The range of my recent viewing covers classic Italian and Eastern European films by Elio Petri and Karel Zeman as well as a pair of 1970s sci-fi/fantasy productions from the BBC, newly released on disk by the BFI.
I just came across this interesting nature documentary clip on YouTube. It’s from a BBC series called Inside the Animal Mind and it illustrates the remarkable intelligence of the crow. Well, perhaps it does, and perhaps not. If you read the comments below the clip, there are a number of people who (inevitably) cry […] Read More
While some of the films and plays in the series of disks I wrote about last week, devoted to ghost and horror stories made for British television, reveal the budgetary and technical limitations of their time and medium (low budget sets, somewhat coarse and murky video recording), the BFI has lavished its attention on one […] Read More
The English love ghost stories. There are the classics, of course – Hamlet and Macbeth, for instance – but after the advent of Gothic literature in the late 1700s, spirits, whether harmful or helpful, became less distant, increasingly incorporated into contemporary life. From penny dreadfuls to Dickens, ghosts impinged on the lives of characters not […] Read More
Fifty years ago today (the day after JFK was assassinated), as a nine year old boy living in a small village in southeast England, I sat down after what we then called “tea” (our evening meal) and started watching a TV show I knew nothing about. It had several characters in a blue police phone […] Read More
The career of British horror writer James Herbert, who died earlier this year, somewhat parallels that of Stephen King. Both published their first novels in 1974 – Herbert’s The Rats, King’s Carrie. Although Herbert was never as prolific as King, he continued to write and publish until shortly before his death, having sold more than […] Read More
After three years of steady releases, for some reason the BFI suspended their Flipside series last May. Now, after an eleven month break, they’ve released two new titles, as unexpected as anything which has come before. In John Krish, they’ve returned to a filmmaker familiar from a number of previous BFI releases, while in B.S. […] Read More
I’m not sure how I missed the news back in December, but Gerry Anderson died on the day after Christmas. Although he eventually did several live action series and one live action theatrical feature, Anderson was inextricably associated with the string of television fantasy projects he produced using puppets and elaborate miniature effects throughout the […] Read More