Where Books Are Burnt

BY ANDREW MOODY Sir Ian Kershaw’s Hitler – a vast, two volume work – ranks amongst the very best studies of Nazism: “Hitler stood for at least some things they [German people] admired, and for many had become the symbol and embodiment of the national revival which the Third Reich had in many respects been perceived to accomplish.” It is split into two distinct halves: … Continue reading Where Books Are Burnt

Easy Rider Fifty Years On

BY ANDREW MOODY Released in 1969, the same year as the Apollo 11 moon landings, the Manson family murders, the inauguration of Richard Nixon, and the Altamont slayings, Easy Rider (prophetically for Hollywood and the wider world) opens with a cocaine deal. Cocaine had not yet taken over as the drug of choice for Hollywood stars and executives. This was one of many things that … Continue reading Easy Rider Fifty Years On

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

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

The Collector

BY ANDREW MOODY I think we are just insects, we live a bit and then die and that’s the lot. There’s no mercy in things. There’s not even a Great Beyond. There’s nothing. Frederick, an unloved, sexually awkward clerk whose hobby is butterfly collecting (with much in common with Norman Bates), falls in love with the sight of art student Miranda. After a massive win … Continue reading The Collector

Dispatches

BY ANDREW MOODY Michael Herr used his memoir and experiences as a war reporter to write the narration for Martin Sheen in Coppola’s masterpiece Apocalypse Now and co-wrote Kubrick’s most enduring film Full Metal Jacket with another Vietnam writer, Gustav Hasford, whose The Short Timers inspired the boot camp sequence. Herr said of Kubrick that had he not been a film director, he would have … Continue reading Dispatches

Welles & Wells

BY ANDREW MOODY On November 8th 1938, Adolf Hitler made reference to the mass hysteria caused by Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre radio production of War of the Worlds, as evidence of “the corrupt condition and decadent state of affairs in democracy”. “He hadn’t much else to say,” Welles wryly commented during a meeting with the original author HG Wells in 1940 after war had erupted … Continue reading Welles & Wells

The Fake News Factory

BY JAMIE FOSTER David Sedgwick’s book ‘The Fake News Factory’ is a polemic on the state of the BBC. It pulls no punches from the outset in covering what Sedgwick perceives to be the BBC’s dishonesty and malfeasance. The BBC is portrayed as the source of fake news on a number of subjects ranging from Brexit and Donald Trump to Hungary and Russia. The book … Continue reading The Fake News Factory