In the right hand former entrance to the station under the hotel at St Pancras several carvings of mythical creatures. The wyvern was used as an emblem of the Midland Railway so I guess that’s what these are.

Juno and the Paycock (1930)

I’ve seen a lot of films and this is one of the worst I have ever seen. If a film as static and talky and irritating as this turns up on Talking Pictures TV I stop watching but I was obliged to finish this. I even at one point said I’d rather watch Frenzy which is really saying something.

I’m aware it is a relatively faithful adaptation of the play and I think that is particularly where the problem lies. It is so stagey with actors proclaiming rather than acting. And to anybody who argues there are Hitchcockian touches, there aren’t. Early sound films didn’t have to be like this.

One ironic thing is that I was dismayed that Barry Fitzgerald was in it and it turned out that he wasn’t the worst thing about it. The casting was odd too – you have members of the Abbey Theatre and…Edward Chapman younger than his son, John Laurie, and talking of John Laurie…One thing that actually did tickle me was the fact that John Laurie appears to have been the Sean Connery of his day by dint of the fact he didn’t even try to hide his Scottish accent.

Appearance by a cat or dog: reversed shot of a cat climbing up/down a lamppost
Alma fact: scenario by
Source: Film First DVD

Cupar politics

Cupar is a nice middle-class town in Fife. It is in the constituency of North East Fife (previously East Fife). Prior to the 2015 election it swung from Conservative/Unionist to Liberal/Liberal Democrat over periods lasting decades. It was actually the constituency of the early 20th century Liberal prime minster Herbert Asquith and of the recent Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell. Then it all changed.

Conservative Club
Liberal Democrats
SNP North East Fife Centre

Victoria Line motifs

One of things I love about the London Underground is its visual identity which is all over the place. It’s so quirky because the lines all developed in different ways with different origins. The Victoria Line was built after the system was nationalised. Anyway, it was decided that all the stations should have their own tiled motifs set in the bench recesses. Here are a few of them.
Blackhorse Road tiles
Seven Sisters tiles
Highbury & Islington tiles
Warren Street tiles

Blackmail (1929)

I watched the sound version and the silent version ages ago and enjoyed them both. I preferred Anny Ondra when she was silent because the dubbing is all wrong. Joan Barry was far too posh. The knife scene works well both ways but I have to say the sound version is very clever. Hitchcock has turned into Hitchcock.

I love the glimpses of London in the twenties we get particularly those seen during Alice’s walk of misery after the murder.

Appearance by a cat or dog: none
Transport: motor vehicles
Source: The Early Hitchcock Collection (Optimum Releasing)/Erpressung (Arthaus)

The Freshman

Wow, rather like Buffy being a freshman, that was awkward. Getting back into the Buffyverse wasn’t as smooth as I assumed it would be. Being re-immersed in a pop/culture world where Buffy references Dada and Xander knows about the Renaissance but Buffy doesn’t is a bit of a shock. It’s very stylised and arch, and a bit irritating.

That said, I am looking forward to getting back into it because there are some crackers coming up by anybody’s standards. I love, love, love several episodes of season 4.

Random notes: I remember liking Sunday more; Klimt versus Monet still funny; Willow has nice hair; would a lecturer be that mean?; when will I ever not wince at the word “bitch”?; the location for UC☼D is lovely; watching it 16:9 with a technical eye does expose framing issues.

The Manxman (1929)

I’m not a fan of romantic films and I generally don’t care a wit for love triangles and if the points of the triangle are as desperately dull as they are in this, I definitely don’t care.

I’m struggling to find reasons to like this or moments of genius because of the director but I’m failing. Sorry, Alfred, but this is down around position 52.

I concede this sequence looked great

Appearance by a cat or dog: one dog
Transport: fishing boats
Source: The Early Hitchcock Collection (Optimum Releasing)