ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS (1957/8 France)

5110f1ab49e57_267051bAs I type these words I feel like Prince Charles’ fingertips. Or where ever his brain is located. Is this story an answer to his question “whatever love means?” If this is love, then it makes everyone thoroughly miserable. They are fighting back the tears, digging their nails into the palm of their hand or turning their face toward a rain-soaked wall. But as an Anglo-Saxon what do I know? Maybe this is normal. [Read more…]

SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959 United States)

Marilyn-Monroe-As-Sugar-Kane-Kowalczyk-In-Some-Like-It-HotIf you’ve never seen it, it’s going to feel like something you’ve seen a hundred times before. And you probably have, but it was done here first. To be successful, two guys dress up as women, and then one falls for a real woman (Marilyn Monroe) — so how does he tell her without her hating him for keeping the secret? [Read more…]

PRINCE LESTAT The Vampire Chronicles (Anne Rice)

edinburgh-castle-duskOpen this novel and you will be swept away into imagining times long ago, far away places, beautiful immortals, contemplating social, political, even scientific issues. You get to live inside the head of some truly tragic beings who somehow still find the strength to see the wonder of life all around them. [Read more…]

BELLE DE JOUR (France 1967)

largeMaybe all girls dream of being a prostitute. That’s a surreal thought! Moving on… the first glimpse of our main character, Séverine, occurs during a masochistic nightmare (or maybe its a welcome dream) where her husband betrays her on a coach ride through the woods. She awakens in bed, where we discover she has had dreams like this before. [Read more…]

OF HUMAN BONDAGE ( W. Somerset Maugham)

Maugham.Human.Bondage.1955.big

This is an amazing achievement and is rightly said to be Maugham’s masterpiece. So neatly written and with such scope. The book is an account of man’s hopeless entrapment in the human condition: our inextricable bond to our body, to carers and school, religion, society, lovers, and finally to our mortal end. [Read more…]

FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956 United States)

forbidden_planet_20110730233728What strikes me about this film is that the settings stirs imagination in us about things we subconsciously like to experience. On repeat views I am reminded of its brilliance. Standing apart from other sci-fi films, even contemporary ones, FB evokes cosmic wonder and amazement: an other-worldly sense of adventure and exploration, far removed from Earth. [Read more…]

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES from Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov (1900 – 1986)

sphere“There are all sorts of books which describe how to meditate and what formulas to pronounce during these meditations. I do not deny that they are beautiful, useful and effective. But there are two words which are never mentioned, words which for me are the most powerful of all, words which clarify, which harmonize, and which heal, and these words are ‘thank you’. [Read more…]

DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT (1995 United States/France)

1396643152_1_fullThis can be quite an addictive spoof. Once is not enough. One of my many favourite lines is uttered by Renfield after he’s been caught peeping at Lucy. Thrown into a prison cell, he pleads with his captors: “I didn’t see anything! I didn’t see anything!” After they close the door and leave him alone, he leers: “I… saw… everything![Read more…]

MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (1961 UK/USA)

mysterious-islandA vivid re-telling of the Jules Verne novel, with changes made necessary by the change to the medium of film. The women do not appear in the book. A love interest was necessary. Perhaps I should say a thigh interest, judging by Beth Rogan’s lack of modest dress here. [Read more…]

THE NIGHT WATCH (Sarah Waters)

41DEFkZMC4L._SX318_BO1,204,203,200_The story is told in three parts, starting with 1947 and finishing with 1941, so you are starting in the middle. As this novel is character driven, the book isn’t about what will happen (which is what plot-driven books are all about) and tying up loose ends; Waters is concerned with what has happened.
[Read more…]

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