Category Archives: Film

Desert worlds: JG Ballard, Lawrence of Arabia, Dune & the story of Ishmael

My latest Something Understood for Radio 4 on Sunday April 19th was conceived as a sequel  to The White North Has Thy Bones, about our fascination with the Arctic and the North West Passage. Together with producer Natalie Steed we … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Film, Music, Radio, Religion, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

Serial killer stories: From Burke and Hare to Tales Of The Grim Sleeper

It was late, I was tired and I needed cheering up and I found this great comedy on TV that I’d never seen before which did just the job. Burke and Hare, directed by John Landis in 2010 and starring … Continue reading

Posted in Comedy, Crime and Justice, Film, History, journalism, Media, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sixty years on: Has Cinderella on film got trapped in The Valley of the Dolls?

I rather enjoyed the new live action Disney Cinderella. We’re reviewing it on Front Row on Monday Mar 23rd. But the issues raised here still stand. Imagine Cinderella as a anti social tomboy with cropped black hair who acts well, just … Continue reading

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Frozen? That’s not feminism

My daughter finally got me to watch Frozen recently. I think she’s sorry she did. Though I sense 13 year old girls are watching it with a sense of irony and a  kind of knowing detachment in the way my … Continue reading

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While the flame is strong: Pop and politics (Kingston Uni class notes)

This a list of suggested reading and films to follow on from my lecture for  Dr Rupa Huq’s 2nd year sociology module on Monday March 2nd 2015 11am. The title of course comes from The Young Ones (1961). It’s open … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Film, Kingston University class notes, Music, Politics, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Body swap Muslims & playing “The Jew”

Had a great discussion with David Baddiel and David Schneider on Front Row this week about why Britain was hosting its first Jewish comedy festival. It  made me revisit  this 2009 news film I made on location at the shoot … Continue reading

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Interstellar’s Heart of Darkness & the Dust Bowl

I like to go to the cinema to escape the gloom of a Sunday evening and what better escape than Interstellar? An epic journey to other worlds. It begins in a rural America devastated by environmental disaster. Real survivors of … Continue reading

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A brief encounter with Richard Attenborough & his best friend Bryan Forbes

When the British Film Institute ran a Richard Attenborough retrospective back in the early 2000s, Sir Richard came to introduce every screening. The gesture seemed to capture his enthusiasm, modesty, kindness and warmth for cinema and audiences. At the screening … Continue reading

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A Smashing Time: Murray Melvin on busting taboos in the 60s

 This is one of the most read pieces on my website but the link had stopped working so I’ve re-posted it here. The interview is still available to listen on the iplayer One to One link just below. For the … Continue reading

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To go or not to go: The freakonomics of the school reunion

This article first appeared in The Big Issue Magazine: Journalism worth paying for. Available from street vendors across the UK or by subscription. “My generation thought we’d fix the world for free. We were LBJ (Lyndon B J cohnson) technocrats.” … Continue reading

Posted in Business/Economics, Education, Film, journalism, Media, Radio, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments