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 … Continue reading Owls and Flowers: Alan Garner’s The Owl Service At 50
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 … Continue reading Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange
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.
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 … Continue reading Short Film – Salthouse Marshes
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 … Continue reading Ritual And Identity in Penda’s Fen (1974) – Alan Clarke.
As I write this, it is just under two weeks to the Spectral Landscapes event in Oxford. Put together between myself and the Oxford University's Romantic society through Jen Wood, the event is looking at the resurgence of interest in work across all forms of creative media which looks to the landscape in order to … Continue reading The “English Eerie” and The Landscape Venn.
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.
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, … Continue reading Trailer – Salthouse Marshes.
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).