I remember before I first watched Ben Rivers' Two Years At Sea (2011) that a certain review quote about the film caught my eye. It was suggested by a Time Out reviewer that Rivers' film was "A rare thing in cinema: a vision of true happiness". At the time, this idea framed my viewing of … Continue reading Contentment and Chris Marker’s Chat écoutant la musique (1988)
"Once I loved a man who was a lot like the desert, and before that I loved the desert." - Rebecca Solnit (2006). Late last year, I quite accidently combined the viewing of two films that spoke of a theme I have become interested in over the last few months. Viewing Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point … Continue reading Sex and the Landscape in Zabriskie Point (1970) and The Last Movie (1971)
As recently announced, I have a book being released in January all about Folk Horror and its many related areas of interest. The book has been in the works for the last year or so though many of the arguments within have been growing now for several years. Though I'll undoubtedly being doing the usual … Continue reading Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange (January, 2017)
John Rogers has been one of the most prominent psychogeographical writers and filmmakers of the last decade. Fiercely independent and with a strong DIY sensibility towards his creative responses to London, his work is a vital component and documentation of a city still in a phase of hyper-development and gentrification. Ahead of his adaptation/response to … Continue reading Interview: John Rogers on London Overground and Psychogeography.
Norman Cohen's filmic version of Geoffrey Fletcher's 1967 book, The London Nobody Knows, could hardly be called an adaptation. With the book being a mixture of personal documentary and the historical exploring of London streets, its narrative is one purely of journeys if anything else. Cohen was already used to this blurring of fiction and … Continue reading The London Nobody Knows (1969) – Psychogeographic Fluctuation.
As a last hurrah of being on Merseyside before moving, I decided to revisit a place just down the road from where I'd lived on The Wirral; armed with a desire to dig up some of its surprising past glories. I've been going to the seaside resort of New Brighton for as long as I … Continue reading Dérives: The Magnet and The Last Resort (New Brighton).
"My mother lives in the windy Orkney Islands. It's certainly a wonderful place to be brought up in." - A Portrait Of Ga In making a short film about her mother, the experimental filmmaker, Margaret Tait, essentially drew upon an interesting dialectic between place and youth. With 1952's A Portrait Of Ga - a 4 … Continue reading Place and Youth in Margaret Tait’s A Portrait Of Ga (1952).
Mike Hodges' debut feature film, Get Carter (1971), was one of the key shifts in British cinema of the period. With its total lack of hope, an earnest presence of violence and a hugely detailed topography, the film is one of the definitive shifts to the more gritty, unremitting cinema produced in the early Heath … Continue reading Interview: Mike Hodges on Get Carter (1971).
This is an edited version of the paper given at Spirits Of Place in Calderstones Park, Liverpool 02/04/2016. My thanks to John Reppion and Leah Moore for organising the event and for to the other excellent speakers (Gill Hoffs, David Southwell, Gary Budden, Kenneth Brophy, Richard Macdonald, Ian "Cat" Vincent and Ramsey Campbell). Here's to … Continue reading “Wyrd” Wirral – Spirits Of Place (02/04/2016)
On watching all of Patrick Keiller's "Robinson" trilogy of films recently, it struck home how effectively stillness within a visual frame can traverse the geographical plain and recreate a journey that is both political and sociological. This, of course, goes to the heart filmmaking itself, the relationships with cuts especially and its portrayal of time, … Continue reading Stasis In London (1994) – Patrick Keiller.