Monthly Archives: April 2014

Favourite Soundtracks No.1: ‘Isabel’

Now that I’ve mastered the posting of chunks from my own soundtrack collection, I thought you might like a little accompanying music every now and again (yes, this site caters for all your needs. I’d feed you if I could. I’m a natural nurturer. Please tell your friends). So, themes in motion pictures – they’re […]

Overlooked Movies No.3

  ‘Who’s Minding The Mint?’ was released in 1967, following in the wake of ‘It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World’, during an efflorescence of astonishingly creative films that appeared over roughly a three year period at the end of the sixties. It was a comedy heist movie with no intention other than to entertain […]

Ten Ways To Fall Back In Love With London

After a long and particularly boring winter, we have a tendency to disrespect London and find fault with the city. Then along comes a warm spring evening and everything is somehow alright again. In order to maximise this rare and lovely sensation, here’s a handy guide to what you can do on the next impromptu […]

Great London Pubs No.3: The Coal Hole

  Gilbert & Sullivan were opposites. WS Gilbert was nervous, prickly, insular, difficult, hard to like and rather posh. Sullivan was lower class, charming, expansive, relaxed and put everyone at their ease. On their opening nights at the Savoy, Gilbert would drive himself into a state of nervous tension so great that he could not […]

Goodbye, Harold Shand

‘I’m not a politician – I’m a businessman. And I’m also a Londoner.’ Harold Shand’s gravel-voiced speech on the prow of his yacht as it passes Tower Bridge is the stuff of British film legend, along with the closing speech from ‘Withnail & I’ or the opening monologue from ‘Trainspotting’ – there aren’t too many […]

What The Scandiwegians Did For Us

Countries like Iceland have the highest literary rate in the world (it’s pegged at 100%, while 8% of British adults are functionally illiterate and according to US Dept Education National Institute of Literacy statistics 32 million US adults can’t read). So it’s hardly surprising that Nordic literature, television and films should have finally come to […]

Overlooked Movies No.2

‘The Oxford Murders’ was always going to be a tough sell. A bestselling Spanish murder mystery about mathematics and philosophy set in Oxford, made by a Spanish team headed by Alex de la Iglesias and filmed in a weird kind of English that sounds dubbed and highly awkward – and yet, as a number of […]

One Man’s Grand Design For London

Meet Colin Wilson, director of the Planning Decisions Unit of the Greater London Authority. They would have a man named Colin. I wanted to find out more about him, and discovered that he recently ran a seminar, billing it like this: Urbego mini training course trainer: Colin Wilson, Startegic Planning Manager at Greater London Authority. That […]

Talent Trickledown

Talent Trickledown is what happens when you have a giant at the top of the family dynasty whose abilities are genetically passed on in dwindling amounts, so you start with Ernest Hemingway and end up with Mariel and her modelling, or with Pablo Picasso, down to Paloma and her fragrance. To be fair, it can’t […]

My Unhealthy Obsession With Film Music

It’s out of control now. I can’t help myself. I’ve always played film music while I write, but recent developments have forced me to take stronger measures than ever before, like an addict moving up to crack. I’d always had it under control. Okay, my soundtrack collection, which began when I was, oh, 10 years […]