Tag Archives: film

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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The secret elite club of ex-Virgin Marys

“I was always the sort of child who got picked on to DO things, you know?” recalls Julie Christie’s Darling, in the 1965 film, as we see her as a 6 year old Mary in the school nativity play. (watch … 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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Martin Landau and the Art of Darkness

I was lucky enough to interview Martin Landau when he was in London for the Film Festival premiere of Frankenweenie. Like a lot of 70s kids I first discovered him as Space:1999′s haunted looking Commander Koenig. When discussing his career … Continue reading

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Hacks on Film: Essential viewing and reading

This is an updated version of an article I first wrote for The Spectator blog, that formed the basis of a lecture to journalism students at Kingston University in October. It has links to scripts, films and articles about all … Continue reading

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Anglos, Diphthongs & Perfect Snogging: Saving the German A-level

This piece was written for The Guardian in August 2012, after A-level results showed the number of UK students taking German had declined to below 5,000 for the first time. There were also significant drops in French and other modern … Continue reading

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No Mr Bond, I expect you to cry.

This column (updated since it appeared in The Big Issue last week) explores whether old James Bond films can still be enjoyed in a more feminist, more racially equal society. And then Danny Boyle put him at the heart of … Continue reading

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Casablanca: When refugees were glamorous

This was written for the Spectator Coffee House blog, ahead of the Casablanca night at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum on June 22nd, to mark Refugee Week.  “I don’t buy and sell human beings,” says Rick to the rival club … Continue reading

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Aliens, abortion and baby machines: HG Wells & John Wyndham

Woman’s Hour ran a fascinating interview today with novelist Kishwar Desai, about India’s burgeoning  surrogate baby industry. Her exploration of this massive business (an estimated 20,000 babies produced  each year) seems to differ from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale only … Continue reading

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