From Angels to the Angel


Off to London today for costume fittings — some of our lead actors in my new film, THE NORTHLEACH HORROR, will be trying on clothes, and it’s my first chance to meet a couple of them, Raechel McGinn and Freddie Fox. Fitting at Angels, the top cossie shop, and then off to the Angel, Islington, to crash on the couch of an agreeable ex-student. I’ll be back tomorrow around midnight. Maybe I’ll even have seen a movie I can write about.

Yesterday was spent on the set, where we are transforming a big square room in the old Royal High School into a subterranean laboratory in Gloucestershire in 1941. Thanks to amazing favours by location owners, props houses and a talented crew working for between nothing and next-to-nothing, work progressed well, apart from one poor volunteer gluing his thumb to his forefinger. With tragic irony, his attempts to signal the problem resulted only in an “A-OK” gesture.

He’s fine now — a little surgical spirit is the thing, if you ever get into this jam.

You’ll be hearing a lot about this film of mine in the coming weeks/months/years, but rather than bore you with that before we’ve properly started making it, here’s a link to a fabulous article on Bernard Natan, just published in The Guardian by Pamela Hutchinson of Silent London. It makes favourable mention of NATAN, the film Paul Diane and I made on the subject, which is available to order on


13 Responses to “From Angels to the Angel”

  1. henryholland666 Says:

    You’re making Freddie Fox wear clothes?!?! For shame, for. shame.

    Just finished a Claude Chabrol mini-marathon thanks to TCM. Must say, not really impressed overall. While I liked “Le Beau Serge” (especially the last 10 minutes or so) and especially “Story of Women”, I intensely disliked “Les Cousins”, thought that “Masques” had all the subtlety of a kick in the head and didn’t like “La Cérémonie” at all. If that was supposed to be a critique of the rural bourgeois, it failed because I was rooting for the family in the villa, not the two friends who suddenly warm to the use of shotguns.

  2. Try La Rupture.

    Freddie agreed to wear clothes if it was essential to the plot.

  3. Everything about this is brilliant.

  4. What an amazing young fellow he is. An aura of positivity is generated by his presence which lingers.

  5. Try Marie-Chantal contre le Dr. Kha and A Girl Cut in Two

  6. As with Rohmer, there are many films typifying the familiar style, and quite a few bizarre outliers which may please those who don’t respond so much to the usual pattern.

  7. henryholland666 Says:

    On the other hand, I watched S. Ray’s Pather Panchali last night and loved it to bits. I’m going to watch the other two parts of the Apu trilogy today.

  8. I think they only get better, if anything!

    How’s that for a co-inky-dunk? I get back from London (a ten-hour drive and we were damned lucky to do it that fast) and there are two packages. One is five copies of NATAN from Lobster Films, and the other is the Apu Trilogy, a gift from the lovely people at Criterion.

  9. henryholland666 Says:

    Just finished watching Aparajito, it’s a worthy second part of the trilogy. There was a note at the end saying the original negatives of the trilogy had been in a fire, it’s an amazing restoration job they’ve done (TCM showed the Criterion edition).

  10. henryholland666 Says:

    Just finished watching Apur Sansar, I’d have to say it’s my least favorite of the three (though I still liked it a lot). For me, the biggest problem was I didn’t believe Apu’s transformation from bereft wanderer in to willing father at the end, it all felt a little too pat and “Hollywood”.

    So glad to have finally seen all three movies, I’ve known of their sterling reputation for years.

  11. henryholland666 Says:

    I finished off TCM’s S. Ray mini-festival last night with The Music Room, loved it. It helps that I’m a huge Ravi Shankar/Ali Akbar Khan/sitar fan (the Ravi Shankar concert I went to at Disney Hall was mind-blowing), but I thought the script was excellent, there were some fantastic directorial touches (especially with mirrors) and I loved the ending.

    I’ll definitely seek out more of his movies, recommendations welcomed.

  12. Days and Nights in the Forest?

    I got a full lecture on the history of the Apu elements when I visited Criterion. It’s an incredible tale, and the effort that’s gone into making the films whole again was truly gargantuan.

  13. Chabrol recommendations: Les Bonnes Femmes, Le Boucher, Violette

    Satyavit Ray: Nayak, Devi, Company Limited

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