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Death of Nigel Kneale

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  • Tales from Tanelorn
    replied
    Not sure if this was BBC or RADA, but we did enjoy some of this recent series called Rome:

    http://www.hbo.com/rome/about/

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    Have to agree, though haven't seen Dr Who. RADA actors know how to do Jacobean tragedy and Restoration comedy. Both require a certain flourish, an over-the-top quality. The moment the producers (and the rest of the team) start getting self-conscious they lose that quality of melodrama. And it IS melodrama and it's why we enjoy it. Try treating it like pseudo-realism (a la East Enders) and you're in serious trouble immediately. One of the reasons so many of those English horror pictures were so enjoyable was because they were absolutely crammed (cf Dr Phibes) with old-fashioned melodrama tricks and skills from the character actors employed. I learned long ago, from radio people, that the best way to read one's own fiction in public is to go a bit over the top. You can't afford to be self-conscious or worry what people think of you. Turn it up to 11. Go over the top. This is even true when doing a realistic scene. Maybe that's why 'classic' drama is the only place, these days, we get to see any acting worth relishing (off stage, that is). Mind you, seeing one of my great favourite actors, Simon Russell Beale, in a terrible production of The Alchemist recently, reminded me that even stage directors can infect the National with their TV-influenced work. I'd seen him in an earlier production, many years ago, which was infinitely superior, but played with real style and, dare I say it, traditional dramatic values.

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  • xidrep
    replied
    The BBC tended to make its best drama with stage actors, too: I, Claudius and most of the good one-offs and period dramas, not to mention the decent science fiction, all had lots of thesps. Sadly, gritty and pithy stage-style acting seems to be out of fashion on TV - replaced by a rather trite and not-very-clever ironical or smirking genre, possibly induced by the writing of similar quality. I'm afraid the new Dr Who suffered a bit from this, despite the pedigree of its cast. It's as if any subtlety of expression is edited out in favour of red-flagged, overblown, mawkish emotion and predictable responses to stock dialogue. >mutter, mutter...my day...mutter...standards slipping...mutter<

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    Good point, Carter. That's one reason I was saying my preference for the Elric movie would be stage actors. This, of course, was also true of James Whale, who came from the stage and brought all his actors (Laughton, Elsa Lanchester and the rest) from the stage with him. Including his writers.

    Leave a comment:


  • xidrep
    replied
    Carter has perspicaciously picked up on the very line that I find so deeply resonant in the excellent Q&TP:

    'I never had a career, only work'.

    How I wish there were more Quatermasses (Quatermii?) in public, professional and academic life...

    Leave a comment:


  • devilchicken
    replied
    Well there's this one:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hammer-Horro...?ie=UTF8&s=dvd

    Cheaper but not a patch on this that came out the other week:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ultimate-Ham...?ie=UTF8&s=dvd

    Leave a comment:


  • nalpak retrac
    replied
    Originally posted by Perdix
    I just received my Hammer box set - including some work by Kneale; as well as Q and the Pit, with the superb Andrew Keir, the set includes Straight on 'til Morning, a film out of which one could easily imagine Mr Cornelius (any of them) emerging. Check it out.


    What does the collection contain?

    Hammer had the right formula. Christopher Lee's Dracula is definitive for me. One of those films--I forget which precisely--is vastly frightening.

    The several Frankenstein vehicles with Peter Cushing are excellent examples of craft. Sewn together tightly.

    I think the distinction between this kind of film making and what we see today is this: The filmmakers in those days were drawing from the stage and from literature. The film makers today, alas, are drawing chiefly from film.

    Quatermass and the Pit contains one of the all time great exchanges--amidst the on-going confrontation between Quatermass and the block-headed, lock-step Army officer, the latter accuses Quatermass of being driven by careerism and his job. Deeply appalled, Quatermass counters, "Career? I never had a career. Do you mean my work?" It is a brief exchange, but that distinction is tremendously important--makes all the difference in the kind of world we live in. It’s the high point of the film for me.
    Last edited by nalpak retrac; 11-05-2006, 07:42 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • xidrep
    replied
    I shouldn't think Melvyn would like it a bit.

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  • xidrep
    replied
    Oh, yes - even with The Reptile, starring Jaqueline Pearce, later to be Servalan in Blake's Seven. Doesn't take much to impress me...

    Leave a comment:


  • devilchicken
    replied
    Originally posted by Perdix
    The Stone Tape is terrifying; and Beasts is excellent - I have a story about 'Baby', the first one, which I'll tell you later today, when I've more time. I didn't know that Sex Olympics was in colour - I thought it was B&W! Those shirts would give you a migraine.
    As an aside, I just received my Hammer box set - including some work by Kneale; as well as Q and the Pit, with the superb Andrew Keir, the set includes Straight on 'til Morning, a film out of which one could easily imagine Mr Cornelius (any of them) emerging. Check it out.
    Out of curiosity - did you buy the 21 disc set. I'm incredibly envious that something like this is available now - there's not enough of a market for these films in the US, so it seems unlikely that this will ever find its way over here. I'd buy it from the UK but the price will likely be prohibitive.

    Leave a comment:


  • xidrep
    replied
    The Stone Tape is terrifying; and Beasts is excellent - I have a story about 'Baby', the first one, which I'll tell you later today, when I've more time. I didn't know that Sex Olympics was in colour - I thought it was B&W! Those shirts would give you a migraine.
    As an aside, I just received my Hammer box set - including some work by Kneale; as well as Q and the Pit, with the superb Andrew Keir, the set includes Straight on 'til Morning, a film out of which one could easily imagine Mr Cornelius (any of them) emerging. Check it out.

    Leave a comment:


  • Marca
    replied
    BBC Four have shown some stuff on Kneale, including an interview and a repeat of The Stone Tape, as well as The Year Of The Sex Olympics, which was released on DVD by the BFI a good while ago, although sadly it only exists now in black and white. The BBC have issued all the existing Quatermass episodes on DVD, and there is also a set of 70s ITV series Beasts, which I haven't seen since it was first televised, but intend to get sometime soon.
    Last edited by Marca; 11-02-2006, 01:50 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    Melvyn was clearly a bit awkward, too, around Ballard on that recent South Bank Prog. Could be that Ballard disdained Honours List saying it was a sham etc. and Melv has scooped up everything they throw his way... Or that Ballard had, not that long ago, said that MB exemplified what was bland about arts journalism on TV...

    Leave a comment:


  • xidrep
    replied
    Read: 'episodes' not 'epidodes'; the latter are what Sony are going to call the intracranial probes that one will be able to implant in one's occipital cortex in a few years, to download music and video.

    Leave a comment:


  • xidrep
    replied
    You're spot on about the B&W early TV epidodes being better than the later colour efforts (both Quatermass and Avengers). It's that literal film noir quality. Another great example of this is, of course, King Kong.
    Of course, at Prototype X ('at': ha!) we've taken the historical hint, and gone from colour to monochrome. I bet it's a lot scarier now. There are at least three skellingtons in this issue.

    Leave a comment:

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