Monthly Archives: August 2013

Spectre at the Fest

I made a momentous and rather sad decision this weekend: I’m giving up on generic horror films, for good.

It’s been some years now since I’ve been able to derive any pleasure from generic horror on the page, but I’ve continued to enjoy it on screen, as a guilty pleasure perhaps, but a pleasure nonetheless. If this weekend’s FrightFest has proved anything to me it’s that I can no longer do so.

Perhaps I’m just too old for this shit now. I don’t know.

I went to five films at FrightFest this year, each as glutinous and lacking in flavour as warm rice pudding. The horror community frequently bemoans the fact that the mainstream cinema audience just ‘doesn’t get’ horror, that they reject horror as a genre on principle, because of the gore, the violence, the disturbing psychologies of the protagonists, and in rejecting it they miss its subversiveness, its social awareness, its time-honoured position in the vanguard of underground cinema. Well, I ain’t buying it. I’ve seen more horror movies than I care to remember, and I can state with some authority that the only terrifying thing about generic horror cinema at the present moment in time is how derivative, burned out and tame it now is. Virtually every Anglo-American film currently being produced and sold as horror is actually cinematic comfort food. Tragically, the European horror film seems to be heading in the same direction.

OK, so let’s get specific. Here’s a brief run-down of the movies I saw at FF this weekend and what I thought was wrong with them:

Dementamania dir. Kit Ryan. Corporate executive Edward Arkham (geddit?) is having a bad day. Recently split from his girffriend Laura, he is finding it increasingly difficult to deal with the frustrating monotony and professional backstabbing that plague his work life. He’s also off his meds. Fortunately, a mysterious stranger named Nicholas Lemarchand (geddit? Geddit?) is on hand to give some sage advice: break free, Edward, exercise your will, you owe these wankers nothing, do what needs to be done…

Everything about this film was a cliche, from the ominous-sounding opening title music to the elevator ride to hell near the end. The script clearly thought it was being original and, God help us, deep. In fact it was so hackneyed and stilted it veered perilously close to the comedic on several occasions. What actually annoyed me most about this movie though was its attitude to women. I’m pretty certain that the team involved in making this film would be surprised to learn that their vision might have caused offence in this respect – and yet how could it not, when the women in this movie are reduced to choosing their roles from among the following: crazy stalker neighbour, duplicitous girlfriend, demon temptress with tentacles, office siren, or Eddie’s little lunchtime lesbian porn fantasy. For one crazy moment I thought the balance was about to be redressed during the by-the-numbers ‘back to reality – or am I?’ sequence towards the end when the medic attending Ed was shown to be female. But no, wait a minute, she’s just a NURSE! No worries though, because she loses no time in calling in a male doctor, along with a psychiatrist, also male. So that’s… just… fine.

I often find myself going overboard to prove how inclusive the horror community really is – but you know what guys, this was pants. Stupid bloody title, too.

Haunter dir Vincenzo Natali. Fifteen-year-old Lisa is also having a bad day. Or should we say, she keeps on having the same bad day. Waking repeatedly to the same routine, the worst aspect of Lisa’s nightmare is that her parents and younger brother don’t seem to realise that anything is wrong. Following her discovery of a mysterious scrapbook, Lisa begins to piece together the drama and horror of what has happened to her, and what she must do next. For although it’s already too late for her, there’s another terrified young girl who desperately needs her help.

I had high hopes for this one as I found plenty to enjoy in Natali’s earlier speculative movies Cube and Cypher. A bemused half an hour in, however, I remembered that the director’s most recent outing was the risibly generic Splice, and those hopes took a nose-dive. Billed as Groundhog Day meets The Others, Haunter has neither the originality, the sharply ironic script or brilliant acting performances of the former, nor the poetry and cinematic beauty of the latter. Rather, it is a tediously disappointing mish-mash of derivative tropes and yet another outing for the increasinly popular Hollywood ‘all ghosts go to heaven’ trope. Here’s a story – just like the Del Toro-produced remake of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark – that would have benefited enormously from being recast in a more contemporary style. (The original DBAOTD was placed in a more ordinary domestic setting and was all the better for it.) Mists? Mansions? Cellars? Daddy possessed by a serial child murderer? As if all that garbage weren’t enough, the script’s awful. This is ghosts for grannies, a popcorn haunting dressed up to look like The Innocents and failing miserably. One giant yawn for mankind.

