1/3 Gone in Six Seconds

Six seconds. That’s all it took. Six bloody seconds for the BBFC to hot-wire a film so ineptly as to leave it standing on bricks while the neighbourhood kids took turns honking the horn and pissing in the ashtray. 

I am, of course, referring to the way in which the British Board of Film Classification handled the vehicle of Daniel Radcliffe’s first outing since leaving his cloak of invisibility on the doorstep of Cancer Research — the classic ghost story, The Woman in Black.

harry potter

Now, I’m not a huge Danny Rad fan. While I don’t doubt Radcliffe is an all-round splendid bloke, there’s no avoiding the fact that as an actor he’s a fair bit rubbish. MDF emotes more convincingly.  

But what I am a fan of, however, is the traditional ghost story. M D James, Le Fanu, Poe, Lovecraft — a well-crafted ghost story is a thing of rare beauty. The imagination is capable of conjuring up greater horrors than any amount of CGI and synthetic gore. Forget showing and telling, think corner-of-the-eye suggestion; a quiet, barely-there cough.

These days the baton of ghost story-telling has been passed to the likes of Byatt, Marquez, King and Barker — to name a few — and now our thoughts turn to Susan Hill and her 1983 novel, The Woman in Black, the foundation for first the play and then the subsequent film.

Imagine my excitement on learning :

a) that Hammer Film (aptly experiencing a resurrection of its own) had optioned the film rights, and then

b) hired the marvellous Jane Goldman — screenwriter  (Stardust, Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class) and wife of perennial fop, Jonathan Ross — to pen the script. 

Yes, okay, there was the small issue of Radcliffe’s involvement but seeing as his character, Arthur Kipps, wanders around in a blank-eyed trance for much of the story following the death of his wife, I  really didn’t see how Radders could f**k it up …

The full article was published in The Trip Magazine, June 2012.

2/3  It’s Not You, It’s Me — 184/250

An extract of this article was published in The Trip Magazine, September 2012.

3/3  Recession? Blame it on Twitter

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