Olympic dreams

London 2012 bell

The Olympic Games will be upon us soon, and I don’t know how I feel about them. It’s not the stories of political corruption, or of state-sponsored drug-taking, or even the mounting absurdities of the Games themselves, but simply that I haven’t got over the last Olympic Games as yet. London 2012 was perfect. WhatRead More

Lost colours

Launch of the S.S. Olympic (1910), the sister ship of the Titanic

I’ve been adding more images to my Flickr pages reflecting the works of Charles Urban. Having started with pictures from his 1903 catalogue We put the World Before You, I’ve turned to another treasure among his catalogues, the Catalogue of Kinemacolor Film Subjects (1912). Copies of this catalogue are rarer than hen’s teeth, and I’mRead More

Amleto

Ruggero Ruggeri as Hamlet in Amleto (1917)

Next month, on 23 June, I am introducing the film Amleto at the Bristol Watershed. It’s an Italian film, made in 1917, and yes it’s the story of Hamlet. Among all the celebrations of quatercentenarian William Shakespeare, and among almost every book written on Shakespeare and film, you will find no mention of this gem,Read More

Out of it

Hermine Karagheuz and Alain Libolt in Out 1

What is the connection between Balzac’s The History of the Thirteen, Lewis Carroll’s ‘The Hunting of the Snark’, and Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound? Answer – there isn’t one. Or rather there is, in that all three are specifically referenced by Jacques Rivette’s improvisational epic set of films, Out 1 (1971), but whose chief purpose might beRead More

Kurt’s barn

The Merz Barn and plaza

The jazz singer and art lover George Melly was fond of telling a story about when he was confronted by some thugs with broken bottles outside a Manchester club. Running not being much of an option for the rotund Melly, and fighting or negotiating still less so, he chose instead to give a recitation ofRead More