geriatric pregnancy is one occurring after 35.' I only mention this because I'd forgotten that when my mother started giving her oldest son advice she was extremely innocent and unworldly. The norm was to give birth around 21…
18 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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A postscript to yesterday's review on the subject of 'serious' SF. (I had written that piece hastily in a Jamie Oliver airport cafe balancing my laptop beside a badly heated poached egg which I didn't have time to send back again; no wonder he went broke.) 'Ad Astra' fell at the first hurdle here because instead of an opening-out, a grand expansion of ideas that unify or coalesce or broaden to…
8 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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Some more answers to your questions, starting with one from yesterday's comments (and another cheesy shot of me at some thing). Where is the best place to steal ideas from and get away with it? Film, book, TV, radio or a particular source/place/author. The answer may infuriate you. When I'm working on the main drafts I go into reading/ watching/ visiting places/ talking to people overdrive. Many…
6 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London & The Arts
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I love good public Q&As, and with the peak book and film seasons coming up in the not too distant future, I'll be booking myself in for as many Q&A events as possible. They're best when the questions are original and the answers aren't rote. Here are a few of the questions I've been asked over the last few years by a wide variety of interviewers. How did you become a writer? Was it always your…
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