Before Salon Kitty redirected his career toward sex films, Tinto Brass was just another idealistic young director looking to capture the zeitgeist of the 1960s. Deadly Sweet was inspired and influenced by Antonioni’s Blow-Up but also markedly different.
Kingsley Amis’ Colonel Sun was the first James Bond book written entirely after the death of Ian Fleming. Amis sends Bond to Greece to foil a Chinese mastermind and delights in abusing M.
Donald E. Westlake, best known for his “Parker” series of thrillers, was hired to write a James Bond movie. In the end, the script was not used, but Westlake reworked the story into an original novel.
On the surface, The Wicker Man is the story of one police constable’s attempt to scrooge up a town’s May Day revelries. Delving deeper into its waters, however, is aided by a few key texts that informed the film.
On Diabolique, I’m continuing to explore British underground cinema and the BFI Flipside series. Deep End explores the disappointing end of the 1960s and the awkwardness of coming of age.
On Diabolique, I’m digging into one of the most famous scandals in modern British political history, not to mention Pleasure Girls, the bubbly tale of optimistic young ladies struggling to make it in the big, swingin’ city.
On Diabolique, I’m exploring underground British cinema by way of the BFI Flipside series. First up: wild jazz beatniks on a lust-fueled rampage! It’s Gillian Hills in Beat Girl.
As the series begins, Quatermass and his team are in a quandary after their most recent manned space flight vanishes without a trace, only to turn up later when it crashes into a farmer’s field. Rushing to the site, Quatermass is baffled to discover that of the three astronauts launched into orbit, only one is still in the ship.
In the midst of Swingin’ London, and in stark contrast to James Bond, English author Adam Diment created Philip McAlpine, a reluctant, shaggy-haired, dope-smoking spy in the latest Carnaby Street fashions.
We are increasingly left with a sort of bland guy who just happens to be named James Bond — which, in a way, might be bringing the character back around to how Fleming originally imagined him, as an anonymous blunt instrument into whom a reader could pour his or her own identity; a characterless cypher of a man who might not be interesting but to whom interesting things happened. But honestly, by the middle of the 1980s, with decades of suave, awesome James Bond under our belts, did anyone really want an anonymous 007?
The short-lived television program Space: 1999 taught us many things about our depressing universe. Chief among its concerns: reminding us every week that our fellow inhabitants of the galaxy are at least as awful as we are, only with magic powers. Space: 1999 taught me two valuable lessons. The first is that space is depressingContinue reading “Space 1999: Aliens Are Jerks”
Alfred Hitchcock’s original 1935 version of The 39 Steps is one of those films that’s so seminal that when watched today it can seem like little more than a parade of hoary old clichés; that is, until you consider that The 39 Steps is where many of those clichés originated.