Dark Touch dir. Marina de Van. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any more banal, along comes this Orphanage/Orphan/Mama rehash to prove me wrong. Honestly, this film is so embarrassingly bad it’s almost funny. A new and totally superfluous addition to the ‘demon seed’ subgenre, there’s nothing new about it apart from the depths it plumbs in its quest for the title of Possibly the Most Overcooked and Derivative Film You’ll See this Year. Traumatised by a mysterious and violent incident in early childhood, Niamh begins to show all the psychological characteristics of an abuse victim – characteristics that can only become more exaggerated when her parents and young brother die in a bloody massacre at their Irish home. Adopted by ubiquitous do-gooders Nat and Lucas, Niamh continues to insist that there were no murderers, that it was the House that did it (where have we heard that before?) and that the evil is likely to strike again at any time. As indeed it does. Only it’s at this point that the script writer seems to get really confused. Does she mean Niamh to be a protector and rescuer of abused children (cue violent death of Overweight, Abusive, Badly Dressed Village Mother) or a dangerous monster that will, if left unchecked, bring destruction and anarchy upon the whole valley?

Apparently Marina de Van just couldn’t bring herself to make up her mind between these two equally tempting possibilities.

Comparisons have already been made between Dark Touch and Carrie. Again, this is arrant nonsense. Brian de Palma’s film (as Stephen King’s novel before it) is a classic because of its incisive and brutal portrayal of high school bullying. The horror gets lathered on a bit after the bucket-of-pig’s-blood scene, this is true, and the bloody demise of Piper Laurie is just for the kids. But all the same, there is so much about Carrie (a decent screenplay, for a start, alongside marvellous performances by Amy Irving and John Travolta and of course Sissy Spacek herself) that remains resonant and affecting. Dark Touch is just stupid, period.

Banshee Chapter dir. Blair Erickson. Of the five films I saw, this was the only one that contained some discernably interesting ideas, that could actually have been a decent film if it had been imagined better. As it is, every spark of life in this movie is killed off more or less immediately by an unthinking and unnecessary reliance on overused horror tropes.

The film is inspired by the CIA-backed ‘MK-Ultra‘ project of the 50s and 60s, under whose auspices many hundreds of ordinary American civilians were subjected to voluntary and involuntary experiments in mind control, many of them involving dangerous hallucinogens. So far, so genuinely disturbing – similar stuff was going on here in the UK at Porton Down and is probably still going on (Gulf War Syndrome, anyone?) There are a multiplicity of crimes here that need exposing, not to mention a gold mine of conspiracy theories. Erickson’s movie presents us with the story of one James Hirsch, a young writer who decides to take one of the ‘Ultra’ drugs and record what happens. A scrap of surviving film footage shows James swiftly become paranoid and then terrified and then… absent. His college friend Anne, now a journalist for a successful online news outlet, is determined to find out what happened to him. She makes contact with the Burroughs-esque Thomas Blackburn, a counter-culture guru who, it would seem, procured the drug for James in the first place. And that’s where things begin to get silly.

There’s nothing new about Lovecraftian mystery stories, but there’s mileage in the mythos yet. My beef here is not with the concept as such, but with the hash that’s been made of it. Why are directors still pissing about with found footage horror? Blair Witch is fifteen years old now and enough already. And if they do have to use it, why oh why oh why do they have to succumb so readily to its most obvious cliches (jerky, static-infested camerawork, the main action occurring off to the side somewhere and the sequence cut short at the very moment something actually goes down)? Why does everything have to happen in the dark? (You’re in a top secret government bunker, not a garden shed – just turn on the light, for God’s sake.) Why does every film like this have to end up in a basement with someone going ‘no, no!’ and then shooting themselves? (This made me laugh in Chernobyl Diaries because the film makers were clearly revelling in the ridiculousness of it all – Erickson went for Woo this is Serious Shit and I was too annoyed to even raise a smile.)

If the director had taken the trouble to stop and think about his material and what might be made of it, he might have had a decent film on his hands. Instead he just reached for the obvious, the ready-made, the expected, and what we have as a result is another instantly forgettable found footage fiasco with no discernable merit whatsoever. Inaudible dialogue did nothing to salvage the situation, either.

