Once Upon A Time In The West (1968 Italy)

Picture-1041Leone had always been a director who packed his films with atmosphere, style and rhythmn, but here he organizes every single element to create one overwhelming mood. Everything in the film is geared towards reminding us of death, of a time coming to an end. The pace is slow and measured. The buildings are rickety and creaking, many of the minor characters and extras are old and look worn out, and the wind howls across the open spaces. [Read more…]


A Cotswold Mystery (Thea Osbourne #4) by Rebecca Tope

A Cotswald Mystery - Rebecca Tope40 something Thea Osbourne is reunited in the lovely village of Blockley with her daughter, Jessica. Thea’s pet dog, Hephzibah, goes along for the ride too. Many readers may feel like they have been taken for a ride as well if they devote a few hours to this undemanding fare. Can you, will you suspend the necessary belief to make this work for you?
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Dance Of The Vampires (1967 UK/USA?)

fearless-vk-2A Xmas post for any passing soul. Sharon Tate remains the reason to watch this film for me. Her grace and beauty are immortalized, when she was to leave so abruptly and violently only two years after shooting this film, making this a time capsule that preserves her loveliness forevermore. Has a redhead ever looked more ravishing on celluloid? I think not. [Read more…]

Randall and Hopkirk Deceased (1969 Britain)

MV5BMjAwNjM4NjY0M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzg0MDUyMQ@@._V1_UY268_CR4,0,182,268_AL_This is from the 1965 to 1975 decade of British television originality. There has never been a decade like it before or since. The chemistry between the two protagonists, Jeff Randall and Marty Hopkirk, was extremely well-developed as the series advanced. Then there is the rather ambiguous position of widowed secretary, Jean Hopkirk. [Read more…]

Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)

Angela's Ashes bookA boy growing up in the slums of Limerick, Ireland, starving, freezing and surrounded by the people real families are made of. In a time when memoirs became the finest expressions of high literary art, “Angela’s Ashes” ascended with alacrity to become the most exalted of them. The author paints a watercolour of bleak, smog filled, rainy streets so vivid that I sense the mist rising off the River Shannon and hitting me in the face. [Read more…]

Logan’s Run ( USA 1976)

City interior - Logans Run (1976) people 2If, in the future, we’re forced to live in an endless shopping mall and wear Christmas coloured baby doll dresses, maybe I’d want to die at 30. You might want to bring a book to watch this 2 hour sci-fi hit. Men wear Lycra shell-suits and women diaphanous mini-dresses with no brassiere. It is the 23rd century and every building and monorail looks glitzy and plastic. Perhaps living in a shopping mall is a good idea. This movie was actually filmed in one!

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The Lord Of The Rings (BBC Radio 1981)

If you’re in doubt, and worried about the price, just go for it anyway. By the end you’ll wish you had plenty more like this one to buy. Sell your car, sell your house, sell your mother-in-law if need be! This might look like an expensive purchase, but once you get to the last CD of this brilliant dramatization, you won’t even care. After all, its only money…
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The Wolf Gift (The Wolf Chronicles) Anne Rice

d459eea0860ca2fdb481b8d63b880d1eAnne Rice is master of re-creating age-old myths and re-presenting them for a modern age. Yet she always manages to avoid the modern day tendency to clean up, water down or make pretty that we often find in other attempts to re-write the gothic horrors. The hero in this book remains a hero even after he’s taken on the personality of a Man Wolf. [Read more…]

Nineteen Eighty Four (George Orwell)

1984-14This is the definitive novel of the 20th century. The impact of this book has been immense. Think of all the Orwellian catchphrases that are now embedded into the English language: Thought Police, Double Think, News Speak, Thought Crime, Room 101, Big Brother Is Watching You. Unperson. Two Minute Hate. Not many books can boast this. No wonder the author has been turned into a secular saint. [Read more…]

The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas (1982 USA)

65096f8950c426fb5f58346b28083bc0For sheer effrontery I don’t know who is more shameless: the title, Dolly Parton or me for showcasing the image above. But Dolly can project (among other things) sheer joy to the viewer with her bubbly persona. Thanks to her enthusiasm for the role as a brothel madam, this became the biggest musical success of 1980s cinema. [Read more…]

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