Film critic, novelist and photographer. Likes frites, beer and chocolate. Lives in Brussels.

What makes a Water Cooler Movie? — 1) Genre Thrillers (Gone Girl, Basic Instinct, Fatal Attraction, Jagged Edge) are more likely to attain Water Cooler Movie status than, say, superhero movies or action films. It helps to have at least one strong female character - unless you want the ensuing media debate to be all-male, which, let's face it, isn't nearly as much fun, and cuts out half your potential audience at a stroke.

a ghost story: Anne Billson: Books — The Ex: a ghost story: Anne Billson: Books Anne Billson: Books — Stiff Lips: Anne Billson: Books Anne Billson: Books — Buy Suckers by Anne Billson (ISBN: 9781502547507) from Amazon's Book Store. Free UK delivery on eligible orders.

Hugh Grant: the most undervalued actor of his generation? — Meanwhile, his Hollywood career got off to a dismal start with Chris Columbus's cackhanded Nine Months, in which unplanned pregnancy throws him and Julianne Moore into an unfunny tizzy. Two weeks before its premiere in 1995, Grant was arrested near Sunset Boulevard while being pleasured in his car by a prostitute called Divine Brown.

Taking the lead: why every film is better with a dog — What do you get when you pair Tom Hardy with a dog called Rocco? Screen magic! Only cynophobics and Hardy haters will be able to resist the combination of Brando-esque shambling and puppy-nuzzling that takes centre-stage in The Drop - adapted by Dennis Lehane from his own story, Animal Rescue, and a creditable English language debut for Belgian director Michaël Roskam.

Lindsay Lohan: can the bad girl come good? — Disney signed her to a three picture deal, starting with another remake, the amusing body-swap comedy Freaky Friday, in which she proved to be a precocious comedienne and clever mimic (she has to impersonate her own mother, played by Jamie Lee Curtis).

Toilet roles: great lavatorial moments in film — In Julianne Moore's astonishing performance as an ageing Hollywood actress in David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars - out now - as an ageing Hollywood actress, amid the astonishing display of naked egotism, neurotic insecurity and brutal close-ups, one scene stands out as even more fearless than the others.

CAT OF THE DAY 009: SLEEPWALKERS — CAT OF THE DAY 009: SLEEPWALKERS (1992) "Sleep'walk'er n. Nomadic shapeshifting creatures with human and feline origins. Vulnerable to the deadly scratch of the cat, the sleepwalker feeds upon the lifeforce of virginal human females. Probable source of the vampire legend." - Chillicoathe Encyclopedia of Arcane Knowledge, 1st edition, 1884.

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, Grand Place, Brussels, review: 'match made in heaven' — Katharine Hepburn once said of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, "he gives her class, and she gives him sex appeal." The same could be said of Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. He's a living legend, one of the classic American voices and master of the sort of deceptively laid-back delivery that takes a lifetime to pull off.
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Oct 21, 2014

@Ruby_Stevens All in good time. In fact, I should be resolving a major plot problem RIGHT NOW instead of twittering. See ya! xx

Oct 21, 2014

@mattleys And gets up everyone's danders. No, gets the people's danders up. No, hoists the Gentian danders. Whatever.

Oct 21, 2014

@Ruby_Stevens I am still "finishing" a novel I started in 1996. Should probably give up, but am VERY pigheaded. I WILL make it work!

Oct 21, 2014

@mattleys Wish I could take credit, but you know, the light in Flanders...

Oct 21, 2014

@Ruby_Stevens Now I'm excited! Gonna have to write it, aren't I. Probably best done fast b/c when I stop & think too hard it takes YEARS.

Oct 21, 2014

@Ruby_Stevens Or roles reversed! A dapper homme fatale in a suit, and a slinky villain! Because my photographer will be female, of course.

Oct 21, 2014

The Man on the Balcony. I was more preoccupied with a) the light b) cropping the four lanes of traffic between us.

Oct 21, 2014

@Ruby_Stevens I do worry that one day I'll inadvertently take photos of a massive drug deal, or an assassination.

Oct 21, 2014

Love it when you take photos of buildings & only later do you notice the man standing on the balcony. Unless of course HE WAS NEVER THERE.

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