Quatermass And The Pit (1967) @ 50

This November sees the 50th anniversary of one of Hammer Studios’ strongest and most complex films: Roy Ward Baker’s Nigel Kneale adaptation, Quatermass And The Pit (1967).  Sometimes known under the title of Five Million Years To Earth, the film takes Kneale’s BBC script from the original broadcast serial and turns it into something far more unnerving than the other films produced by the studio in … Continue reading Quatermass And The Pit (1967) @ 50

Owls and Flowers: Alan Garner’s The Owl Service At 50

I cannot remember when I first read Alan Garner’s The Owl Service (1967); like its inspiration, The Mabinogion, or the Stone of Gronw that sits at the centre of its mystery, it seems to have always been here.  It’s an unusual feeling because the novel is not particularly old by standards of literature – it turns fifty on the 21st of August – and yet it … Continue reading Owls and Flowers: Alan Garner’s The Owl Service At 50

Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange

At the time of writing this, my book on Folk Horror is a few weeks away from being printed.  By the time you read this, however, it should be available to buy.  I’ve written about the detail of the book earlier when it was due to be published late last year.  However, I wanted to get a few words down again now that it is … Continue reading Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange

Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange (January, 2017)

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 interview-esque things to coincide with the release in December and … Continue reading Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange (January, 2017)

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.

Short Film – Salthouse Marshes

Salthouse Marshes began life in a strange way.  Having chatted about adapting Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows with Robert Macfarlane (who had wanted to re-set it in England), there was always to be a “haunted waterway” film on the cards.  But, after constant reading of the narrative of The Willows, the thought of organising the filming on two boats and on celluloid simply proved too intimidating.  … Continue reading Short Film – Salthouse Marshes

Ritual And Identity in Penda’s Fen (1974) – Alan Clarke.

The relationship between myth and ritual has been often debated within anthropology ever since its Victoriana days of enlightened scientific thinking through the prism of evolution and the birth of mechanisation and industrial blight.  The idea of returning to the “primacy of ritual”, where whole belief systems stem as a result from repeated actions or events, is a common theme of exploration in Folk Horror as … Continue reading Ritual And Identity in Penda’s Fen (1974) – Alan Clarke.

Uncanny Portals And Standing Stones (Children Of The Stones, The Owl Service and Barbara Hepworth) – Part 3.

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.  The first is that the link between the work and … Continue reading Uncanny Portals And Standing Stones (Children Of The Stones, The Owl Service and Barbara Hepworth) – Part 3.

Trailer – Salthouse Marshes.

Above is the trailer for my last film of the year, Salthouse Marshes.  Continuing on from last year’s theme in a trend I hope to continue with on a yearly basis, the film is a short, landscape obsessed ghost story.  With the BBC seeming reluctant to bother with a ghost story for Christmas any more, it feels necessary to in some way plug the gap … Continue reading Trailer – Salthouse Marshes.

Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound And Vision (Part 4).

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 musical framework in which the film is built upon but … Continue reading Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) – Duality Through Sound And Vision (Part 4).