Odd Thomas dir. Stephen Sommers. It’s a point of principle with me never to leave a film before the end, but I have to confess I only made it half way through this. The trains were dodgy because of the Bank Holiday, and I didn’t fancy being late home because of a film that could only ever play out as a cross between a rip-off of Stephen King’s Insomnia and an epiisode of Supernatural. CGI psychopomps. Time, waste of.

I’d love to be able to write these failures off as follies of youth – but you only have to consider the superior talents of Brit Marling, Sofia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides was made when she was not yet thirty) Ben Wheatley and Tom Kingsley (Black Pond was one of my favourite films of 2011) to see that youth is no bar to subtlety, originality or artistic flair. Anyway, many of the FF directors are mature film makers with a sizeable roster of movies to their name. So what’s the problem?

The problem, as I see it, lies not so much with individual directors as with the idea that there is an accepted way of ‘doing’ horror, that horror can be created simply by throwing a bunch of staple ingredients into a mixing pot, that a horror film is not so much a story as a series of effects, designed primarily to manipulate the audience into jumping in their seats when someone shouts boo.

This unthinkingly generic approach is killing horror. Rather than seeking out their own source material, or expanding on themes that properly excite their creativity, new and upcoming directors are turning instead to other horror films as their core inspiration. It’s no wonder that the results feel second hand. It’s difficult to fully appreciate now the impact that Texas Chainsaw and Night of the Living Dead had, on both audiences and other film directors, when they were originally released. But it doesn’t use up a great deal of research time to discover that these movies were made thirty-nine and forty-five years ago respectively.

I for one think it’s time we had some new iconography. It doesn’t take anything away from the classics. In fact it helps us appreciate them more for what they were.

And just as there is innovative and wonderful horror fiction still out there if you care to look for it, there is still exciting and original horror cinema. In the past year alone I have seen films that have delighted me and impressed me and would definitely withstand multiple viewings. Just off the top of my head:

Sightseers, dir. Ben Wheatley. An inimitably British offering, insanely inventive and bizarrely appealing. One of a kind. I loved it.

Stoker, dir. Chan-wook Park. A stunning film visually, intense, visceral, surreal. Amazing use of music. I’m anxious to see it again.

Agnosia, dir. Eugenio Mira. This was amazing – an off-the-wall high gothic drama of mistaken identity, false imprisonment, dastardly goings-on below stairs. I’m not sure it even had a theatrical release in the UK, which is a criminal shame. The cinematography alone makes it a must-see for anyone with a genuine interest in dark fantasy.

The Monk, dir. Dominik Moll. Sounds like it’s going to be just another horror movie, but it really isn’t. It’s weird, and unsettling, and beautiful, with a denouement that is as brilliant as it is unexpected. Bravo.

Byzantium, dir. Neil Jordan. Heartfelt commitment and genuine creative vision, plus a beautiful script, made a mini-masterpiece of this otherwise fairly conventional vampire story. I have such fond memories of seeing this, and look forward to adding the DVD to our collection.

Only God Forgives, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn. I loved Drive, and so was eager to see Refn’s follow-up and in fact I defected from FrightFest for a couple of hours on Friday to do just that. More horrifying than anything the FF programme had to offer, this is a total one-off. It’s terrifyingly tense, amazing to look at, reminded me a little of Gaspar Noe’s Enter the Void, but you can see it all in one go without losing consciousness. Makes Lynchian use of karaoke music. Ryan Gosling is brilliant. Kristin Scott Thomas is worth the price of entry all by herself.

So – the films are out there, but as with the best speculative fiction they tend to lurk in the borderlands. Often they’re not advertised as horror at all – because the concerns they express extend further and wider than can be expressed in a single word. These films are about characters, not effects. They tell stories, and they put the needs of the story before the demands of a label. They have nothing in common with the Hollywood idea of horror, nothing to do with the horror boom of the 1980s, nothing to do with anything but the original and passionate vision of their creators.

This is the kind of horror cinema I want to support, and from now on, as with the books I read, I’m going to make sure that this is where my money goes. I have no further interest in feeding the machine that is commercial horror. Machines are great at producing industrial quantities of identical product. Which kind of says it all really, doesn’t it?

Complications goes live!

Today is the official book birthday of Complications, the French edition of The Silver Wind, published by Editions Tristram.

