Monday, August 30, 2004
Just saw this Dario Argento film ... sometimes called Creepers. What a strange film. Jennifer Connolly is excellent - although she has this spooky quality which I'm not sure is wholly acting or not. Donald Pleasance with a Scottish accent takes a little getting used to as well. Overall it's a bit of a jumble of ideas, elements of Suspiria mixed in there with stuff about being able to control insects and so on. Some nice decaying bodies - Argento loves those maggots - but the cinematography was a little bland I thought. Also saw recently, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and this is another mish-mash of ideas which never really gels. I loved the Invisible Man out of all of them - he seemed the only one with any character. The rest are pretty faceless. I wondered how Mina, being a vampire, could wander around in daylight, and Nemo's ship seemed way to big to head through the canals of Venice ... Some nice effects in there, but overall nowhere near as good as it could have been. The Haunted Mansion ... yes, I can watch Disney as well. Generally dreadful, but with some of the best zombies I've yet seen! Total cudos to the Master Dick Smith on that front. I guess it might be appealing to children (which is who it seems to be aimed at) but the zombie sequence is way better and more scary than anything I've seen in many a 'proper' zombie film ... go figure. I've also just got hold of a pile of new DVDs (Virgin were having a 40% discount sale) and so expect tales of many more films in coming weeks.
Sunday, August 15, 2004
An update to the shoe situation ... the shop refused to give me a refund as they claimed the shoes were not damaged and I had worn them ... so next stage is a letter to them. I suppose all these little annoyances keep life interesting. I watched THE SHINING again the other night. It was the first time my son had seen it and I think he was fairly impressed. It's long been one of my favourite films, far better than the Stephen King-authorised mini-series of more recent years. Kubrick seems to have tapped into why the book works very well indeed, and the ending in the frozen maze is just genius. I also love the use of the Bartok music in the film - and it's interesting to see how well the same piece of music works against three different scenes: the maze; bouncing the ball on the wall; and the chat with Danny. I guess to make this sort of thing work, the film has to be edited with the music in mind (normally of course music is written after the film is complete so it naturally matches the action) and that can't be an easy thing to do.
Monday, August 09, 2004
I bought some new shoes on Saturday ... and as I couldn't find the usual 'soft' ones I took a chance on a more regular pair. After wearing them for around an hour total today (I took them off when not outside as they were too painful), I now have a two-pence sized area of totally raw flesh where the skin has been scraped off at the back of each ankle and a huge blister on my second toes on each foot. This is *despite* my protecting my feet with plasters this morning. I have never felt so crippled. The shoes will be returned to the shop on Wednesday by an unamused and very limping David.
Sunday, August 08, 2004
One of the problems with being an author, editor, designer and genius as well as holding down a full time job, and running a publishing company is that you tend to overlook minor things like holidays ... after 5 years therefore without a proper family break, we decided that enough was enough and popped over to Northern France for a fortnight. We stayed in a nice place called Deauville, just along from LeHavre, and enjoyed many days lazing by the pool, on the beach, or wandering the streets of places like Bayeux (where we saw 'the tapestry'), Honfleur (where it rained all day) and Trouville (where I won a rubbish bit of plastic in the casino). Driving in France is an experience in itself. They haven't invented bypasses and so every road takes you into the middle of every town, and in every town I suspect there's a rule that says you can't have any signposts telling you which way to get out again. So we spent a bit of time being hopelessly lost in just about every place we drove through. The writerly side of me never rests, however, and I picked up a couple of books which looked interesting as potential Telos fare, as well as a copy of a French horror magazine called TOXIC - really nice looking mag it is as well, published by the same folks who do L'ECRAN FANTASTIQUE which I didn't even know was still going, and which published, aeons ago, the articles by Jean-Marc Lofficier which eventually became THE DOCTOR WHO PROGRAMME GUIDE. I also enjoyed wandering around Mt Canisy by Deauville which is where one of the German Batteries was based in WWII. Lots of spooky deserted gun emplacements, ruined concrete and underground tunnels and rooms. Lots of scope for stories there, so I took a few pictures of different aspects to act as inspiration if a good idea hits me for something set in this environment. But now it's back to work and back to sorting things out. While we were away, loads more books arrived for Telos, and we've been packing them all up in 80 degrees of heat (or whatever it is). Certainly too hot for working, but we've got to get them all sorted or people start to send me emails wanting to know where their books are ... Thankfully among the new arrivals were the new Telos catalogue so we've finally got something to send to people. As it happens I now have to start work on the *next* catalogue covering Jan - June 2005 ... it seems so long away, and yet we're already late on at least one title for that period. Oh well.