Today we're going to talk about basketball. I know, I know. The fat, white horror writer fast approaching his 40s is going to try and talk about sport. Not just any sport. Basketball. The fast paced, money spinning game that has millions of people all over the world shouting at their TVs over the squeaking sound of trainers on wood.Read More
Either last week’s blog is incredibly late or this week’s blog is incredibly early. I’ll leave it up to you to decide. I’ve got other things to try and worry about. Like, for example, where to begin? Seriously, where do you start something like this? Last Thursday, in a little pub near the ring roads of Birmingham, I got on a stage in front of friends and family and launched my second horror novel. Which is not to say I threw a book at my friends at family. Well, not physically anyway.Read More
I suppose some people like to keep the defining north and south poles of their empires a little further apart. Span a larger axis. For whatever reason, life has really made sure I’ve kept my own poles far more provincial. Hoping between two neighbouring counties, whose defining edges are so uneven that they practically border on incest. Still, it’s okay, there’s some history around here. Shakespeare wrote plays and poems not too far away, before commuting to London and possibly not existing. Richard the Third, pantomime villain turned award winning role in one of those plays, slept under car park after forgetting where he parked his horse. Alan Moore only lives one country over, sewing seeds of magic, myth and political mayhem. Not a bad neighbour to have in these times.Read More
There are some people in the world of cinema whose name becomes synonymous with what they do. You can spot them quite easily. They normally get the word ‘esque’ stuck on the end of their name to tell you another director has tried to respectably rip them off. It’s a sign that their talent has sewn them into the fabric of the cultural landscape. Steven Spielberg is very much one of those people. Although, unlike so many other directors who share that honour with him, he’s transcend the need to be seen as connected to only one genre or style of film. When it comes to Tarantino, Hitchcock, Fellini, Lean or Kubrick, you know roughly where the movie is going to take you. Whereas Spielberg feels more of an iconoclast than the rest of them. Or, at the very least, he appears to have a few extra clubs in his bag.Read More
I’ve always loved the cinema. It started with the first movie I ever went to see. My dad took me to the grand old, art deco Odeon that used to sit in central Leicester to watch the newly re-issued Jungle Book. It blew me away. The deep reaching perspective of Kipling’s jungle in the credits. The moody atmosphere that seemed to lurk in the opening few scenes and the sheer, wild delight that took its place until a certain tiger cornered a boy amongst dying trees, the flames spread and I was made to believe a heroic slob of a bear had died.Read More
As I got older, my comedy compass shifted. Sometimes through the influence of friends, sometimes through late night TV surfing. I got into the uncomfortable pleasure of watching Alan Partridge fail and fail again. I saw Chris Morris skewer the world around him whilst he kept a sharp, straight face. Seinfeld and Sanders showed me how America was warping the formula its past masters had perfected. Whilst here Father Ted, Darkplace and Spaced were all merrily making up their own rules, breaking ground for an incoming flood of new comedy.Read More
Things are getting hectic, they always do at this time of year. It’s like being trapped on a merry go round that refuses to slow down. Every time we ask someone to apply the brakes, it only accelerates. Sure, there are festive lights and catchy tunes circling around us, but this close to the event horizon of Christmas Day it all starts to get out of hand. The music deafens us. The motion makes us feel ill. The horses under us start to leer and grin as it all lurches past our control.
There are cards to write, presents to deliver. There’s food to hunt and gather, sometimes against shoppers who are racing against the exact same clock as us to the exact same shelf for the exact same final box of stuffing. The season of goodwill can get pretty nasty down a supermarket aisle.
It won’t be a long one this week. It can’t be. It’s been a long week. It’s been a tough week. Last Saturday, after spending a thoroughly brilliant day at a wedding, Sam and I got back to our hotel and logged online to find out one of our closest friends had died.Read More