I’ve written extensively about Derek Jarman’s short super-8 film, Journey To Avebury; one of his earliest experiments in film that channels so much of the genii loci of English landscapes, ubiquitous in the more interesting of English arts. His walk through the Wiltshire landscape after the intense stint of work on the sets for Ken Russell’s The Devils (1971) seems to have had a larger … Continue reading Responses: Derek Jarman’s Landscape Paintings
“Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.” – Kurt Vonnegut. Rather like J.G. Ballard, Nigel Kneale had a certain knack of preempting future social, technological and cultural trends. Kneale’s work is perhaps less appreciated than Ballard’s because the medium he predominantly worked in, television, is far and … Continue reading Nigel Kneale and Fascism
I was initially struggling to put together a showreel for 2016. I don’t think my film work has ever been so reliant on its varied soundworlds for their full context and so pulling the strongest images out of that context doesn’t quite work. I’ve tried my best to make something vaguely cohesive from these moments though, looking back at the five films I’ve made this … Continue reading Showreel 2016
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)
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.
This presentation was originally given at the Folk Horror Revival day at The British Museum (16/02/2016). My thanks to the fellow admins of the Folk Horror Revival, especially Jim Peters and Andy Paciorek. There’s an overt connection between analogue technology and the narratives surrounding paranormal activity in British horror, especially when made during the 1970s. No doubt there are connections between the interest in such … Continue reading The Ghost In The Grain: Analogue Hauntings of the 1970s
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.
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.
This is an edited version of the paper given at Spirits Of Place in Calderstones Park, Liverpool 02/04/2016. My thanks to John Reppion and Leah Moore for organising the event and for to the other excellent speakers (Gill Hoffs, David Southwell, Gary Budden, Kenneth Brophy, Richard Macdonald, Ian “Cat” Vincent and Ramsey Campbell). Here’s to the next one. There is strange landmass on the opposite … Continue reading “Wyrd” Wirral – Spirits Of Place (02/04/2016)
In October I released a ghost story for Halloween. It was partly inspired by Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows, but the majority of its actual narrative structure (especially in terms of character) came from a short story of my own inspired as well by Blackwood’s story. As it’s near Christmas, the original story is presented below. It’s very typically Jamesian and should be read late at night … Continue reading Salthouse Marshes (Ghost Story).