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Cult Sights & Sounds, Bristol, Spain & South America

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Cinema

Bristol Fashion: The Cary Grant Acid Test

As many (but not all) of you will know, Cary Grant was born Archibald Leach, lived at one point in Picton Street, Bristol (in the house my cousin Marc bought back in the 80s) went to Fairfield School and moved, first to London, where he developed his unique hybrid of West Country and mockney, all delivered with a distinctive staccato enunciation, and later to the United States. Oh yeah, he also made some films, and in the late 1950s/1960s took more than 100 LSD trips, for strictly therapeutic reasons. Continue reading “Bristol Fashion: The Cary Grant Acid Test”

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68½ – MOVIES, MANSON & ME (REDUX)

It’s fifty years since May ’68! What better way to celebrate than with a new, improved (i.e. shorter) version of my first book, 68½ – MOVIES, MANSON & ME? First published in 2016, the feedback I subsequently received, from both readers, was that, while they loved the sex, the drugs, the rock & roll, and even the movie trivia, they could have happily done without the “treatments” i.e.  the summaries of every script I had ever written. In so doing, or saying, they join a long and honourable list of film producers who never bothered to read my scripts either. Continue reading “68½ – MOVIES, MANSON & ME (REDUX)”

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Archaeology Corner: Battle Beyond the Stars

At first sight, Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) may appear to be nothing more than a shameless rip-off of Star Wars (but then Star Wars is nothing more than a shameless amalgam of Flash Gordon and The Hidden Fortress, with elements of Lord of the Rings, Dune, Arthurian legend, dualism, Zoroastrianism etc etc.) Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: Battle Beyond the Stars”

Archaeology Corner: James William Guercio & Electra Glide in Blue

No, it’s not a name anyone is immediately familiar with, unless your interest in the band Chicago extends to the man who produced their early albums (James William Guercio ) or you are such a rabidly fanatical Beach Boys fan that you know the name of their manager in the mid-1970s (James William Guercio ) or you’re even more of a Zappa/Mothers freak and have read the list of “material contributors” to their ground-breaking first (double) album, Freak Out , which, among such luminaries as Stravinsky, Stockhausen, Salvador Dali and Sonny Boy Williamson, lists one Jim Guercio. Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: James William Guercio & Electra Glide in Blue”

Archaeology Corner: The Friends of Peter Boyle

I recently watched downbeat 1970s gangster movie The Friends of Eddie Coyle for the first time, and while it’s by no means a great film, or even a good one, it does feature another great turn from the wonderful Peter Boyle, here playing a Boston Irish barman/mobster with a contract on his fellow criminal Robert Mitchum.

Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: The Friends of Peter Boyle”

Archaeology Corner: Incredibly Strange Westerns

I’m a big Western fan, and I like nothing more than a strange, or off-beat, or left-field Western. And let’s be clear here that by “Western” I mean a film set in the (Wild) West of what we now call the USA, sometime in the 19th century, so no Proposition or Once Upon a Time in the Midlands okay? Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: Incredibly Strange Westerns”

In Extremadura, out now!

My second book is a radical deconstruction of the Brit Abroad genre (see, for example, A Year In Provence,  Driving Over Lemons)  (on second thoughts, don’t!)  Spanish/South American travelogue, potted history and treatise on the nature of mortality rolled into one, it includes predictable digressions on cinema (Orson Welles, Luis Bunuel)  literature (Javier Cercas, Tintin) peregrination,  wild swimming in Scotland, celebrity speed freaks and the death of David Bowie.  Continue reading “In Extremadura, out now!”

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Archaeology Corner: Bloody L!

Here’s a question they’ll probably never ask on Have I Got News For You. What do Rolling Stones sidekick David Litvinoff, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide and TV show Little Britain have in common? The answer is… Llanddewi Brefi, a tiny village in Ceredigion, Wales. Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: Bloody L!”

Archaeology Corner: Brad Dourif

“Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to weren’t never there, and where you are ain’t no good unless you can get away from it…”

You probably know him, if at all, as Billy Bibbit in Milos Forman’s film of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, or as Grima Wormtongue (i.e. Theresa May) in Lord of The Ringszzz, or perhaps as the voice of Chucky in the Child’s Play/Chucky franchise (where he goes about an octave lower than usual). But to some of us Brad Dourif will always be – in a way, will only ever be – Hazel Motes from Wise Blood, John Huston’s brilliant, low budget adaptation of the offbeat Flannery O’Connor novel, a masterpiece of Southern Gothic. Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: Brad Dourif”

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