Blog

Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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There's little joy to be had this Christmas (although 'West Side Story' was a surprisingly good remake - if a trifle unnecessary) so here are the opening titles for Wes Anderson's 'The French Despatch', which will cheer you up if you're a Wes fan and nauseate you if you're not. Anderson noticeably modelled his early films on the output of his tortured mentor, Hal Ashby, one of my favourite…
14 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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I'll never list my favourite Stephen Sondheim songs. The composer-lyricist suggested that writers should never turn out lists because once the idea is established everything else is repetition. His dictums, rules and ideas were set out in two huge volumes of works, 'Finishing The Hat' and 'Look, I Made A Hat'. I've trusted many of them, especially, 'Less is more, content dictates form and God is…
14 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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Genre fiction can be a good friend to new authors because ultimately it's a meritocracy. It does not discriminate between young or old, rich or poor, North or South. If you're keen enough you can join one of the many societies that exist for young SFF writers around the country and get something you've written read by a small press editor. They're still massively short of BAME voices but hopefully…
16 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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The provenance of Cockneys isn't as clearly defined as you'd expect. In order to be a Cockney you must have been born within the sound of Bow Bells. But many people don't realise that the church isn't in Bow, and has nothing to do with the East End. The church of St Mary-le-Bow was destroyed in 1666 by the Great Fire of London and rebuilt by Wren. The huge bells were destroyed again in the Blitz…
20 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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' I want to talk to you about ducts' - Brazil The fountains in Trafalgar Square are spurting again instead of dribbling. Well, we're all getting old. They now reach 35 feet high. The three 50-year-old engines underground — which also houses a fridge-sized plastic tub filled with a year's worth of coins scooped out of the basins — are all running again. With their help the fountains can attain a…
18 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London & The Arts
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They asked if we had seen a man in a chicken suit go past. That's Soho for you. Edgar Wright's new film is a psychological puzzler that's a love letter to London's Soho then and now. That's its blessing and its curse. Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy are faint-voiced mentally fragile fashion student and confident glamour model respectively, the twist being that they exist in different time…
21 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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I normally have a certain admiration for pointless follies and architectural foolishness. However, this story features something far less loveable. Oxford Street has for a long time attracted a rougher clientele than Regent Street or Bond Street. As its fortunes declined into discount stores new ways were sought, most of them misguided, to bring back foot traffic. Nobody thought of the obvious…
21 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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It's the only large Central London park I've never been inside, and it's just two miles from our home. To be sure, there are other spots missing off the Fowler Patented Scrutinizing Map of London but this is the largest unknown territory. Buckingham Palace Garden, 39 lush acres lying behind high spiked walls, magically screens out the street pollution and noise to provide an oasis of calm in the…
25 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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Blast From The Past Back in a Soho studio today for the first time in ages - subterranean, chilly, scruffy and a bit wonderful - for a radio show about books and old Soho with producer/writer Des Burkinshaw, who also whipped up a terrific theme for an imagined Bryant & May series. I'd forgotten how much I missed the Soho life, although Soho itself has changed dramatically - half the shops have…
19 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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Example No.1: How writing works. I've just returned to writing proper (powered by the miracle of medication). I make no excuses for this. Fantasy world building is exhausting, and it was late. Example No. 2: Observational Detective Work Sitting opposite this theatrical ticket agency having coffee with a friend, something bothered me. I've seen the poster enough times - I was sitting with someone…
16 comments

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