2013 in Film.

In contrast to other cineastes that I follow online, I really don’t get out that much. While so many excellent film writers seem to be able to see every relevant new release as it comes (even before if they’re lucky enough to have time and money to get thoroughly into the festival circuit), it’s actually a rarity for me to be able to get into … Continue reading 2013 in Film.

Village Green Repression in Film, Television and Philip Larkin.

Mythological Introduction by Philip Larkin. A white girl lay on the grass With her arms held out for love; her goldbrown hair fell down her face, And her two lips move: See, I am the whitest cloud that strays Through a deep sky: I am your senses’ crossroads, where the four seasons lie. She rose up in the middle of the lawn And spread her … Continue reading Village Green Repression in Film, Television and Philip Larkin.

Interview With Digby Rumsey (BFI Flipside, The Pledge).

Director Digby Rumsey sees his BFI DVD debut this month on the Flipside release of Leslie Megahey’s Schalcken the Painter.  Rumsey is a traditional BFI director, coming from the same ranks as Terence Davies, Bill Douglas and Peter Greenaway.  His work in Gothic short films, especially adaptations of work by Lord Dunsany, places him firmly in the British Gothic traditions of directors such as Jonathan … Continue reading Interview With Digby Rumsey (BFI Flipside, The Pledge).

Schalcken The Painter – Leslie Megahey (BFI Flipside).

The notion of gothic is quite rightly taking over the BFI at the moment.  Their gothic season is looking set to be its most all encompassing and vast seasonal retrospective for some time.  The gothic tint has found its way into a number of avenues including its DVD range.  The Flipside label always seemed fit for the sort of gothic releases still residing in the … Continue reading Schalcken The Painter – Leslie Megahey (BFI Flipside).

The Masque of the Red Death (1964) – Kierkegaard’s Aesthetic Phase and Inverted Freudian Pleasure Principle (Part 2).

Part 1. The Levels of the Aesthetic Stage Through Castle Rooms and Colour. Corman’s beautiful excess of colour in the film has already been mentioned but colour plays a vital role within the film’s narrative too.  Its narrative focus however does not chime well with the Kierkegaard reading when considering the unevenness and ambiguity as to the death creatures and their colours at the end … Continue reading The Masque of the Red Death (1964) – Kierkegaard’s Aesthetic Phase and Inverted Freudian Pleasure Principle (Part 2).

BBC Dead of Night (1972) – BFI

The BBC experienced a real golden age for television horror during the late 1960s and 1970s.  Almost every year seems to have produced an array of horror delights, ranging from ghost stories of all types to full blown, psychological nightmares.  Though now over half of the series is missing from the archives, 1972’s horror anthology Dead of Night and its surviving three episodes represent a … Continue reading BBC Dead of Night (1972) – BFI

The Masque of the Red Death (Roger Corman, 1964) – Kierkegaard’s Aesthetic Phase and Inverted Freudian Pleasure Principle (Part 1).

Roger Corman may be better known for pulpy B-movies but his work adapting Edgar Allen Poe for the big screen is uncharacteristically layered and has a depth that far outstrips films of a far more serious ilk.  Almost all his Poe adaptations (excluding the fun but overall light The Raven) take Poe’s original structure for stories and adds questioning elements to them, largely built around … Continue reading The Masque of the Red Death (Roger Corman, 1964) – Kierkegaard’s Aesthetic Phase and Inverted Freudian Pleasure Principle (Part 1).

Robin Redbreast – Play For Today (1970) – James MacTaggart (BFI).

This articles contains minor spoilers. Holding the record at the time for being the only play in the BBC Play For Today series to be repeated, James MacTaggart’s Robin Redbreast has an aptly cult aura surrounding it.  First broadcast in the “spooky” slot (a December time tradition since Dickens’ era) in 1970, it manages to foreshadow a number of interesting movements in film and television … Continue reading Robin Redbreast – Play For Today (1970) – James MacTaggart (BFI).

Classic Ghost Stories by M.R James with Robert Powell (BFI).

M.R James’ ghost stories seem almost tailor-made for television and radio.  They’ve taken on so many forms and guises over the years that, like their original forms read by the fireside at Christmas in Cambridge University, they have become a regular, traditional event.  Though their presence has been somewhat thin on the ground of late (though soon to change with the fourth modern adaptation coming … Continue reading Classic Ghost Stories by M.R James with Robert Powell (BFI).