Continuous performance

As part of my Picturegoing survey of eyewitness accounts of going to see pictures, I have been reproducing what is among the best pieces of sustained writing on the process of cinemagoing, the ‘Continuous Performance’ essays written by Dorothy Richardson for the film journal Close Up. Dorothy Richardson (1873-1957) was a British novelist, a pioneerRead More

Letters from Sancho

It’s always fun to play that game where you choose the person from history that you would most like to meet. Of course it would be fascinating to meet Cleopatra, or Socrates, or Dante, but language problems would hamper the encounter. So then among the English-speaking I could pick from warriors, composers, thinkers and writersRead More

Cupid’s darts

The obituaries for the late David Nobbs have all concentrated on the television series that he wrote, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1976-79). This was inevitable. It’s the work of his with which most people in Britain around at the time will be familiar, and it bequeathed to posterity a number of catchphrasesRead More

Popular science

The birth of the popular science film – Francis Martin Duncan appears as the scientist in Cheese Mites, the notorious film he made for Charles Urban in 1903. The full film was only recently discovered by Oliver Gaycken (lurking on YouTube under a made-up title) Two books are to be published shortly which cover theRead More