Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Robert Altman RIP

American maverick filmmaker Robert Altman died 20th November 2006.

Although I didn’t enjoy all of his films, Altman had an amazing career and produced an impressive diversity of work.

My favourites include The Player, Brewster McCloud, M*A*S*H, and Countdown. Other films like Nashville, California Split, and Fool For Love simply didn’t appeal to me.

The last Altman film I saw was Cookie’s Fortune.
I think his finest work was SF drama Quintet.

Sunday, 19 November 2006

Horror Fest

Enjoyed trip over to Portsmouth, yesterday, for Horror Fest '06 event. Saw feature films Unrest, Seance, The Slaughter, KillerKiller, Fallen Angels, plus some variably entertaining short films. My brief review of the festival is here.

Question I've been pondering over the weekend is (since the death of Hammer film studios)... is it possible to have a new boom in British horror cinema without filmmakers pandering to the American market?

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

Crime lab

This week, I'm watching the 5th season (DVD boxset) of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and it occurs to me (not for first time), how much this crime drama owes to familiar horror-genre conventions, especially in the TV show's various Las Vegas 'serial killer' storylines.

The presence of William Petersen, from Manhunter, cements that particular linkage, of course, but with the frequent nightshift settings (though crime-lab staff changes mean there are more daylight scenes in CSI season 5), I'm sure that CSI would often 'feel' like a horror show, anyway, without him.

I've also seen the 1st season of CSI: Miami and a sample episode (free disc with CSI #5 boxset) of CSI: NY, but I don't think either of these TV spinoffs have the same impact or quirkiness of the original show, which is more effective in its dramatic understatements than a lot of cinema's overblown gore-fests... just compare CSI episode Big Middle (partly about obesity) to something like the disappointing Feed.

British actress Louise Lombard (remember her from the shortlived Bodyguards series?) is a weclome addition to the regular cast of CSI.

Any other fans of CSI out there?

Monday, 6 November 2006


Here in the Village, cold snap of winter’s onset drives local eight-legged freaks mad.

Now, death wish spiders (distant cousins of death watch beetle, or suicidal horsefly) scuttle to ‘n’ fro across front-room carpet under follow-spot of cathode rays, while furtive family of industrious woodlice in dark corner sell T-shirts (well, nay, octa-shirts?) with daredevil slogans:

5tamp m3 Owt!
comb & ave go if U tink y’ard enuf

(Village creepy ’lice are not spelling bees…)

Thursday, 2 November 2006


'Web inventor fears for the future'

"Sir Tim Berners-Lee told BBC News... he wants set up a research project to study the social implications of the web's development."

Hmm, anything like this one, Oxford Internet Institute
I wonder..?