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

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