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ME AND MARTIN SCORSESE
October and November have been interesting months. Apart from going to New York in October, I got to meet Michael Moorcock in London (something which I’ll save for another post) but I also was lucky enough to go to an event at BAFTA in London to commemorate the reissue of Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom, the critical reaction to which caused Powell to stop making films in the UK. It is 50 years since its release and it is coming to Blu-Ray after a cinema rerelease on November 19th. The event at BAFTA was introduced first by Professor Ian Christie, who used to work at the BFI, Thelma Schoonmaker, Michael Powell’s widow, and finally by Martin Scorsese, who has been instrumental in getting the film rereleased over the past three decades. I go to lots of press screenings and press events but this was different as it was a BAFTA event and so it was a little bit more exclusive. Even though we didn’t get to speak to Scorsese, it was fantastic even to be in the same room as him and I did get a couple of really good shots of him in the BAFTA cinema. Peeping Tom was definitely a film ahead of its time as it deals with voyeurism and lack of privacy in modern society and watching it now is a wonderful time capsule of London in the late fifties. Karlheinz Böhm or Carl Boehm as the central figure, Mark Lewis, the man obsessed with photographing the world around him, is suitably creepy while Anna Massey as his girlfriend, Helen Stephens, is very watchable on screen. Powell’s direction is very assured and the script and plot still have something to say even five decades after its release. If anything, what it has to say is even more relevant now than it was back in 1960. Peeping Tom is a great social document and, if you are able to catch it at the cinema when it gets rereleased from 19th November, it’s recommended. A must for serious cinephiles…
http://www.optimumreleasing.com/

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN (PART TWO)
On the Saturday, we went from Taunton west to Exmoor, which straddles Somerset and Devon and is amazing. I’ve never been to Exmoor so I thought this was a great opportunity to go there. Exmoor is incredible because you can go miles without seeing towns or houses which is uncommon in England and you drive through forest, gorseland and open grassland. We spotted a deserted house on the edge of Exmoor and we stopped briefly to have a quick look. It looked eerily gothic standing by a field. Then we made our way to the first place we wanted to visit: the Tarr Steps, near Dulverton in Somerset. The Tarr Steps is a bridge of sorts across the River Barle and is made of stones sitting on top of each other. It’s not a large bridge or even what we would consider to be a bridge these days but it is in a very pretty setting. Legend has it that the bridge exists because someone made a bet with the Devil. Its age is uncertain with some people claiming it dates from 1000BC while others say that it is actually only as old as 1400 AD. Regardless, it was interesting to visit and the weather was absolutely perfect. Once we left Tarr, we made our way up north, through Exmoor, past people on a hunt and hunt saboteurs a little further from them. I was struck by how open this part of Exmoor was with huge swatches of open ground, looking sweeping and dramatic. It was such a contrast to the part of the moor down near the Tarr Steps. We even passed a few Exmoor ponies. I am going to save the second part of our day on Saturday for the next post because our trip to Lynton/ Lynmouth was also amazing, so here are a few photos of Exmoor and the Tarr Steps…