Monday, 21 May 2012

20th Century Spatchcock

It seems as though the public are responding in droves to the recent appeal for lost Alfred Spatchcock films. For such an under-rated director, it's touching to know that his former audiences remember and cherish his contribution to British cinema. 

In the last two weeks, there have been over a hundred films submitted to the archivist trying desperately to catalogue newly-discovered Spatchcock films. I understand that none other than Derek Ripley has been asked to explore the potential of collating these into printed form, which is an exciting prospect. 

Recently re-discovered films include: 

Gunfight at the O. K. Sauce Factory (1957) 
Everything You Wanted To Know About Socks (But Were Afraid To Ask) (1972) 
The Woollen Horse (1950) and 
The St. Valentine's Day Manicure (1967) 

I am sure, though, that these hundred new films are only the tip of a very large iceberg. Spatchcock was nothing if not prolific in his output, and what his films lacked in quality they more than made up for in quantity. So, if you are aware of any lost films, I can only appeal to you to contact the website that is collating them. 

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

An Appeal From The Heart

It's not often that Bill Blunt lends his imprimatur to other projects - particularly when there is no money involved. However one such project has caught my eye, and I am pleased to promote it to my readers. 

More years ago than I care to think, I saw my first Alfred Spatchcock film, and it made such an impression on me that I soon considered myself to be something of a fan of his.  I'm not sure whether it was the sheer scale of his output - he is reckoned to have produced as many as 20,000 films from his tiny studio in Hollinwood, Oldham - or the fact that, like me, he is a northerner through and through.
Whatever the reason, there's no doubting that his was a rare talent.  I will always remember the first time I saw Murder on the Transpennine Express (1974) - although the critics panned it, I could see it was a classic in the making.

Alfred Spatchcock Lost Films

Sadly, many of his films have disappeared, and now the hunt is on to try to relocate them.  Can I ask that readers check their lofts and garages to see whether they might not have a missing reel or two?

Saturday, 5 May 2012

A Slight Sense of Trepidation

I'm not sure what I thought when I first saw the advert for land in my in-box this morning. 

I only know that a shudder went through me, as I recalled my last attempt at booking a flight through Mr O'Leary's website. There are so many boxes to check and uncheck that I wasn't sure at one point whether I hadn't booked a flight but instead bought myself a whole new (unwanted) set of luggage.

So what will the Ryanair Hotels experience be like? If they adopt anything like the business model of the airline, I imagine when you check in you'll be charged extra if you've brought any luggage.   And we'll be asked if we want to pay more for towels, soap and lighting in our rooms.  Breakfast will no doubt be served in some hideous yellow and blue dining room, selected from a menu where each item is individually (over)priced and generally not very appealing.

I think I'll stick to Holiday Inn.