Monthly Archives: June 2013

Re:View – Disaster Double Bill!

As summer took its grip on London and the temperature plunged, bringing fresh rain, I went for a B-movie double bill, to hit the spots that remain untouched by all those sensitive French dramas I watch. First up was ‘Bait’, an Australian trash flick produced by the once-great Russell Mulcahy. Thanks to a CGI tsunami, […]

English Peculiar On Film

After writing ‘Film Freak’ I realised that the book was more or less a requiem for popular British film, and that the only future for a national cinema lay in arthouse independents. And yet over the years there have been a number of other small British films which found admittedly small audiences, yet remain gems […]

Truth & Lies About London

The study of London books has become rather like the study of London itself, a need to get away from the usual main thoroughfares to explore the less well-known side alleys. ‘London Fictions’, edited by Jerry White (himself the author of many exemplary books about London) and Andrew Whitehead, author and editor, takes 26 authors […]

London All Mapped Out

Stephen Walter’s ‘London Subterranea’ fuses the art of cartography with cartooning, along with London trivia. His work is based on London’s Tube network, and he showcases the city’s hidden underground history – charting everything from buried rivers, bunkers and sewers to government tunnels and even the sites of unsolved murders. You can still buy gold […]

Bryant & May’s Vanished London No.1

This is from a rare book published in 1935 called ‘The Spirit of London’ by Paul Cohen-Portheim: ‘The Adelphi was not unlike Bloomsbury on a small scale.What is left of it is situated between the West End and the City, dates from about the same period and is equally connected with literature. Its situation between […]

The Tattoo Falls From Fashion

The Summer Solstice is upon us, and you know what that means – every tattooed ‘magician’ in the land will be descending on Stonehenge. It was Joan Collins who once commented; ‘In my day, if you wanted to see the fat lady and the tattooed man, you had to go to the circus.’ But at […]

It’s Your Choice!

You have to make a choice from two books today – one that’s brand-new and not out until July 15th from lovely Solaris Press, the other I found down the back of my voluminous shelves. I’ll print an excerpt from one of them below, so what’s it to be, Christopher Fowler’s bizarre comedy-thriller ‘Plastic’ or […]

A City Of Shopkeepers 2

No sooner was the ink drying on the piece below when the argument for and against sightlines in London cropped up on America’s NPR. This time Paul Finch, a critic at Architects’ Journal, is concerned by what he says is the implication that instead of just preserving views of the Tower of London, UNESCO is […]

A City Of Shopkeepers

In the last few years we’ve seen every last square metre of London commoditised and accounted for – they’re done away with the odd bits of greenery and strangely shaped spare spaces left behind for so many years by bombers and developers. One of Londn’s greatest pleasures has always been to be able to turn […]

Are We Subjected To Literary Skeuomorphism?

Skeuomorphic design, from the Greek words for a tool (skeuos) and shape (morph), means designing a tool in a new medium that incorporates some of the features of its antecedents. These no long perform any necessary function but forge an intuitive link with the past. On phones and computers skeuomorphism is everywhere, from the fake […]