Responses: Robert Aickman’s Holiday Photos

Note – Since the publication of this article, a publisher of Aickman’s has been in touch with more details surrounding the photographs.  They were taken by his friend Jean Richardson on a number trips taking place in the mid 1970s and not on one singular trip (as Aickman’s limited wardrobe falsely suggests).  The stone is King Doniert’s Stone in Cornwall whilst the coastline with the … Continue reading Responses: Robert Aickman’s Holiday Photos

Short Film – No Diggin’ Here.

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 lucky for such an opportunity.  A few weeks back, the … Continue reading Short Film – No Diggin’ Here.

Rurality In Folk Horror And The Films of David Gladwell.

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 is a director in his own right; a cinematic outsider … Continue reading Rurality In Folk Horror And The Films of David Gladwell.

Wire and Grass: Landscape Binaries in Television and Reality.

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 of English landscape; on the one hand, the typical pastoral … Continue reading Wire and Grass: Landscape Binaries in Television and Reality.

The “Urban Wyrd” In Folk Horror.

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 parameter, it does indeed neglect some of the sub-genre’s most … Continue reading The “Urban Wyrd” In Folk Horror.

Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound and Vision (Part 3).

Part 1. Part 2. Belief And Ritual. The power of belief and its will in the distortion of reality is one of Valerie‘s more crucial cinematic aspects.  This isn’t simply a belief in the sense of a religious doctrine and all of the aesthetics that accompany it, but the moral belief of the main character whose fantasies dictate the narrative ruptures within the film.  However, … Continue reading Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound and Vision (Part 3).

Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound And Vision (Part 2).

Part 1. Innocence and Sexuality. As already suggested, Valerie is first and foremost about the links, barriers and cross-over between innocence and sexuality.  Whilst some characters (for example, the religious fundamentalists), believe there to be a strict differentiation between the two, the film and Valerie herself know that this is not the case; if anything, it is the watermark of the patriarchy that such a … Continue reading Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound And Vision (Part 2).

The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts In BBC Ghost Stories – Part 7 (Haunted Objects).

Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. “The Ghost In The Machine”: The Haunting Nature Of Unnatural Diegetic Sound. “M.R. James’ objects are imbued with our deepest fears, deepest terrors and resonances.  The whistle can bring up a storm or bring a monster from the deep.  The crown, that if you touch, its guardian will tear you to pieces.” – … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts In BBC Ghost Stories – Part 7 (Haunted Objects).

Technological Hysteria in Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape (1972).

The following article contains plot twists. Hysteria and Nigel Kneale’s Baby. A very particular and often quoted segment from Freud’s summations of hysterical patients will be used here to begin the contextualisation our analysis.  Whilst writing about the generalities surrounding such cases of hysteria and eventually compulsion neurosis, Freud came up with a short but rather useful sound-bite to describe every patient he had seen.  … Continue reading Technological Hysteria in Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape (1972).