Room 237

BY ANDREW MOODY Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 epic horror movie The Shining has terrified and puzzled audiences for four decades. Stephen King, who wrote the novel that Kubrick adapted, called the movie “maddening and perverse”, and like watching a brilliant ice skater doing nothing but endless figure eights. Steven Spielberg, a close friend of Kubrick’s, admitted he didn’t get it, that it was histrionic and too … Continue reading Room 237

Gallagher’s Salazar

BY JAMIE FOSTER An anomaly among modern dictators, Antonio de Oliveira Salazar exemplified the power of a negative personality. He held Portugal in thraldom for more than 40 years, a record of durability unmatched by Francisco Franco, Benito Mussolini or Adolf Hitler, his Fascist counterparts (and good friends). Due to Salazar’s long rule, a detached evaluation of him is difficult. He is considered either a … Continue reading Gallagher’s Salazar

Wonderful Wit of White

BY ANDREW MOODY Journalist and photographer, based in Tokyo, Sam White of the Spectator, Quillette and this magazine is ambivalent about Twitter: “After all, what kind of way to communicate are skeletal 280 character statements, stark of nuance, caveat or context?” In his new book I Wish I Hadn’t Written This: An Archive of Being Too Online in the Culture Wars 2016-2019, the eminently sensible … Continue reading Wonderful Wit of White

Chinatown

BY ANDREW MOODY Millennial audiences see 70s movies as “old movies”, there are many that have never even heard of Chinatown, let alone obsess about how this could well be the most perfect film, above all of the masterpieces New Hollywood threw up in that decade before Star Wars mega bucks and cocaine took over the film industry. Back in the early 1970s, Hollywood was … Continue reading Chinatown

King’s Misery

BY ANDREW MOODY Stephen King has been part of the film industry ever since his debut novel Carrie was adapted for the screen by Brian de Palma in 1976. Critic Pauline Kael referred to the book as “an unassuming pot boiler.” This criticism of bestselling fiction, and of King’s literary reputation as little more than a hack has followed the author since the first publication … Continue reading King’s Misery

Serotonin

BY ANDREW MOODY French enfant terrible Michel Houellebecq’s seventh novel Serotonin follows similar themes to his other bestsellers. Narrator Florent is an unattractive, nihilistic, middle aged white man who decides one day to leave his younger Japanese girlfriend and opt out of the pressures of Parisian life, spurred on by a TV show about people leaving their past lives and the bestiality videos his girlfriend … Continue reading Serotonin

Look Who’s Back

BY ANDREW MOODY Like Sleeping Beauty, Adolf Hitler wakes one morning in wasteland that used to house the Fuhrerbunker, smelling of petrol and with a splitting headache. He is impeccably dressed in his army uniform, and can’t quite understand why his final orders (total military harakiri) weren’t carried out. Soon he finds out it’s 2011 in Berlin, and, with the skill and courage only a … Continue reading Look Who’s Back

Hill House

BY ANDREW MOODY Shirley Jackson had the inspiration to write a ghost story from two sources: firstly a book she was reading on Victorian psychic researchers (see John Gray’s The Immortalization Commission for a detailed critique on this dubious art) and secondly a horrifying-looking house on 125 street New York that she had nightmares about for months afterwards. Stephen King wrote in his classic assessment … Continue reading Hill House

Thompson

BY ANDREW MOODY Dr Hunter S Thompson (the doctorate was ordered by airmail in the 60s) was one of the most original, wild and innovative political writers of the twentieth century. A born rebel, he never graduated from high school after a delinquency rap saw him do thirty days in a juvenile prison. He joined the air force straight after, with the secret intention of … Continue reading Thompson