Foreign Countries #16: The Possession of Joel Delaney (1972)

This month (February 2018) the BFI are celebrating the work of pioneering director Waris Hussein. His CV reads as a parade of some of the most groundbreaking TV series in the UK including Suffragette serial Shoulder to Shoulder (1974), Edward and Mrs Simpson (1978) and taboo-smashing Aids crisis drama Intimate Contact (1987). A success in … Continue reading Foreign Countries #16: The Possession of Joel Delaney (1972)

Foreign Countries #15: Night Voices: The Hospice (1987)*

Adaptations are curious beasts, they can bring a story to a far greater audience yet are subject to the demands of their new medium. While this can often necessitate simplifying the story, it isn't always to the adaptation's detriment. Are there many people who prefer Peter Benchley's novel Jaws (1974) to Stephen Spielberg's 1975 film? … Continue reading Foreign Countries #15: Night Voices: The Hospice (1987)*

Foreign Countries #14: Late Night Horror: The Corpse Can’t Play (1968)

Paddy Russell's death on 2 November saw the end of one of television's true pioneers, the first female floor manager at the BBC and the first woman to direct Doctor Who. You can read Toby Hadoke's obituary for Paddy in The Guardian here. She cut her teeth under legendary television producer and director Rudolph Cartier on … Continue reading Foreign Countries #14: Late Night Horror: The Corpse Can’t Play (1968)

Foreign Countries #13: The Orchard End Murder (1980)

Visiting a cinema's rubbish these days isn't it? By 'cinema' I of course mean the 'civilian cinema' of  a multiplex or similar. This rather snobbish observation reflects the barrage of adverts and mind draining trailers one sits through before the film starts and having to share the auditorium with any number of patrons who display … Continue reading Foreign Countries #13: The Orchard End Murder (1980)

Land of weather forecasts and breakfasts that set in #2: Ghost Stories (2017)

  Early on in this blog I remarked that short form is probably the best way to tell a ghost story, it spares the need for an explanation that always seems to disappoint, but of course a short film is not so much of an attractive proposition for film distributors and cinemas. Thus the portmanteau … Continue reading Land of weather forecasts and breakfasts that set in #2: Ghost Stories (2017)

M4 Death Trip #3: A Cure for Wellness (2017)

Another in the series of podcasts where Howard Ingham and I watch a film we’d not previously seen and then have a chat about it. This time it’s latter day Johnny Depp enabler Gore Verbinski’s box office bomb A Cure for Wellness (2017). You can stream the podcast here: A Cure for Wellness borrows liberally … Continue reading M4 Death Trip #3: A Cure for Wellness (2017)

Foreign Countries #10: Drama Playhouse: The Incredible Robert Baldick: Never Come Night (1972)

Question: what do Steptoe and Son (1962-74), Porridge (1974-77) and The Onedin Line (1971-80) all have in common? If you answered "they all featured work from Production Designer David Chandler" then congratulations on being Andrew Pixley. If however you answered "they all started life as a one-off in an anthology series" then you might have … Continue reading Foreign Countries #10: Drama Playhouse: The Incredible Robert Baldick: Never Come Night (1972)

M4 Death Trip #2: Apollo 18 (2011)

Another in the series of podcasts where Howard Ingham and I discuss films we'd not previously seen. This time it's Gonzalo López-Gallego's first english language film, Apollo 18 (2011), a found footage account of the doomed, 'final' Apollo mission. There are spoilers both in the podcast and in the intro below. You can stream or … Continue reading M4 Death Trip #2: Apollo 18 (2011)

Foreign Countries #6: Music Scene: Mr Humphreys and His Inheritance (1976)

Many people with an interest in such matters will have no doubt purchased Stephen Brotherstone and Dave Lawrence's recently published Scarred For Life Volume One, examining just how dark and macabre pop culture could be in the 1970s. And that includes a hell of a lot of kid's stuff. If you ever saw Building Sites … Continue reading Foreign Countries #6: Music Scene: Mr Humphreys and His Inheritance (1976)