Monday, 20 August 2012

Ghost Stories for Christmas

Well, this year's Christmas present is sorted.  The BFI are releasing all the BBC adaptations of MR James' ghost stories on a series of  DVDs.  These were a real highlight of festive season television.  Personal favourites are The Treasure of Abbot Thomas and A Warning to the Curious.  A more recent adaptation that was highly effective was A View from a Hill, which is only available in the 5-DVD set coming out in October.  Unfortunately that one also includes the hugely disappointing 're-imagining' of [Oh]Whistle and I'll Come to You [my Lad] with John Hurt that irritated me a couple of Christmases ago (see earlier post).  However, we did have the creepy pleasure earlier this year of seeing Robert Lloyd Parry's excellent interpretation of that story on stage at the White Rock Theatre, including the ingenious use of a large pocket handkerchief.  Also included in the bunch of releases are the outstanding Dickens adaptation The Signalman with Denholm Elliott, one of the most atmospheric films I've ever seen, coupled with related spooky late-70s tv films Stigma (never seen it, but anything with standing stones is a must-see) and The Ice House (similarly unseen).

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