Monday, 29 April 2013


Sweat trickles like liquid down to his lip,

And off the tip

Of his chin, on to her breasts.

They exchange a disdainful look,

As if to except that the end is near.

A second ago, her eyes were closed,

Slammed tight.

Head back,

As her back slid up and down the mattress,

And her mouth had whimpered and whispered

It’s way through gentle, interior pulsations.

Then and now.

How thin a veil between moments?

C.P.S courtesy of inside Shadows protected by copyright 2013

Wednesday, 10 April 2013


I woke up with a cigarette burn on my shoe and another on my mind.  My head is brown and knackered like the Fire Marine Charter which peeps out of the fog on the River Medway.  Thoughts are rusty. My memory has abandoned me.  Faces stretch out to remind me but I find I've found a recollection only to lose it again.  There was a Japanese man..? I remember he was on his hands and knees stacking something on the pavement.  He was stacking cigarette butts which can't be the right thing to do?  I shook hands with a girl, hair the colour of healthy soil but slick like bubble bath and I forget what I agreed too.  Then the Sun went down and I sunk with it. 
C.P.S courtesy of inside Shadows protected by copyright 2013

Saturday, 6 April 2013


What will happen to forlorn coastal towns

With their beige stone houses and discoloured posters?

They are like used coasters on the map of England.

The brown stains of time encircling their existence.

The beaches beg company,

The dunes overdue courting couples,

And their reeds bouncing dutifully in the wind for no one to see.

If sadness needed a place to retire,

We fear we may have found it.

C.P.S courtesy of inside Shadows protected by copyright 2013

Friday, 5 April 2013


We saw a man smiling to himself, watching a laptop and  thought it’s a great invention: the smile.  What a wonderful piece of art is created each time we are content, every time we are touched.  Girls smile when they talk of surprise gifts for their boyfriend’s birthday; retired folk smile because they get to watch the sunrise then go back to bed if they choose; children smile when they break wind; dogs smile when they run until they are breathless.  Perhaps you are smiling now as you read this? 

We saw the opposite to this also.  Well perhaps not the opposite but let’s not be pedantic.  He was a builder in his fifties; had been since his teens perhaps and he had a face like crumpled baking paper.  His face was so sunken into his skull that it may as well have been at the bottom of the sea.  His stomach hung over his belt like an overhang of snow on a rooftop and he was as grey as his lungs.  We’re fairly sure he was the sort of man who didn't really see the point of anything much.  He would be miffed by things like puppies; Christmas; the excitement of a haircut; chocolate sprinkles.

We’re not sure what would get that face lit up again, for it must have been, once upon a time when he was a kid.  But somehow we found this just as beautiful…the wonder of the frown.

C.P.S courtesy of inside Shadows protected by copyright 2013

Vanity Over Value

The film-making world seems to have gone mad. The emphasis appears to be on gloss (dross?); pristine images and virtuosic visuals.  As long as the movie looks sharp and slick, and is three dimensionally close enough to lick and coated in a crispiness worthy of (CGI'd) autum leaves; factors such as plot and character seem to have become all but secondary, if not redundant. 

Even a vast amount of indie films appear to have abandoned their rawness in favour of the flash and the flush, so when directors aren't arguing the toss over a fraction of a fraction of a frame, because they can eradicate imperfections with the touch of a tablet; they are smothering their 'storylines' in tsumanis or flaming infernos instead, just because the technology is available to do so. Apparently. I'm still yet to see one that looks convincing. But that aside, a flying, flapping  gargoyle which has been added (forced) into the plot merely because one has the programme to create it, is always going to feel exactly what it is: redundant, no matter how nicely it's been done.

None of which is the end of the world of course; but for all this perfection and gimmickry what have we gained? More importantly what might we have lost? Have we forgotten story? Are we not perhaps undermining the true power of film: the simple but effective art of attacking an audience with characters who embark on a journey; who learn about themselves and teach us about ourselves in return?  That has nothing to do with technical triumphs or glossy, skin-deep depictions.

Where are the classics? Will the vein of film I'm hinting at above still be discussed in half a century's time? Probably not.  Because if the movie's main selling feature is it's contemporary look and visual effects, won't they surely be left behind by the rapid evolution of such technology?  

It seems to me that the one attribute which can guarantee a film's longevity is it's ability to convey, as best it can, the human condition, which will always be timeless and thus still appeal to future audiences.  

I was asking myself the question at an anniversary screening of Jaws: what is it that makes audiences return to this movie over and over again? Certainly it’s a master class in film making (and of course is still powerful enough to have people running from the first bit of suspect seaweed to brush against your paddling feet) - but then so are many movies. However, nearly 40 years later and with special effects that have clearly dated the story and the characters remain as fresh as the very people sat next to us in the cinema.

The community on the island of Amity are evocative, colourful, realistic, complex, flawed and intriguing. They do not exist simply to be sacrificed for the plot. They have their own fears and agendas, are both selfish and selfless at times and display moments of tenderness & anger in equal measure.

This is the human angle which is missing from so many visual / technically tantalizing films: characters are regularly created merely to be disposed of, scenes thrown together, the only function of which is to grab the audience’s attention. They are the microwave meals of the celluloid world: people will always buy them and enjoy them (AND THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT), but just like their gastric counter parts they are as forgettable as they are feeble. The problem comes when the visuals and the effects are  given priority over everything else.  More often than not, the results are a string of scenes strung together, regularly splattered with unnecessary SFX whose purpose it is to distract. This montage of monotony is made to make money and it does. But it won’t enjoy longevity in my opinion. 

Compare Jaws with Deep Blue Sea or Night of The Living Dead with Quarantine even Alien with Prometheus.  The originals weren’t just monster movies, nor were they just monster hits…they were also thoughtful, well thought out, layered stories about people caught in a particular situation. When people used to refer to three dimensional films this is what they were talking about.