The following is a transcript of the paper delivered at the Child Be Strange Conference at the British Film Institute, 10/06/2017 I want discuss Penda’s Fen today in a context which, for many, is now taken for granted but which is also not entirely agreed upon: the genre that the play sits within. That genre context … Continue reading A Sacred Demon Of Ungovernableness: Penda’s Fen (1974) and Folk Horror
Late last year, I became obsessed with visiting a certain item in the British Museum. Deliberately choosing to work in or near Bloomsbury, I would often wander into the building in between working, making my way straight to one of the room's (on the right of the building) with a confidence and determination that clearly … Continue reading Responses: John Dee’s Obsidian Mirror
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 … Continue reading Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange (January, 2017)
This paper was originally given at The Alchemical Landscape conference at Girton College Cambridge, 07/07/2016. Though more well known for work as a film editor associated with the Free Cinema Movement of the late 1950s, and for cutting work on several films by Lindsay Anderson including If.... (1968) and O' Lucky Man! (1973), David Gladwell … Continue reading Rurality In Folk Horror And The Films of David Gladwell.
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 … Continue reading Wire and Grass: Landscape Binaries in Television and Reality.
Part 1. Part 2. The Eeriness of Landscape Entities. The final aspect to assess is the natural eeriness created from putting an object within a landscape; here, it is the context of such an action and implications of the aesthetics that is key. When Hepworth's work is situated in the landscape, two things can occur. … Continue reading Uncanny Portals And Standing Stones (Children Of The Stones, The Owl Service and Barbara Hepworth) – Part 3.
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. Conclusions. Whilst this essay has attempted to be as detailed as possible in its readings of Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders, there's little doubt that covering every aspect of the film would be an infinite task. Three aspects have been considered quite deliberately in order to show the strong … Continue reading Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound And Vision (Part 4).
One of the key criticisms of the Folk Horror Chain is its emphasis, both in argument and in evidence, upon the rural landscape and its various elements. While the key works of Folk Horror cinema seem to broadly use rural landscape aesthetics and practice to set and conjure their horror, by setting up such a … Continue reading The “Urban Wyrd” In Folk Horror.
As the Folk Horror canon expands into more forms of media and territory, the Folk Horror Chain becomes less useful as a tool for looking at thematic material. This is partly due to it being derived as an idea from one medium and one that is explicitly narrative based. Yet, some of its ideas can … Continue reading Questioning Nostalgia In Folk Horror.