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Friday, 25 July 2014

Ripper Retrospective - Revew of the classic "Jack the Ripper: Summing up and Verdict"

Ripper Bridge
Ripper Bridge (Photo credit: STINFLIN Pascal)

1988 was a hell of a year for Jack the Ripper enthusiasts. Being the centenary of London’s “Autumn of Terror”, few producers, publishers, historians, writers and professional criminologists missed a trick. From movies about a copycat serial killer called “Jack’s Back” to a wide commissioning of any work that was tied into the Whitechapel Murders, the year was full of old and new theories on the identity of the killer and every self-respecting bookshop made sure their respective section was stocked up. I was only 12 at the time and fell in love with the shamelessly melodramatic and lavish ITV miniseries, “Jack the Ripper”, which for all its thrill and wonderful cast and production values did not yield a convincing theory on the case. In his amazingly explorative “From Hell”, comic-book writer, Alan Moore, touched on the whole the institution that now surrounds Jack the Ripper and pretty much nailed how it has become virtually impossible to unmask the fiend of Victorian London. He echoed in the century of the sadistic serial killer and, as sharp as the weapon he wielded, tore open the British Victorian veneer of pomp, prosperity and conservatism. In the tradition of Arthur Conan Doyle – was consulted at the time of the murders – and the institution that Agatha Christie would start, the Ripper also provided us with a real-life whodunit. Amidst the flow of reprinted books on silly theories, I was lucky enough to obtain a copy of “Jack the Ripper: Summing up and Verdict”, which had been commissioned for release in 1988. 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Batman at 75

I have loved Batman from almost as early as I can recall. As I push the ever aging and failing mechanism I call a brain to recreate the images of my past, I am filled with a sense of happiest during those earliest of years. One of my happiest memories was being four and a half years old on holiday in Florida. It was the only true holiday I recall as a child. Even then the model for what I like best about a “holiday” was set during that dreamlike time. We were a circus family, in the middle of running our own circus, and so we saw circus people and circus-related places. I got my head stuck in the railings at SeaWorld and I saw Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. I remember our Mexican driver and my amusement that the steering wheel was on the other side the cars. These were all great recollections, but some of my most comforting memories came from staying at the hotel.  I wasn’t used to staying in any other accommodation than a wagon (caravan). I remember falling in love with two icons that have stood the test of maturity: Charlie Brown and Batman.

Monday, 21 July 2014

The British Playboy - Review of "The Look of Love"


This is the biopic of Paul Raymond (Steve Coogan), the British millionaire publisher, club owner and real estate developer. “The Look of Love” takes a reflective look through the eyes of Raymond after he attends his daughter’s funeral. We see his rise to success as a night club owner and publisher of “Men Only” after discovering how to create publicity stunts in the 1950s. The film looks at the eventual price Raymond will have to pay for his self-indulgent lifestyle as a playboy and the impact it will have on those closest to him, his wife Jean (Anna Friel), his lover Fiona (Tamsin Egerton) and especially his daughter, Debbie (Imogen Poots).