As typical when finishing a book that attempts to build a canon, as I have tried to do with Folk Horror, the signalling of its publishing means a whole host of new potential examples surface and come to light. Though there were things in the Folk Horror book that I simply left out by sheer chance – Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz (2007) being a key … Continue reading Folk Horror Curios
At the time of writing this, my book on Folk Horror is a few weeks away from being printed. By the time you read this, however, it should be available to buy. I’ve written about the detail of the book earlier when it was due to be published late last year. However, I wanted to get a few words down again now that it is … Continue reading Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange
Having recently finished all of the remaining episodes of the early 1970s BBC series, Doomwatch, I had the strange feeling that I had slipped into a parallel world; one where the BBC had worked closely with the writer, J.G. Ballard, to make a series that addressed his themes. Though the series largely resembles Ballard’s earlier novels with their constant post-civilisation eco-disasters similar to The Drowned World … Continue reading Doomwatch, J.G. Ballard and High-Rise
“Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.” – Kurt Vonnegut. Rather like J.G. Ballard, Nigel Kneale had a certain knack of preempting future social, technological and cultural trends. Kneale’s work is perhaps less appreciated than Ballard’s because the medium he predominantly worked in, television, is far and … Continue reading Nigel Kneale and Fascism
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 interview-esque things to coincide with the release in December and … Continue reading Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange (January, 2017)
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.
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.
In the 1980’s introduction to the repeated BBC Ian Nairn series, Nairn Across Britain (1972), Jonathan Meades suggests that the series still managed to capture Nairn’s sense of poetics and character in spite of “the filming techniques seeming a bit dated, as nothing dates quite like the recent past”. Though Meades is right in his effusing about Nairn’s character – an endlessly watchable, impassioned, melancholic … Continue reading Poetics of Visual Space in Ian Nairn’s “Nairn Across Britain” (1972).
The BBC Science-Fiction anthology series, Out Of The Unknown (1965-1970), was famous for producing a wide range of intellectual sci-fi drama, exploring ideas and concepts more than spectacle and scale. With adaptations from a range of writers, including John Wyndham and J.G. Ballard, the surviving episodes of the series are both stimulating and useful in terms of 21st century aesthetic philosophy. The feeling that the … Continue reading Hauntology Of The Dead Past (1965) – Out Of The Unknown.