This presentation was originally given at the Folk Horror Revival day at The British Museum (16/02/2016). My thanks to the fellow admins of the Folk Horror Revival, especially Jim Peters and Andy Paciorek. There’s an overt connection between analogue technology and the narratives surrounding paranormal activity in British horror, especially when made during the 1970s. No doubt there are connections between the interest in such … Continue reading The Ghost In The Grain: Analogue Hauntings of the 1970s
There are few writers that figure more prominently in everything I do than the teller of beautiful Edwardian ghost stories, M.R. James. Alongside W.G. Sebald, J.G. Ballard, Alan Garner and Virginia Woolf, his writing holds a great power over me with its familiar yet unfamiliar worlds. His writing preys upon my mind at regular intervals, even outside of the Christmas period from which they were … Continue reading Trailer – No Diggin’ Here.
This paper was originally given at The Alchemical Landscape conference at Girton College Cambridge, 07/07/2016. Though more well known for work as a film editor associated with the Free Cinema Movement of the late 1950s, and for cutting work on several films by Lindsay Anderson including If…. (1968) and O’ Lucky Man! (1973), David Gladwell is a director in his own right; a cinematic outsider … Continue reading Rurality In Folk Horror And The Films of David Gladwell.
At the recent Alchemical Landscape conference in Cambridge, there was some interesting analysis of the portrayal of landscape in the opening sequence of Alan Clarke’s Play For Today episode, Penda’s Fen (1974). The point in the analysis was to show the subversive nature of the opening in regards to its melding of two potentially differing realities of English landscape; on the one hand, the typical pastoral … Continue reading Wire and Grass: Landscape Binaries in Television and Reality.
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 the next one. There is strange landmass on the opposite … Continue reading “Wyrd” Wirral – Spirits Of Place (02/04/2016)
“When I was not confined to the house, I would spend my days and my nights on the Edge.” – Alan Garner (1997, p.12). On a frosty but sunny January morning, I was making my way along the M56 towards Macclesfield. The pilgrimage was not one of unique exploration but one of repetition; I was treading my own ghost steps to a place I had … Continue reading Wanders: Alan Garner’s Edge And Cadellin’s Home.
In October I released a ghost story for Halloween. It was partly inspired by Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows, but the majority of its actual narrative structure (especially in terms of character) came from a short story of my own inspired as well by Blackwood’s story. As it’s near Christmas, the original story is presented below. It’s very typically Jamesian and should be read late at night … Continue reading Salthouse Marshes (Ghost Story).
Above is a showreel built from footage I’ve shot over the last twelve months. Compared to last year’s showreel, this one feels far more defined and less haphazard with the visual ideas I want to play with. Gone are the mixtures of stop-motion, digital and film, instead replaced entirely by different stocks of super-8 footage. This year has felt like a much more defined trajectory … Continue reading Showreel 2015.
Salthouse Marshes began life in a strange way. Having chatted about adapting Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows with Robert Macfarlane (who had wanted to re-set it in England), there was always to be a “haunted waterway” film on the cards. But, after constant reading of the narrative of The Willows, the thought of organising the filming on two boats and on celluloid simply proved too intimidating. … Continue reading Short Film – Salthouse Marshes
A few years back, whilst on holiday in Norfolk, I began exploring some of locations used for the BBC’s famous M.R. James adaptations, specifically for Lawrence Gordon Clark’s adaptation of A Warning To The Curious (1972). Though I had been far from thorough in this escapade (I completely missed the film’s most iconic structure in the church at Happisburgh), on finding myself in Suffolk, I … Continue reading Walking “A Warning To The Curious” (M.R. James).