Books

Dead of Night cover

Devil’s Advocates: Dead of Night

ISBN-13-978-0993238437

Released a matter of days after the end of the Second World War and a dozen years ahead of the first full-blooded Hammer Horror, the Ealing Studios horror anthology film Dead of Night featured contributions from some of the finest directors, writers and technicians ever to work in British film. Since its release it has become evermore widely regarded as a keystone in the architecture of horror cinema, both nationally and internationally, yet for a film that packs such a reputation this is the first time a single book has been dedicated to its analysis. Beginning with a brief plot précis ‘road map’ in order to aid navigation through the film’s stories, there follows a discussion of Dead of Night’s individual stories, including its frame tale (‘Linking Narrative’), a consideration of the potency of stillness and the suspension of time as devices for eliciting goose bumps, an appraisal of the film in relation to the very English tradition of the festive ghost story, and an analysis of the British post-war male gender crisis embodied by a number of the film s protagonists. The book includes a selection of rarely seen pre-production illustrations for the film by its acclaimed production designer, Michael Relph.(click image to buy).
thing

Devil’s Advocates: The Thing

ISBN-13-978-1906733773

Consigned to the deep freeze of critical and commercial reception upon its release in 1982, The Thing has bounced back spectacularly to become one of the most highly regarded productions from the 1980s Body Horror cycle of films, experiencing a wholesale and detailed reappraisal that has secured its place in the pantheon of modern cinematic horror. Thirty years on, and with a recent prequel reigniting interest, Jez Conolly looks back to the film’s antecedents and forward to the changing nature of its reception and the work that it has influenced. The themes discussed include the significance of The Thing’s subversive antipodal environment, the role that the film has played in the corruption of the onscreen monstrous form, the qualities that make it an exemplar of the director s work and the relevance of its legendary visual effects despite the advent of CGI. Topped and tailed by a full plot breakdown and an appreciation of its notoriously downbeat ending, this exploration of the events at US Outpost 31 in the winter of 1982 captures The Thing’s sub-zero terror in all its gory glory (click image to buy).
liverpool

World Film Locations: Liverpool

ISBN-13-978-1783200269

Outside of London, no other British city has attracted more filmmakers than Liverpool. Sometimes standing in for London, New York, Chicago, Paris, Rome, or Moscow, and sometimes playing itself-or a version of its own past in Beatles biopics – Liverpool is an adaptable filmic backdrop that has attracted filmmakers to its ports for decades. A place of passion, humor, and pride, Liverpool evokes caverns and cathedrals, ferries and football grounds; it is a city so vivid we see it clearly even if we’ve never been there. From the earliest makers of moving images – among them the Mitchell & Kenyon film company, the Lumiere brothers, and pioneering early cinematographer Claude Friese-Greene – who preserved the city, the river, the docks, the streets, and the people, Liverpool has endured as a cinematic destination. This collection celebrates that survival instinct and will be welcomed by enthusiasts of British cities, films, and culture (click image to buy).
reykjavik

World Film Locations: Reykjavik

ISBN-13-978-1841506418​

Though the creative community of Reykjavík, Iceland, has earned a well-deserved reputation for its unique artistic output—most notably the popular music that has emerged from the city since the 1980s—Reykjavík’s filmmakers have received less attention than they merit. World Film Locations: Reykjavík corrects this imbalance, shedding new light on the role of cinema in a country that, partly because of its small population, produces more films per capita than any other in the world. The contributors to this volume trace cinema in Iceland from the 1979 establishment of the Icelandic Film Fund—before which the country’s film industry barely existed—through today. In a series of illuminating scene reviews, they show how rapidly the city has changed over the past thirty years. In thematic spotlight articles, they go on to explore such topics as the relationship between Iceland and its capital city; youth culture and night life; the relationship between film and the local music community; cinematic representations of Scandinavian crime; and filmmakers’ response to the 2008 banking crisis. Together, these varied contributions show how films shot in Reykjavík have been shaped both by Iceland’s remoteness from the rest of the world and by Icelandic filmmakers’ sense that the city remains forever on the brink of desolate and harsh wilderness (click image to buy).
dublin

World Film Locations: Dublin

ISBN-13-978-1841505503

World Film Locations: Dublin aims to present a selective snapshot of the city through the medium of the movies made or set in it and allow the reader to inhabit these spaces, passing through a stimulating choice of words and pictures that inform and precipitate an imagined exploration.It is a collection of over forty reviews of scenes from films, either shot or set in Dublin, illustrated by images from the scenes in question, and photographs of locations, often as they are today. Together, the words and images expose the relationship between a scene’s setting and its impact on the viewer. The short scene reviews are interspersed with more detailed, meditative essays that are designed to examine in greater depth some of the key aspects of Dublin as seen onscreen; the city’s political and literary histories are appraised, as are its music scene, its familiar faces, its element of organised crime and its fluctuating attributes before, during and after the Celtic Tiger era.Taken as a whole, this book constitutes a rare written instance of Dublin encapsulated in moments of film, brought together and supplemented by a pictorial toolkit designed to enable a conceptual tour of the city in its various incarnations (click image to buy).