Blog

Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Film
Image
I've written on this subject often because it lies at the junction of several of my interests, but decided this could be the last word on the subject. Every time I see that Disney are spinning off another peripheral character into a film franchise my heart sinks. Walt Disney himself was far more imaginative. He searched Europe (sadly not the Middle and Far East) for new stories to tell, and was…
28 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Film
Image
I've revised this list all through my life, and now that I'm at a somewhat later stage than I'd intended I thought I'd try to make a definitive list of films that have influenced me, some of them far more than they should have. I shall not again mention Ken Russell's 'The Boy Friend', which is warming soup on a cold night. You'll see my book choices when 'Word Monkey' comes out next year. Rather…
18 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Film
Image
One of the problems besetting film collectors who have ended up owning redundant DVDs is the increasing unplayability of the discs. Finally settling down to watch the four-hour version of 'Mysteries of Lisbon', Raul Ruiz's remarkable last film, I discovered the discs were so covered in scratches that they wouldn't play. I mostly use portable peripherals, which are far more sensitive and…
19 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
Image
In 'Film Freak' I recounted this anecdote; A girl I knew, Amber, specialised in performing pantomimes in old folks’ homes. In one such place in Sevenoaks she played Cinderella. During the intermission she waited in full ball gown costume at the foot of the stage because there were no changing rooms, and a very old lady approached her. ‘I know who you are,’ said the old lady, pointing at her…
44 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Books
Image
Only two books this week but I've been bit rough, and the first one was (for me) fairly demanding. 'Venomous Lumpsucker' is unique in a way that only Ned Beauman's novels can be, a richly detailed systems novel that at times outpaces the reader. For me, his previous high-water marks were 'The Teleportation Accident' and 'Madness Is Better Than Defeat', but this doubles down on the multiple pile…
31 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
Image
When I sat down to write the 1969-set 'Hall of Mirrors' I didn't have to do much period research because I remembered it all too clearly. 1966-1976 was a decade of precipitously disastrous decline for the UK. To go from the futurist, optimistic fantasies of the mid-sixties to corpses stacked outside crematoria while radicalised unionists pulled everyone out on strike was the greatest human fall…
43 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Film
Image
ABC, Odeon, Regal, Gaumont, Roxy, Biograph - the names feel resolutely British, attached to a time when we had a separate national cinema keeping smoky houses filled every night of the week. But the films inside them slowly shifted from London to Hollywood and we no longer saw our own island lives represented on film. That task went to television, first with milk-bottle-on-the-table realism and…
24 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London & Media
Image
There was a terrific turnout last night for the 'Bryant & May's Peculiar London' event on board the dry-docked replica of Sir Francis Drake's flagship at London Bridge, even if we all nearly knocked ourselves unconscious on the beam ceilings, raised up these days, so I can't imagine how low the rooms must once have been. Organiser Stephen Haskins hit me with some great interview questions…
25 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Media
Image
As a writer of popular fiction (as opposed to literature) I keep myself familiar with other popular forms of entertainment. For this reason alone I sat through most of Netflix's most expensive film, 'The Gray (sic) Man', which comprised a parade of postcard European locations, firepower and exploding vehicles destroyed by cut-out characters in search of anything resembling a story. Apparently all…
12 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Books
Image
The author and literary historian John Sutherland asks the question, and answers it himself with 'How To Be Well Read', a guide to 500 novels he considers to be great. What defines greatness? A book that is a world first? A game changer? A source of controversy? A novel of immense popularity? Of critical acclaim? There are many definitions at work, and Mr Sutherland is careful to include examples…
38 comments

Years