Film

Film Week: Not Two Knights, Darling

Last film under discussion this week…   Both Gawain (which is here pronounced Ga-warn) and the Green Knight are Knights of the Round Table. ‘The Green Knight’ is the latest retelling of one of Britain’s oldest tales. There’s only one copy of it in the world, in the British Library, right around the corner from me, […]

Time Past: The Other Bond Review

I found another review written under the one I posted; a side effect of having a partially working brain, I suspect. I must have knocked it out in the dead of night and forgotten about it, so I include it here as passing interest. Here’s how you write a film script: Get commissioned. Have everyone tell […]

Film Week: 007’s Endgame

You feel treated by the whole enterprise. October sees the start of the season for those interested in the arts (and if you’re not, what are you doing here?). BAFTA begins its screening schedule, art exhibitions and new plays all appear after the summer doldrums and apparently the opera season roughly corresponds to the football, […]

Back On The Job

Oh, for fuck’s sake. I admit I get a bit minty occasionally, especially when I think about upcoming scans, which usually reveal C cells creeping over yet more internal organs like London mildew. But yesterday I was in hospital (lovely intubation, ladies, I’ve not a mark showing on me today) and read close to a […]

Why Does Dracula Never Grow Old?

He’s the IP that never needs fresh blood. His fans still lap him up. What’s the appeal? The thirst for new material from the old Hammer Films studio is extraordinary, and an entire industry built up around this esoteric corner of the entertainment industry. The above volumes have been republished with new sections bringing the […]

Flop Films Re-Assessed

We got to five on this site last time around: I reviewed very obscure films to the complete disinterest of my readership. Here was I eager to discuss bonkers storylines with anyone who’d listen and you lot were like middle-class housewives at a book club; two minutes of interest followed by a heated discussion about the […]

Giallo: The Strangest Crime Genre Of Them All (Part 2)

Mario Bava’s ‘Blood and Black Lace’ was not the first Giallo, but in it all of the right elements and perfectly aligned. Murders of beautiful women in a gothic fashion house by a killer in black leather gloves. Sadistic deaths, lighting more Grand Guignol than Giallo. This was cinema of the senses, more decadent and […]

Giallo: The Strangest Crime Genre Of Them All

A Giallo is a story that starts with a lurid murder that tracks the killer to a plausible solution. At least, in theory. It might have elements of sexuality, suspense, thrills, gore, perversity, even (bad) comedy. It is above all sensual. Every sense is heightened, but the senses are not to be trusted. The protagonist is […]

In The Earth: The Answer Lies In The Soil

Following on from the last column about cerebral scares, here’s something new in the folk horror genre to catch. Ben Wheatley is incapable of making a dull film but he comes dangerously close to self-parody with ‘In The Earth’, which will either kill off the fashionable folk-horror cycle for a while or encourage a further […]

The Scared Brain: Favourite Cerebral Scares

Considering I’ve written some 300 short stories in the genre of the fantastic, I feel that stories in which one’s inner doubts and fears are made irrefutably solid is the bravest choice to make aesthetically. Psychological stories achieve a unique level of catharsis but shocking images must be yoked within the service of powerful ideas. The […]