Monthly Archives: January 2011

Hidden London: Secret Cinemas

There are more secret cinemas than ever popping up in the capital, but the daddy is still the first, whose motto is ‘Tell No-One’. One now-legendary screening transported punters from Canary Wharf tube station by bus, curtains closed and attended by air hostesses from “Utopia Airways”. A set of Blade Runner’s Chinatown, Los Angeles, November […]

Re:View – ‘Catfish’

‘Catfish’ is the other Facebook film, and just as intriguing. By now you may know the outcome of this documentary, which starts ominously as New Yorker Yaniv Schulman is filmed by his brother, conversing with an 8 year-old girl who becomes a fan of his photography, and who has started sending him paintings. Soon Yaniv […]

Re:View – ‘Hereafter’

It’s an intriguing combination; Clint Eastwood directing a Peter Morgan script about the metaphysics of mortality, in a ‘Babel’-style structure, starring Matt Damon, who always makes interesting choices. It doesn’t quite work, but I always prefer noble failures to surefire hits. The trio of stories feature a psychic (Damon) damaged by the revelations he brings […]

Unforgotten Authors

My ‘Forgotten Authors’ column has lately reappeared in the Independent On Sunday (this week – Virginia Andrews!), which, after a few emaciated months, has finally expanded its books pages. The paper’s still visually a mess but its content can’t be faulted, and the expansion once more makes it a viable and excellent-value Sunday read. Sometimes […]

The Worst Pub In London

This website always features lovely, interesting places to go. The Montagu Pyke is not one of them. I always feel sorry for the tourists I see eating in the Angus Steak Houses, a chain provided to lure clueless out-of-towners into grim corporate surroundings with big dry-looking plates of meat. The pub equivalent would have to […]

Hidden London: More Hot Pies!

When Michael Powell killed his career by directing ‘Peeping Tom’ he immortalised a corner of London that once housed most of London’s picture libraries. They moved out when the digital age arrived, but you can still see Newman Street in the film. The Newman Arms is a funny pub, part ‘meejah’, part rough ‘n’ ready […]

Hidden London: The Hunterian & Museum Mile

This medical museum is small but packed with gruesome goodies. It’s tucked inside the The Royal College of Surgeons in Lincoln’s Inn Fields in Holborn. It houses the collection of the surgeon and anatomist John Hunter (1728-1793) but also has exhibitions, The latest displays the remains of prehistoric giants, like the woolly mammoth, the immense […]

The Nightmare Of Collecting Hammer

After years of disastrous mismanagement, the revival of Hammer is finally something to be welcomed. I saw most of the later Hammer films when they first came out in double bills. After many years, some of the cut versions were restored and the films were issued on DVDs. But the so-called ‘definitive’ and ‘collectors’ box […]

Shakespeare For The Masses

Savage London is one of those great little London shops you find tucked away in the backstreets (this one is behind Carnaby Street). They just produce stuff that makes you smile. Their current range of Shakespeare For The Masses shirts includes these Sarf London gems. If you’ve got a good idea for more, they’ll make […]

Come On Chaps, Use Your Imagination

The writer has one main brief – to use his or her imagination in the service of literature. Or in the case of Jeffrey Archer, typing. So, as a reviewer I look for something that will surprise me with originality of thinking. Each day I rush (well, stroll) to my front door and check the […]