Metropolis (1927)

Metropolis (1927)

In which we go to the year 2000, where not much has changed but they live underground. More so than The Cabinet of Dr Caligari or Nosferatu, the imagery of Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis influences cinema and pop culture today. The famous poster art of the 1920s inspired cityscape and the iconic look of the robot Maria have been homaged, parodied and integrated into design for over ninety years. Just like those two early films, I’d never sat through Metropolis in full before watching it for…

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Nosferatu (1922)

Nosferatu (1922)

In which a vampire’s shadow terrorises our sleeping moments and we learn there’s no horror like that of being trapped within our own nightmares. Nosferatu is one of those films that has long since transcended its original purpose of entertaining audiences to become an icon of cinema. It’s the type of film that fans know everything about, from its influence to its incredible imagery, without having to see it. I suspect that many don’t bother to watch it in full at…

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The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920)

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920)

In which we meet a somnambulist, an expressionist master director and a rising body count, all from a century ago. I find it hard to get my head round the idea that we were watching movies a hundred years ago.  They’re now officially antiques. Of course, it was a different experience then and not just the black white photography or lack of sound.  Cinema’s language has changed over the last century, we understand it subliminally from cues that we’ve witnessed before…

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The General (1926)

The General (1926)

In which we get a return ticket through the frontlines of the American Civil War. Buster Keaton is one of those actors like Charlie Chaplin that we almost all recognise, most of us have seen a clip or still from their films and many can name at least one or two titles. In contrast to Chaplin though, I had never seen a Keaton film before this week and had little intention of doing so before I started this project. I’ve…

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The A-Team: Mexican Slayride

The A-Team: Mexican Slayride

In which we meet our characters, travel to Mexico and get on the jazz. Here we go, the first episode of The A-Team, the show that has shaped childhoods for an hour at a time since the 1980s. Before meeting the team, we find a reporter in trouble with a local bandit and his goon squad. Luckily, he gets a message out to his intrepid colleague Amy Allen who sets out to find and then hire… The A-Team… duh duh…

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V for Vendetta by Alan Moore

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore

In which we travel back to the 1990’s, but all is not as we remember. Although it feels like I’ve I know every scene, I can’t remember a time when I’ve ever sat through the full runtime of 2005’s V for Vendetta film adaptation. Unlike Alan Moore’s Watchman, which I’ve re-read many times over, shared with friends and family (and even enjoyed the Zack Snyder film), V for Vendetta seems more iconic but less welcoming. Where Watchmen is praised for its intricate story, new take on superheroes…

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King Solomon’s Mines

King Solomon’s Mines

Written in 1885, King Solomon’s Mines is an adventure novel following Allan Quartermain as he travels across an uncharted Africa searching for a lost man and a mythical treasure. At face value, it’s as simple as that, though like the titular diamond mine there is more buried beneath the surface.The novel holds an odd place in my mind, it’s one I’ve been aware of for as long as I can remember but not with any great reverence. I didn’t consider it a…

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The Yellow M By Edgar P Jacobs

The Yellow M By Edgar P Jacobs

The Yellow M is the sixth volume, but third story in the long-running Blake and Mortimer series. Following on from two longer stories, published over three and then two volumes, The Yellow M is often confusingly found as book number one due to its reprint by Cinebook.  All that number fun aside, The Yellow M is easily the most famous of the Blake and Mortimer series, not least for its iconic cover art, which perfectly encapsulates the shadowy brightness of the book like a pop-noir poster. It makes sense…

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Pig Wrestling by Pete Lindsay & Mark Bawden

Pig Wrestling by Pete Lindsay & Mark Bawden

Alongside reading plenty of fiction, I’m a bit of nerd when it comes to self-help or self-improvement books. If they’re short, snappy and s-motivational I’ll give them a go. A lot of the time, they become a short-lived test until I revert to my old behaviours, but from time to time something or other sticks. I read Pig Wrestling a few weeks ago and have so far used the methods several times at work to simplify my processes and get results faster. …

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Paint a Landscape

Paint a Landscape

A few years ago, I spent some time writing out 100 things I would like to do in my life. The idea was popularised by Laura Vanderkam in her book What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast and based on an exercise developed by Caroline Ceniza-Levine. The short version: write down all the things you really want to do – absolutely all of them, from ‘write a poem’ to ‘win the Nobel Prize in Literature’ – then start doing them! You’ll find…

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