Jazz And Jasper

The evacuation of western forces from Afghanistan has provoked lots of comment about it marking a great defeat and the end of an era of foreign policy. So we might remember that there was also the great disaster that happened 100 years ago, which the Establishment succeeded in the keeping out of popular memory: the […]

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The Red List

The last week I went in to the office and had the most “normal” day since March 2020 – we had to clear out of the building for a fire alarm, and there were leaving drinks for someone moving on to somewhere else. The office itself is still not back to its old usage, as […]

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No Speech From The Scaffold

I watched some films that were directed by Joseph Losey. Time Without Pity (1957) starts with a terrified young woman getting killed in a flat, and a desperate man getting agitated about it. It is not immediately clear if he murdered her. We then go forward in time to see David Graham, played by Michael […]

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Rainy Island Laments

Recently I’ve been listening again to the old albums made by the group Long Fin Killie in the 90s, and also the group Bows which the vocalist/writer Luke Sutherland formed afterwards. The last of these albums is now 20 years old. None of these records had any commercial success, and I don’t even remember too […]

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Speed Trials

I think I’m typical of my generation in that I only encountered the work of the Children’s Film Foundation in the clips shown on Screen Test. I don’t remember what I saw, at least not as much as some of those scary films that amateur auteurs sent in themselves. So my very low level of […]

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I went to the South Bank to see the new film Censor. Since I can’t give you any pictures taken inside NFT2, apart from the one at the top, here are some pictures from the way in. A nice lady with a clipboard ticked off my name from the list and I had to check-in […]

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I watched some films. They were both modern horror films with echoes of H.P.Lovecraft, although neither was explicitly adapting any single story. Both of them involve doctors and law officers struggling to deal with strange phenomena when they are already struggling to cope with the extremes of “normal” human behaviour. The Dead Center (2018) starts […]

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Outer Zone

I hired a car to go up to the Midlands. As I was being shown the vehicle, I saw a dead bird on the ground, its chest ripped open and bloody. The guy with the electronic clipboard said there were foxes in the area. This didn’t put me in a great frame of mind for […]

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The Modern Maleficarum

I watched some films that were made many years apart, but seemed to have some details in common. Possession (1981) was made by Andrzej Zulawski, who also made The Third Part Of The Night and On The Silver Globe, amongst others. It all occurs in West Berlin, which is where we start with the return […]

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Ecstatic Voyage

I read Condomnauts by Yoss, the Cuban sci-fi writer. The book is set in the 24th century amongst the work of the “Contact Specialists”, also referred to as “condomnauts”. These are the special category of astronaut who have to ensure friendly negotiations with newly-encountered alien species are cemented in what is accepted as the conventional […]

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