Blog / 2020

Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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Rowland Emett was an inventor who found fame in the 1950s. He said, ' The first principle in science is to invent something nice to look at and then decide what it can do.' His fussy, whimsical automata were exhibited at the Festival of Britain and became hugely popular. He designed clocks and trams, trains and boats, was a fine cartoonist and creator of kinetic sculpture. Somehow his spindly…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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It seems extraordinary, but in all the time that Tim Goodman has been the voice of the Bryant & May audiobooks we've never talked about it, he and I. Now seemed a great time to chat a bit about his 'double career'. Christopher: You began in rep, Tim. Thinking about life on tour, how difficult was it to do different shows all the time? Do you think it's an important experience for actors? Tim: Rep…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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There are subjects I return to again and again for a final word. This is one of them. It started, as so many things do, with art. Magritte and Duchamp, Buñuel and Dali, 'Un Chien Andalou' and 'L'Age D'Or' and 'Dr Caligari'. Many critics wrote off Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech because of his unabashed commercialism, his bad-boy antics and his clown-prince behaviour. An easy…
30 comments
Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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I had a complaint from a reader about the following story, which appeared in the e-collection 'Frightening'. She said it had kept her awake at night. I said that was the point of writing it. Happy Hallowe'en! The Baby The dingy Edwardian pub was called The Grand Duke, but there was nothing grand about the place now. Its windows were covered in peeling gig posters, but half of the bands advertised…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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I've looked at strange old comics a few times over the years (follow the hotlinks below), but thought I'd have one last look, precipitated by a new publication. Comic books, that is the bound free-standing comic periodicals, were born in 1933 when Bill Gaines's father looked at comic strips in newspapers and wondered if they'd sell separately. He worked for a printing company, so his idea was easy…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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Even disguised as an adiposally-challenged lady, John Travolta can still remind us that he started out as a terrific song-and-dance man on the stage. Also, check out the Actors' Fund Charity Hairspray finale on Youtube, featuring just about everyone who was ever in the show in a self-isolating finale. The link's for a good cause, so I won't post it here.
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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What makes a good crime film? Well, there has to be an innocent whose eyes are opened and a criminal on a mission, and there's usually someone trapped between the two, creating a moral problem. But the usual suspects, like 'The Usual Suspects', are absent here. In any top ten list you'll find 'Bonnie & Clyde', 'The Godfather', 'The French Connection' and 'Chinatown', but with so many rare gems…
16 comments
Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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My old pal Joanne Harris is in the press again, this time for revealing what she was paid for the rights to have her excellent novel 'Chocolat' made into a mediocre film - £5,000 apparently. I have never been paid a figure remotely as high as that for the rights to anything. The standard fee for a new short story still hovers between £50 - £100, static after two decades. To put that in perspective…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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For those completists out there, this is the definitive list of all my published short story titles, now reaching Joyce Carol Oatesian (Oatsean?) proportions, if not her consistent quality. This is the order in which I wrote them, but there are still around five missing that I haven't been able to track down. (That's not all of them in the photo, just the ones I could reach without a ladder.) I've…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London & The Arts
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The first play I saw was George Bernard Shaw's 'The Devil's Disciple'. I must have been seven or eight. The last play I saw was Friedrich Dürrenmatt's 'The Visit', days before Lockdown. Between the two plays has been sandwiched a lifetime's theatre, plays seen more frequently than any football fan's match fixtures. It was a London thing. With more grand theatres concentrated in one place than…
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