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Whistle and I'll Come To You
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Author:  Pete [ Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:43 am ]
Post subject:  Whistle and I'll Come To You

Updated version of the M. R. James classic, starring John Hurt, 9.00 on BBC2 on Christmas Eve.

Good to see a seasonal ghost story (the only other horror I've found in the terrestrial TV schedules over the festive season is the Paris Hilton "Waxworks"), but I read this line in the TV Times feature on the programme and shuddered:-

'But where Hordern's* ghost was little more than a malevolent bedsheet, this version leaves much more to the imagination.'

Such hubris.

*Michael Hordern who starred in a previous version.

Author:  Ray [ Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:04 am ]
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For the first time in a while I wish I had a TV.

Author:  Pete [ Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:08 am ]
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Don't be silly Ray. You can find pictures of Paris Hilton anywhere on the internet, and "Whistle" will probably wash up on the iPlayer or whatever they call it.

Author:  Ray [ Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:10 pm ]
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She's on the internet??? Brilliant! \:D/

She kept that quiet, shy little thing.

And according to Black Static 6, she reads the magazine. Hmm...

Author:  Ray [ Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:11 pm ]
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I should point out that the emoticon is supposed to be dancing.

Author:  Pete [ Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:16 pm ]
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Quote:
Ray wrote:-
And according to Black Static 6, she reads the magazine. Hmm...


I'm doing an all female Case Notes next issue, to celebrate Women in Horror Recognition Month.

Not yet time to reveal who the featured author will be... :roll:

Author:  Ray [ Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:41 pm ]
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Didn't know there was such a month. When's the men's one? :shock:

Author:  Pete [ Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:23 pm ]
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All the others.

Author:  Ray [ Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:21 pm ]
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Maybe an all female author issue regarding the stories to coincide?

This may have been mentioned before, but how does the same stand in the sci-fi genre?

Author:  Pete [ Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:47 pm ]
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Quote:
Ray wrote:-
Maybe an all female author issue regarding the stories to coincide?


I suspect that would be problematic given the rate at which Andy accepts stories.

My impression re SF is that there are marginally more women being published in that genre than horror, but nowhere near parity.

Author:  Paul Woodward [ Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:29 pm ]
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Getting back on topic I'm quite looking forward to the Ghost story on Christmas Eve.
Especially as the Dirk Gently adaptation didn't do anything for me last week. Let's hope this one isn't a damp squib?

Author:  Vaughan [ Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:02 am ]
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Did anyone else see this? I must admit to having been disappointed. John Hurt was excellent, as ever, but for me the original was superior in every respect. The modern-day setting seemed to work against this version, although some of the nursing home sequences were quite creepy.

And um, did I miss something, but where was the whistle?

Author:  Paul Woodward [ Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:41 am ]
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Yes, I thought it was disappointing too. Too much of it was shot in the dark.

Author:  Pete [ Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:08 pm ]
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I didn't think it was too darkly shot at all. It wasn't as good as I'd hoped, but rather better than I'd feared. It had little to do with the James' story beyond the title (before leaving the home, Hurt whispers in his wife's ear, 'Whistle, and I'll come for you!' Kudos to them for not making it a total Bogart/Bacall moment by having him add, 'You know how to whistle?'). I didn't see much need for the ring, and I thought showing the wife on the bed at the end was a misjudgement, made his fears too tangible. Overall though I felt it worked well as a psychological ghost story, with Hurt's character confronting the possibility of something much more terrible than a mere haunting and having his own scientific rationalism undermined. Some quite eerie moments too, even if the best of them were borrowed from Japanese horror and "The Haunting".

Last year the Beeb gave us a psychological take on "The Turn of the Screw", so revisions of classic ghost stories seems to be the course they're set on.

Author:  Paul Woodward [ Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:04 pm ]
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When I wrote too much of it was shot in the dark I was thinking specifically of the bedroom scenes when it does seem to me to be pitch black and I can't see a thing, and it goes on for a long time. I was straining to see something, even anything at all but it was pitch black. There was not even a crackle of static to break up the black.
I believe a filmakers skill is to have ambient light so that we are aware that the scene is in the dark but so that we can actually see what is going on. And I couldn't. I didn't think the BBC went in for dogmatic realism like that?
There were creepy moments but they took place in the light fortunately.
I was left thinking it was an awkward hybrid between a tv play and a radio play.

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