Tag Archives: cinema

What If…? HG Wells, Arnold Bennett and your alternative future

It is early January in a new century and a group of  technicolored-Victorian gentlemen are awaiting the return of their friend from the future. I’ve always loved the 1960 film of HG Wells’ The Time Machine. Drawing inspiration from the … Continue reading

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Battling it out with the 70s & The Lamb’s Navy Rum Girl

My earliest registered nightmare (circa 1971): Coming downstairs in the dark to find the TV taken over by a ghost station, broadcasting horrors for the denizens of the night. I didn’t know then of course, that one day there would … Continue reading

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Ferris Bueller and Me

John Hughes died four years ago and I wrote this post that day August 6th 2009 before I had a blog of my own. Just found it again thanks to the interwebs. Four years on things aren’t quite the same … Continue reading

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Plotting the arc of darkness with Joss Whedon

Here’s a link to my interview with Joss Whedon for Radio 3’s Night Waves on June 12th. We covered his writing for Roseanne, Shakespearean superheroes, his love of musicals — especially Brigadoon —  the way studios treat writers, (take Firefly … Continue reading

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Billy Liar, Bradford and the birth of the dollybird

“A lazy, irresponsible young clerk in provincial Northern England lives in his own fantasy world and makes emotionally immature decisions as he alienates friends and family.” Everyone loves Billy Liar. Apart from whoever wrote imdb’s current bizarrely censorious plot summary … Continue reading

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How The West Was Fun: When Britain loved cowboys

The Unforgiven (1961) – The Searchers in reverse This is about the back ground to the April 6th documentary I made for Radio 4 about the Western in British culture. You can listen again here: Archive on Four documentary Riding … Continue reading

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Mr Lincoln’s Wild Ride

I spent a night in the pub playing skittles recently with The Lawmen of Bristol for a radio documentary. They are Wild West enthusiasts, who transport around their home-made saloon town and re-enact historical gunfights for charity. Each has a … Continue reading

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Poor Cows and Angry Young Men: 50 years of Kitchen Sink Drama

The director Ken Loach and the theatre critic Michael Billington remember the dawn of the 60s well. “The 50s weren’t bleak and depressing,” spluttered Loach, listening to art critic Rachel Campbell-Johnston explain the grim postwar era that spawned the new … Continue reading

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Mocha in the Family Latte: Race on American screens

“He should not be here, ” said the fish in the pot. ” he should not be here when your mother is not.” – The Cat In the Hat Dr Seuss (1957) It is a conundrum worthy of the massive … Continue reading

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How The Middle East Became Another Planet

From Flash Gordon’s Ming the Merciless with his harem and his war rocket Ajax, to Frank Herbert’s prophecy-obsessed desert tribes in Dune battling over a valuable resource, the Middle East has always been another planet to western science fiction creators. … Continue reading

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