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Deep End

Deep End is a film about the awkwardness of transition and the disillusionment that inevitably follows a time of idealism. It was released in 1970, when the dying days of the Summer of Love were giving way to the cynicism of the 1970s; when the shift in the social mores of western society that had been championed in the 60s hit the brick wall of entrenched social conservatism; when people swept up in the promise of revolution finally had to face the reality of promises not kept.

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These Lonely, Haunted Places

Ancient sacred sites and secret government installations benefit from remote settings for a number of reasons. Suddenly the ancient English countryside is a patchwork of chain link fences, barbed wire, “No Trespassing” signs, mysterious aerials and satellite dishes and armed guards at checkpoints.

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Spies at the Savoy

Over on the Alcohol Professor, I have a three-parter about the famed American Bar in London’s upscale Savoy Hotel. It also covers a history of cocktails themselves, the birth and evolution of hotel bars and cocktail culture in New York, the ties between the Savoy and the British intelligence service during WWII.

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Fighting the Unknown

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.

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Sex and Naps

On the surface, The Wicker Man is the story of how one police constable’s attempt to scrooge up a town’s May Day revelries fails miserably. But The Wicker Man is a film with complex depth, and delving into those murky waters is aided considerably by a few of the key texts that went into crafting the film’s story.