Some of the reviews are already in, and they ain’t too shabby…

Nina Allan ne signe en rien un livre triste, mais un texte teinté du réenchantement du quotidien par une forme de magie. Cette force qui nous maintient en vie en nous rendant réceptif à la beauté des apparitions et des signes: l’amour, toujours. (VOGUE)

Raymond Queneau disait qu’«onpeut faire rimer des personages et des situations, comme on fait rimer des mots». Là reside l’étrange poésie émanant du recueil de Nina Allan, dans cette alchimie qui exerce un effet magnétique, tantôt effrayant, tantôt apaisant, sur le lecteur. Entreitérations et variations, ses nouvelles serépondent, en effet, à la manière d’une chambre d’écho et forment des rouages aussi indissociables que les différents éléments composant un mécanisme horloger. (LE MONDE)

Complications n’est pas un livre que l’on pitche mais un texte qui donne à penser, questionne, interroge ; l’oeuvre d’un cerveau complexe et virtuose. (LES INROCKUPTIBLES)

To be spoken of in the same breath as Queneau? Woo, I say. Woo.

Nina’s Crime Blog #2

Generation Loss, by Elizabeth Hand (2007)

(Those who read Crime Blog #1 will know I was intending Richard House’s The Kills to be my next excursion into the genre. I was just getting into it when we went to Spain – and anyone who’s seen the book in the flesh, so to speak, will understand why it wasn’t really practical to take it with me. So I took Generation Loss instead – much more acceptable in terms of the EasyJet baggage allowance. But fans of House fear not, The Kills will be featuring at this blog in due course.)

I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth Hand for quite some time now. I admire her writing greatly. I also sympathise with her preoccupations, which might loosely be described as the materials of obsession. Her characters are often loners, people who have become disaffected with society, who have fallen out with friends and lovers, who for one or other reason find themselves treading an unkempt path, often of their own making.  Above all, Hand is interested in art and artists, but where some might portray art as a curative, for Hand’s protagonists it is more likely to be a purgative, an expression of the rage that is at least a part of their personal predicament.

One of the other things I love about Hand’s writing is her particular approach to the fantastic. Her touch here is always subtle – a leaching away of normality rather than a full-throated plunge into the surreal – and at least a measure of what we take as ‘unreal’ in her stories comes down to the skewed viewpoints and preternatural talents of her characters. Hand’s place in the canon of the fantastic is deservedly secure, and well recognised, which is why it came as something of a surprise to me that Generation Loss was being marketed as crime, pure and simple, with no fantastical element.

I was eager to find out what Hand might do with reality in the raw.

Generation Loss introduces us to Cassandra Neary, famous for fifteen minutes in her early twenties as a precociously gifted photographer whose images of the New York punk scene both shocked and enthralled a public hungry for sensation. Now in her forties, Cass is a burnt out case. Working as a bookstore clerk and still determinedly hooked on addictive substances, she has neither the wish nor the stamina to restart her career. When a former associate offers her the chance to interview Aphrodite Kamestos, a once iconic photographer who is now a bitter recluse living on a desolate island off the coast of Maine, Cass says no. What changes her mind is not the generous paycheque on offer, but the thought of meeting Kamestos, whose groundbreaking work was Cass’s own core inspiration. But there are secrets buried on Paswegas, and Cass’s intrusion into the lives of the islanders will have deadly consequences.

So far as the writing is concerned, all Hand’s trademarks are here in force. The New York scenes are beautifully handled, but it is in the passages about the landscape of Maine that Hand truly shines. The sense of place evoked in this novel is a considerable achievement. Fans of Stephen King will inevitably be reminded of the bleakly closeted island ambience of Dolores Claibourne and ‘The Reach’ and even Storm of the Century. But Hand adds an extra edge of lyricism, a keenly sympathetic insight into the lives of the islanders and their understandable resentment of those ‘from away’. The beauty and the bleakness of Paswegas are given equal weight, and the small but compelling cast of characters come vividly alive on every page. I’ve held a longstanding ambtion to visit Maine, and Generation Loss reinforced it, big style.

An island community is the perfect setting for a crime story. All those buried emnities, coupled with the fact that you already have all your suspects conveniently gathered together in one place, gives the crime writer a ready and fascinating alternative to the cliche of the country house, and it’s no surprise to see a writer of Hand’s calibre manipulating these very elements with panache and skill.

