I have been lucky enough to have this year's Halloween film, No Diggin' Here - a film about M.R. James, Aldeburgh and A Warning To The Curious - premiered on the BFI's website. It was a Halloween treat that, until I saw it happen in full, I didn't quite believe, but I count myself incredibly … Continue reading Short Film – No Diggin’ Here.
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, … Continue reading Trailer – No Diggin’ Here.
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 … Continue reading Walking “A Warning To The Curious” (M.R. James).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Nondiegetic Musical Themes And Textures. "Indeed, the celestial voices of film music do resemble a phantom in several significant ways. They are ephemeral, they are not 'substantial' or do not constitute part of what audiences cognise as important in the film, and have an effect that is not apparent." … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 4 (Music).
Part 1. Part 2. A "Disembodied Voice" of some form is a clear norm for representing a creature that, by its very definition, is now bodiless. This means that, as an aural technique, it is used frequently throughout many other ghost stories as well. In Lawrence Gordon Clark's films, the aural trait occurs several times … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 3 (William Ager).
Two writers who could be said to epitomise the ideas of Folk Horror, M.R. James and Nigel Kneale, while addressing these ideals through different media, are writers whose work often crept into the same realm. This has lead to both of their work having a natural relationship with each other, with one almost being a … Continue reading An Ancient Evil: M.R. James and Nigel Kneale.
This review contains spoilers. The second release of the BBC Christmas ghost stories finds the real birth of it as a staple of the wintery Christmas nights of the 1970s and showcases the first two of five serials by Lawrence Gordon Clark. Though both of the stories are again M.R James adaptations the connecting factor … Continue reading BBC Ghost Stories – The Stalls of Barchester/A Warning To The Curious (1971/1972)