Mothlight (Film)

Above is a short film made with Influx Press all about my next book, Mothlight. Running back and forth between London and Merseyside, the film features me waffling on a little and also revisiting the original locations up north that inspired the book. Also featured, for which I’m incredibly lucky, are some readings by my previous voice-over collaborator Paul Carmichael who lends his rich tones … Continue reading Mothlight (Film)

Winter Waves: Marguerite Duras And Trouville

Marguerite Duras lived in the Hôtel des Roches Noires in Trouville on the Normandy coast for over thirty years, spending long periods of time there from 1963 to 1996. She would stare out of the window towards the horizon line or at least was photographed often staring out of the window towards the horizon line. Though undoubtedly here at all different seasons, the Trouville coast … Continue reading Winter Waves: Marguerite Duras And Trouville

Short Film – Weather Words (Colin Riley feat. Robert Macfarlane)

Having already written about the Weather Words film for Caught By The River (link here), I won’t add much more about the project. For more specific details, read that piece. It’s the first and probably only film project of mine in 2018, partly due to funding problems and partly due to other big projects taking time (finishing my PhD, editing first novel, drafting second, selling … Continue reading Short Film – Weather Words (Colin Riley feat. Robert Macfarlane)

Responses: Albrecht Dürer’s St. Jerome (1521)

An old man is sat at a desk. His intelligence burns brightly above is head like a white halo as he writes in ink on a raised platform. His room is filled with things; measuring equipment and scientific apparatus, a skull, cushions, a lion, a dog and many books. The light from outside translates the designs of the glass windows onto the adjacent wall while … Continue reading Responses: Albrecht Dürer’s St. Jerome (1521)

Accumulation in Jacques Rivette’s La Belle Noiseuse (1991)

For a while after watching Jacques Rivette’s La Belle Noiseuse (The Beautiful Troublemaker, 1991), I repeatedly heard the sound of ink scratching from a nib onto rough paper and canvas. This action occurs throughout the almost four hour long film, to the point where the process of painting – from its earliest preparatory sketches to a devilish, unseen final canvas – feels almost conveyed in … Continue reading Accumulation in Jacques Rivette’s La Belle Noiseuse (1991)

Marcel Proust Turns Away

“What the Photograph reproduces to infinity has occurred only once: the Photograph mechanically repeats what could never be repeated existentially.” – Roland Barthes Marcel Proust turns away. His head is facing straight to one side but is not quite distant either. It could be considered a picture in profile if not for the angle of his body, crumpled and unusually creating the illusion of multiple … Continue reading Marcel Proust Turns Away

Horror’s Pleasure of Distance

One of my favourite moments from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) is not a typical choice considering the film’s many infamous scenes. Rather than showers, murders and other more memorable images, I particularly love a relatively bland scene later on in the film. It has narrative development in its eerie punch line but has little else on screen in terms of Hitchcock generally: it is perfunctory … Continue reading Horror’s Pleasure of Distance

Arcadian Folklore

Arcadian Folklore The lost realm of Arcadia was noted for its vast array of folklore and customs. Many unusual tales are at the centre of a rich and diverse research field which has painstakingly assembled a wealth of material from a huge variety of sources. This essay can only give a brief overview of some of the more unusual and seasonal based customs, superstitions and … Continue reading Arcadian Folklore

Responses: Tacita Dean’s Berlin And The Artist (2012)

Chance played a huge role in the writing of Robert Walser. I can picture his slow meanderings around towns and valleys, spotting something that fires a brief need to write. I can see him getting excited by the way the sunlight reflects off a lake’s water in a certain way, by the fustiness of a suited man coming out of a bank, by a woman’s … Continue reading Responses: Tacita Dean’s Berlin And The Artist (2012)

Snails and Death: Luis Buñuel’s The Diary Of A Chambermaid (1964)

A few years back, I dived into the French produced films of Luis Buñuel. My eyes were bombarded with images and ideas, so condensed and constant as to feel exhausted and exhilarated after each film. Even films that seemed at first more straight forward (That Obscure Object Of Desire, for example) had hidden, unconscious depths that played on my mind for weeks afterwards. Yet one … Continue reading Snails and Death: Luis Buñuel’s The Diary Of A Chambermaid (1964)