With so much about this novel to admire, I was all the more disappointed that the book as a whole did not work for me.  From about the midway point it became uncomfortably clear that there were two stories in this novel, one subtle and resonant and deserving of closer scrutiny, the other cliched and unbelievable and demanding a Hollywood production company. I kept wishing it would bugger off and let me read more about Maine, and Cass, and photography. Unfortunately it monstered in and ate everything, leaving nothing in its wake but the sense that Generation Loss is yet another particularly tragic (because the writing is so effortlessly lovely) example of why thrillers are usually unsatisfactory as literature.

The true story of Generation Loss has nothing to do with Denny Ahearn. The true story of Generation Loss is the story of Cass and Aphrodite, Cass’s burnout, Aphrodite’s jealousy of her youth and talent, the conversation they should have had about that – and would have done, surely, had the ten-a-penny thriller plot not been allowed to become the driving force behind the action. Hand does her best to justify and give depth to what happens, but these efforts failed for me, because she had already killed off the most interesting character in the book, and because I never gave a damn about Denny, who is never a character so much as a necessary plot device:

Monstrous as he was, Denny was the real thing. So was his work. He really had built a bridge between the worlds, even if no one had ever truly seen it, besides the two of us. (p 317)

No he hadn’t – what Denny built was a freak room, the same as you see at the end of Silence of the Lambs and just about every serial killer thriller from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to The Shining Girls, the hidden chamber of memento mori that has become de rigeur in such dramas not through any real sense of story or narrative tension (these were killed off after about the twentieth time this tired old trope was employed) but because of the cod symbolism that passes for explanation of motive, and because those scenes, often played out in the half-dark, always look great on camera.

I finished Generation Loss deeply regretting the novel it should have been. That is, not a novel of generic crime fiction, but a novel about the corrosive nature of ambition and the damage it does to relationships, with other people and with the world. It’s unfair of me to twist someone else’s book to my own agenda, I know, especially as it’s precisely the very high quality of Hand’s writing that allows me to forget about the language and to focus instead on what I perceive as the novel’s problems.

But what I take away most of all from this book, apart from my continuing admiration for Hand’s talent and leading on directly from what I was saying in an earlier post about the inherent conservatism of the publishing world, is a feeling of concern. Concern about the commercial pressures brought to bear upon writers to produce stories that can be easily assimilated, stories, in other words, that we’ve all heard before.

Last night, Chris and I caught up with a movie we wanted to see but missed earlier in the year, Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines. The movie begins with Luke, a stunt motorcyclist (played by Ryan Gosling) who more or less accidentally discovers that he is a father. Wishing to play an active role in his baby son’s life, he throws over the itinerant carnival existence he has been leading and turns to bank robbery as a misguided way of making money to support his new family. We as audience know from the first that this is bound to end badly, and as we watch Luke speeding towards a police roadblock we believe we know everything there is to know about what comes next. We’ve seen so many other films like this, after all. Only as it turns out, we haven’t. The Place Beyond the Pines is as far from the by-the-numbers three-act Hollywood cop drama as it is possible to get. What we are offered instead is an original and arresting piece of work, beautifully scripted, powerfully acted and never afraid to be true to its own unique story. The plot, although it appears discursive, is actually masterfully structured – and solid gold proof that good stories are not rooted in formula, but in character, and landscape, and authentic mystery.

Could you call this film a crime drama? Yes, certainly. But more than that it is just a story about those people, full of surprises right up until the final frame, and so affecting and full of poetry that talking it over the following morning still brought tears to my eyes.

If stories like this prove anything, it’s that as writers we should have the courage to tell the stories we want to tell in the way we choose to tell them. Those are the kind of stories that catch fire.

They’re here…

Just a brief post to share some pictures of our two new kittens, Barney and Djanga. Some of you might remember I posted a photo of Djanga earlier in the year, when everyone thought she was a he and so her name was Django. Now very much unchained, we brought her home last Monday and her ‘step brother’ Barnaby arrived on Saturday.

