Saturday, October 01, 2016

A Pleasant Terror: The Life and Ghost of M.R. James

If you enjoy the ghost stories of M.R. James then I recommend A Podcast to the Curious.

They have finally exhausted James's published writings, but say at the end of the latest edition that they will continue by looking at the work of the writers who influenced him.

One of the links they give this time is to this 1995 dramatised documentary about James's life and work. It is notable for the high quality of its talking heads - Ruth Rendell, Ronald Blythe, Jonathan Miller.

The film is narrated by Bill Wallis. I remember him as a stalwart of the satirical Week Ending on Radio 4 and also as Hamlet in a Michael Bogdanov production in Leicester in the 1970s. He gave the play's most famous soliloquy sitting on the edge of the stage with a sandwich and a plastic cup of coffee.

Oh, and M.R. James himself is played by Michael Elwyn.

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