One of my favourite moments from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) is not a typical choice considering the film’s many infamous scenes. Rather than showers, murders and other more memorable images, I particularly love a relatively bland scene later on in the film. It has narrative development in its eerie punch line but has little else on screen in terms of Hitchcock generally: it is perfunctory … Continue reading Horror’s Pleasure of Distance
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 the church at Happisburgh), on finding myself in Suffolk, I … Continue reading Walking “A Warning To The Curious” (M.R. James).
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).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Natural Diegesis And Aural Interaction With Landscape. One of M.R. James’ most recognisable writing traits is his emphasis on rural settings. From his own personal experience, of both exploring the churches of France on holiday bike-rides and living and holidaying in Suffolk and Norfolk, the rural landscape became almost as much of a story trope as the … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 5 (Landscape).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Nondiegetic Musical Themes And Textures. “Indeed, the celestial voices of film music do resemble a phantom in several significant ways. They are ephemeral, they are not ‘substantial’ or do not constitute part of what audiences cognise as important in the film, and have an effect that is not apparent.” – Donnelly (p.8, 2005). Though looking at nondiegetic scores for … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 4 (Music).
Part 1. Part 2. A “Disembodied Voice” of some form is a clear norm for representing a creature that, by its very definition, is now bodiless. This means that, as an aural technique, it is used frequently throughout many other ghost stories as well. In Lawrence Gordon Clark’s films, the aural trait occurs several times with different and varying effects, though never with the layered … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 3 (William Ager).
Manifesting The Supernatural: The Aural Aesthetics Of Ghosts In BBC Ghost Stories. Introduction. “When Monty first began to write them, with the intention of inducing a pleasing terror in his listeners, he did so as an avid and discerning reader and connoisseur of the genre, keenly aware of his precedents and of the characteristics, objectives, and limitations of the ghost story as he understood the … Continue reading The Aural Aesthetics of Ghosts in BBC Ghost Stories – Part 1 (Introduction).