Djanga is ENORMOUS, even for a Maine Coon – it’s almost impossible to believe she’s just fourteen weeks old. Barney may be a little smaller, but he seems determined to make up for it by being louder and as someone who’s shared her life with four Siamese cats in the past I can confirm that he’s absolutely typical of the breed, i.e already bent on world domination. Both cats are remarkable – confident, intelligent, responsive and hugely affectionate. We’re especially proud of the way they’ve each accepted their surrogate litter-mate. Following a somewhat tense 48-hour standoff, they’re now a team. Perhaps we should have called them Bonnie and Clyde…

See what I mean? World domination.

Criminal tendencies, definitely.

The Race to NewCon

A day or so before setting off for CelsiusCon I had a rather exciting phone call. The person on the line was Ian Whates, founder and director of NewCon Press. He was calling to say he’d just finished reading my novel The Race and wanted to discuss it with me. To cut a long story short, Ian loves the book, and we’ve now agreed a deal for NewCon to publish it. The novel will be released next summer, with an official launch at the Worldcon in London.

To say I’m over the moon about this is something of an understatement. This book has been a long time coming, it’s very close to my heart, and contains the best of my writing to date. It’s genuinely thrilling to know that people are finally going to get the chance to read it.

Equally thrilling is Ian’s enthusiasm for the book, his obvious commitment to publishing it with love and care. Ian has published stories of mine before, including my collection Microcosmos for NewCon Press’s Imaginings series, so he clearly knew something of what he would be getting when he opened the manuscript. But when we spoke on the phone, one of the first (and most pleasing) things Ian said to me was that even if he’d never read a word of my stuff before, reading The Race would have convinced him on the spot.

The world of publishing today is fraught with problems. Cutbacks in the support industries (publishers’ readers, sales reps, in-house copyediting) and a general unease and uncertainty around the changes wrought by the introduction of new media are certainly not helping, but the biggest hurdle faced by new novelists, it seems to me, is the general risk-averseness of the larger publishers. I sometimes get the feeling that commissioning editors for the big houses don’t really want to mess with novelty, they want more of the same thing they bought last week, only slightly different. A product they know already they can sell, in other words. And so bland orthodoxies are born.

I do have some sympathy with their predicament. Having worked at the selling end of the book industry for some years, I know something of the devilish difficulty that exists in persuading punters to take a chance on a new name, a new imprint, a new approach to writing. I’m certainly not one of those writers who insist that the ‘big boys’ are out to get them, to suppress new talent and innovation wherever they find it, because that’s clearly rubbish, a sentiment too often expressed by those who haven’t yet perfected their end of the deal – the damned book, in other words – sufficiently to have it seriously considered as a publishable prospect. But there is a certain nervousness abroad, particularly at the edge of genre, that can feel frustrating when you encounter it, a conservatism that’s just a little too… conservative.

That’s why having the support of a publisher like NewCon Press is such a valuable gift. Ian Whates knows the genre and he knows the business. I know he’ll do great things for The Race, and I sincerely hope The Race will do great things for him.

I’ve created a new page for The Race here at this site, where you can read a brief outline of the novel and a bit about how it came to be written. I’ll be adding more details – cover images, pre-ordering information etc – as they become available.

Celsius 232

We’ve just returned from Aviles, in the Asturias region of Spain, after a very special weekend as guests of the festival of fantastic literature and film known as Celsius 232 (that’s Fahrenheit 451 in new money). We enjoyed a marvellous welcome from the festival’s organizers, and the level of interest and involvement on the part of those attending was exceptional. I was surprised and delighted to find that Stardust and Spin and The Silver Wind have all made their own small inroads into Spanish territory. German Menendez, who conducted the two-hander interview with me and Lauren Beukes on the Thursday, was amazingly well prepared and insightful, which made my first experience of appearing at an international festival a great pleasure as well as a privilege.

The highlight of the weekend for me though was meeting and talking with Spanish fans of my work and of fantastic literature generally, and I want to say a very special thank you to Yolanda, Sofia, both Susanas, Sergio, Felix and Pablo among many others for helping to make our time in Aviles so warmly memorable. (NB: you can read an interview I did with Yolanda Espineira here at Sense of Wonder.) Huge thanks also to Ian Watson and Cristina Macia for inviting us, and to our superhuman interpreter, Diego Garcia Cruz, without whom none of this would have been possible. It was a great gig.

After all, what could be better than watching Jason and the Argonauts on an open-air screen in a Spanish town on a summer’s evening, and finding out you’re still a little bit scared of Talos..?

 

 

 

Being interviewed by Yolanda - photo Chris Priest