Blog / 2022

Christopher Fowler
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This year comedy has been forced into virtual extinction. Looking through the seasonal films it feels as if Christmas has become just another Netflix category, colour-coded in red, white and gold. The worst offenders are 'Slumberland', featuring charisma-bypass Jason Momoa, which takes Windsor McKay's delightful 1905 comic strip original and removes everything joyful about it. The strip owed its…
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Christopher Fowler
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Where do policemen live? 999, Letsby Avenue. Obviously. British humour doesn't travel very well, much like most of our films. And if the film 'See How They Run', proves one thing, it's that the British don't make very good mainstream films anymore. We can manage the odd bit of intriguing arthouse ('The Wonder', 'Men') but flail about when it comes to populism. Richard Curtis is apparently still…
18 comments
Christopher Fowler
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Anyone familiar with this blog will know by now that the autumn/winter season (I say winter, it's 17C here in London) is peppered with film reviews because it's movie preview time, when we get to check out all the non-comic-universe upcoming releases. I got out to an actual cinema again this week, under the watchful eye of the Husband, who made sure that I didn't fall face down into the road every…
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Christopher Fowler
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Benoit Blanc, the New Orleans detective essayed by Daniel Craig in the surprise hit 'Knives Out', channels his inner Foghorn Leghorn and has a hoot in its sequel 'Glass Onion', which is yes, an old Beatles song and also, literally, a very big glass onion. If the template last time was 'The Old Dark House' via 'Cluedo', this one owes a fair amount to Stephen Sondheim and his meticulous whodunnit…
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Christopher Fowler
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Hallowe'en was possibly observed around the world, possibly for centuries, possibly not. Unlike other ceremonial events it has no confirmed pedigree, so all bets are off. In the same way that America successfully monetised Christmas in the 20th century it did the same with Hallowe'en, colour-coding it and providing a specific number of purchasable requirements. In the 80s I took a picture of a…
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Christopher Fowler
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Following on obliquely from comments about the last post, back in prelapsarian days of 1982 a Hollywood movie was made called 'Making Love'. It was touted as the first gay film from a major studio and starred Kate Jackson and Harry Hamlin, and was meant to be a huge hit, because love is universal, right? The film was a timid tip-toe through don't-frighten-the-horses scenes that reminded me of…
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Christopher Fowler
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When I was young there used to be (and for all I know may still be) a peculiar little chapbook held together with rusted staples that listed the calendar of England, predicting what your sheep would do, what your birth sign would reveal, lighting up times, tide-tables and so on. I recall that Old Moore's Almanack was also peppered with obscure events, rituals that included the Bubble Sermon, the…
31 comments
Christopher Fowler
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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
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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
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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…
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