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

Hollywood Party

BY ANDREW MOODY The general consensus in 2020 is that the HUAC hearings into Communist subversion that began in 1947 and saw many unfriendly witnesses (most famously what were known as ‘The Hollywood Ten’) blacklisted from the Hollywood industry were unconstitutional and fascist. Ed Harris and other notable liberals refused to applaud director and friendly witness Elia Kazan when he received his honorary Academy Award … Continue reading Hollywood Party

Chopper

BY ANDREW MOODY Nearly twenty years ago, Australian cinema threw up a prison masterpiece inspired by the bestselling memoirs of legendary murderer Mark Brandon, “Chopper” Read. A terrifying, if rather charming chap, well over six feet, covered in prison tattoos and noticeably lacking in ears, Read delighted in his jailhouse celebrity well before he was a famous writer. Chopper still allegedly holds the record for … Continue reading Chopper

Redacted

BY ANDREW MOODY During the second Gulf War, celebrity filmmaker Brian De Palma (a millionaire many times over) made a snuff film called Redacted, designed to sabotage the allied war effort. I call it a snuff film because it includes stolen military photographs of dead Iraqi citizens at the close. Suspiciously rated 15 in the UK, not only does the film unsuccessfully attempt to blame … Continue reading Redacted

Banalysis

BY ANDREW MOODY Witty, cleverly structured, argued and written, Frank Haviland’s BANALYSIS is driven by the same exasperated tone of the TV presenter in the classic 1970s movie NETWORK. “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Once, the author hopes, just this once, the truth will finally be told about the way the world really operates. It is only easy … Continue reading Banalysis