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

Are you addicted to a fantasy world? — George Lucas might have created Star Wars, but the world that George built belongs to the fans now. Last month, predictably, there was an online stampede to get a fix of the new teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens , followed by obsessive parsing of every last frame in a quest for additional information to add to the fans' already extensive knowledge of the Lucasverse.

Bad news: Universal is 'reimagining' its classic monsters — But surely, these films were already more "action-adventure" than horror - degenerating into incontinent montages of thinly-drawn characters leaping around amid wall-to-wall CGI and jitterbug editing, as though the film-makers were terrified of dialling the action down for a few seconds in case their ADD-afflicted audiences got bored.

Why is there no sex in Christopher Nolan's films? — Interstellar has many things. It has impending doom, and poltergeist activity, and space travel, and robots, and a wormhole, and a black hole, and a whole bunch of other beezer ingredients. One thing it doesn't have, though, is sex. When I say "sex", I don't mean Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway should take off their spacesuits and start bonking.

Is Michael Caine Britain's most important film star? — Caine was the Sixties, or so it would later seem. After seeing active service in Korea, he spent a decade slogging away in regional theatre or playing bit parts on film and TV.

Anne Billson | Movie close-ups in the Botox era | Film | The Guardian — Towards the end of The Leopard, there's a 20-second close-up, in which Burt Lancaster stares into a mirror and a tear runs down his cheek. And we feel his pain. It's of a different order to the close-ups in The Expendables, where the beaten-up mugs of Sylvester Stallone and Mickey Rourke have evidently known pain, but we don't share it.

Film noir posters: the art of smoking guns and bared flesh — Gone Girl may have all the hallmarks of a modern film noir, but it falls sadly short in one crucial respect: the poster. Whether it's photographs of evidence bags, Ben Affleck having vertical hold problems against a brooding sky, or Affleck with Rosamund Pike on a mortician's slab, the ad campaign is cool, clever - and a bit dull.

Manhattan in the movies: a history — Ghostbusters begins at another Manhattan landmark - the main building of the New York Public Library with its flanking stone lions, at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. The library also had a starring role in the disaster movieThe Day After Tomorrow when Jake Gyllenhaal and his fellow students seek refuge from a tsunami, and are then obliged to burn books to try and keep warm in the super-blizzard that follows.

Horror: the film genre where men don't have all the fun — It's that time of the year again, when articles like Top Ten Ghosts, The Spookiest Movies Ever Made and Why Do We Enjoy Being Scared? start crawling out of the woodwork.

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: 9781502546760: Books

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Dec 20, 2014

@Dukenfield I THOUGHT it was weird you clearly knew the film, but not the quote! (No apology necessary) x

Dec 20, 2014

@Mick196622 If it wasn't already 2am I'd start in on that b/c a) I can never resist a lyric challenge b) it's easier than working. G'night!

Dec 20, 2014

@Mick196622 I always KNEW my body clock was not an Earth one.

Dec 20, 2014

@Mick196622 Now Deader! Now Zombo! Now Frankie and Nixon! Ho ho ho!

Dec 20, 2014

@Mick196622 Please post pics of your undead goats. They sound adorable.

Dec 20, 2014

RT @DailyGrindhouse: Happy birthday to lovely Jenny Agutter! Here she is in AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON:

Dec 20, 2014

RT @Mulboyne: Chaos at Tokyo Station as thousands try to buy limited edition 100 year anniversary Suica cards…

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