Lost in Catland: the life of Louis Wain

Louis William Wain was born on the 5th of August 1860, under the astrological sign of Leo, in Clerkenwell, London, the eldest of six children born to William Wain, a textile trader and embroiderer, and his French wife Julie. His birth was followed by that of five sisters: Caroline in 1862, Josephine two years later, … Continue reading Lost in Catland: the life of Louis Wain

The Pursuit of Freedom: The New Wave, Jazz and Modernism

Introduction In the late 1950s and early 1960s, cinema and jazz were at the forefront of an artistic revolution – one of improvisation, immediacy and invention. Both were born around the turn of the century, came of age in the 1910s and 20s, and attained a ‘Golden Age’ of mass-popularity in the 1930s and 40s. … Continue reading The Pursuit of Freedom: The New Wave, Jazz and Modernism

Elevator to the Scaffold

Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows, 1958) Directed by Louis Malle. 91 mins. "I was split between my tremendous admiration for Robert Bresson and the temptation to make a Hitchcock-like film" – Louis Malle Plot Ex-paratrooper Julien Tavernier (Maurice Ronet) and his lover Florence (Jeanne Moreau) devise a plan to murder her husband Simon … Continue reading Elevator to the Scaffold

From Master of Suspense to Auteur: The Battle for Hitchcock’s Reputation

James Stewart and Kim Novak in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo When, in September 2012, Sight and Sound magazine announced that Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1957) had been voted the greatest film of all time in its poll of critics, it caused an immediate media response. Newspapers, trade magazines and websites all reported that for the first time … Continue reading From Master of Suspense to Auteur: The Battle for Hitchcock’s Reputation

Buried Treasure: Rediscovering Britain’s Film and Television Past

Introduction                        For many decades, Maclean Rogers’ Hammer the Toff (1952) staring John Bentley was a lost film. Unlike some others of its era, it had not been completely forgotten. For years it appeared on the BFI’s 75 Most Wanted List of lost films. Contemporary audiences, by all accounts, had loved it.  One review called it … Continue reading Buried Treasure: Rediscovering Britain’s Film and Television Past