29 October 2014
Image of the Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination poster

As All Hallow's Eve draws near and The Art of Gothic BBC 4 series comes to a close next week, I thought it would be the perfect time to pay a visit to the British Library for their Terror and Wonder Gothic Imagination exhibition.  It was a shame that Andrew Graham-Dixon wasn't on hand to enthuse about the various books, film-clips, posters and paintings on display.  But seriously, I think the artwork featured above was worth the admission alone and I particularly liked the Hammer horror film posters and the section dedicated to Dracula.  It was also interesting to see how the Gothic genre has evolved and endured over the years. 

Once inside the lovely gift shop, I was suitably inspired to pick up a couple of tales of the macabre.  I opted for an old favourite of mine, Dracula and a new read for me, The Turn of the Screw.  Looking forward to spooking myself with those in the next few days.  

Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination is open at the British Library until 20th January 2015.  

27 October 2014

Just a quick post about the BBC 4 three-part series, The Art of Gothic which explores Britain's fascination with all things Gothic.  I really enjoyed last week's episode with Andrew Graham-Dixon's look at the other-worldly frisson of horror that Gothic art ignites.  He describes Salvator Rosa's 'Witches at their Incantations' as though being lit by flashes of lightning and speaks of the Gothic movement as a new language and a 'way to speak the unspeakable'.  Brilliant stuff.  The second episode is on BBC 4 tonight at 9 pm.
26 October 2014

Turns out the delightful Picturehouse is the perfect refuge from the crowded streets of Greenwich on a Sunday afternoon.  Hot tea in hand, I settled in my seat to watch the Nick Cave film, 20,000 Days on Earth.  Aside from a few songs, I didn't know too much about the man himself but I have to say that didn't really matter.  The film is all kinds of wonderful and I would highly recommend it whether you are a Nick Cave fan or not.  Thankfully this isn't your average rock musician documentary with endless gig footage and backstage shenanigans.  20,000 Days on Earth is a mix of drama and reality, a proper film where the story is conveyed through scenes from a therapist's office, conversations with band mates and fellow musicians, as well as Cave's fascinating beliefs on the writing process.  I found myself wanting to give up the day job, lock myself in a book-filled room surrounded by my own 'Museum of Important Shit' and just write.  
21 October 2014

'I won't be out-bittered by a lemon' has to be my favourite line from the madness that was the play Ballyturk which I saw on my first visit to the National Theatre last month.  Although it was over three weeks ago now, I'm still questioning what it all actually meant.  I think what stood out for me was the desperate sadness of people becoming stuck in a rut, closed off from the outside world and losing all sense of who they really are.  On the flip side, there were some funny moments with towers of biscuits and 80's tunes as well as the fantastic acting from the cast.  I have to say, I was glad to get out of my own usual Monday evening routine and swap it for an enjoyable night at the theatre. Must do it again sometime.