[Epub] ➛ Shepperton Babylon ➜ Matthew Sweet – Bassgrotto.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Shepperton Babylon

  1. says:

    Although the title of this book would infer that the main subject is Shepperton Studios one of Britain s film production sites , it s really a general history of British film with an emphasis on the silents and the mid century golden age The majority of silent movies produced by the British film industry are gone forever with few remembering the stars and directors who made them Since I knew next to nothing about these with the exception of the Hitchcock silents , the reading was most interesting.The stories show excellent research and several in person interviews with some of the centenarians now gone And as with the notorious stories of the Hollywood Silent Era, there were equal amounts of tragedy across the pond John Marlborough East was voted the Greatest British Film Player in 1916, yet just eight years later he was forgotten and died an agonizing gangrenous death after stepping on a rusty nail Anita Fay Tipping was a background dancer who was sitting in Donald Calthrop s dressing room when she accidentally set herself on fire and died after ten hours of burnt pain Others died in alcoholic misery, either all al...


  2. says:

    If you re looking for a serious history of British Film making then I wouldn t recommend this book but if you already have some knowledge and you re interested in the gossip then you would probably enjoy it This was a book club choice and therefore not something that I would have chosen myself, however, I did look forward to reading it The problem for me was that the author assumed the reader had than a basic knowledge already and I didn t There s lots of interesting information, lots of people, names, anecdotes, gossip and titilation Just because of the sheer volume of people mentioned you do need to concentrate to remember who was who Whilst I enjoyed the author s humour, sometimes I did find his writing style a little heavy going with many very long sentences I got fed up having to frequently look up words, so I stopped doing it, which I wish I had done sooner, as it was no longer such a slog once I was able to make unfettered progress The author was very forthright in his criticism, opinions and praise He wasn t afraid to be honest or disagree with others His research was thorough and he did point out that he had watched all of the movies available I thought some of his personal comments about people were unnecessary and sometimes came across a little me...


  3. says:

    Read this book and discard forever the idea that the denizens of British cinema were in any way less colourful or bizarre than their Hollywood counterparts Sweet doles out gossip, hard fact, and criticism in judicious proportions His writing is delightful, whether he is describing movies as a window into the lives of the dead , or sketching an unforgettable portrait of J Arthur Rank He was a tall, bulky man whose crumpled face and pendulous nose gave him the appearance of a proboscis monkey emerging from an old paper bag His interviews with film makers ...


  4. says:

    Long ridiculed as being insignificant by the rest of the film making world, Matthew Sweets investigates this history of British film, the majority of which very few remain and the silent stars, unlike some of their American counterparts are sadly completely forgotten.Shepperton Babylon, unlike Hollywood Babylon Kenneth Anger is not full of over blown and made up scandal, of course there is scandal but it is dealt with in a matter of fact and responsible way.Sweet talked to those who were still living that remembered those days or when they were no longer living, their descendent.It is an interesting look at British cinema from the early days to the early 80s sexplotation industry that took over from the film making of the 50s.Today British film is stronger than it has ever been and it is a shame that many of thes...


  5. says:

    I d been meaning to read this book for a while as I enjoy books about the history of popular culture There s lots of information in here so it took me a while to read, and it manages to deal with sometimes shocking and sens...


  6. says:

    The slightly forced title aside this is a very different book from Ken Anger s archly cynical romp through the sleazy bywaters of Hollywood lore , this is a wonderful, witty, entertaining book It is in fact an impassioned defence of British cinema, kicking back against the critical dismissal of the home produced product championed by both foreign step forward M Truffaut and domestic critics Rachel Low is a highlighted as a particular villain here, as the author of the definitive history, which is mainly critical , and making the case for a series of hidden gems, from the silent era onwards through to the exploitation era, though e...


  7. says:

    Of course the subject is inherantly interesting, but what makes this a wonderful book is Matthew Sweet s writing I listen to him on BBC Radio 3 s Free Thinking when ever he presents, and have noticed he s at his best when truffle hunting the obscure forests of British pop culture Listen to the great show on Hitchcock s Blackmail, or the forays into the squalid film genre of British sit coms of the 70s transferred to the screen On the Buses, Steptoe and Son etc Sweet s a master of the upbeat downbeat riff They brought mayhem to the streets of Walton on Thames There s also something compassionate about his writing, and though many of the characters in the early days of British cinema were frankly venal, he aways gives them thei...


  8. says:

    An excellent book, if somewhat incomplete as a general reference text on British cinema no Will Hay, Jack Hulbert, etc Full of bracing anecdotes and sound stage intrigue Despite Sweet s attempts to find a social studie...


  9. says:

    Don t let the clever title fool you Yes, it plays off Kenneth Anger s Hollywood Babylon, but this is a serious history of British Cinema Call me strange, but I love British Cinema I wouldn t recommend the book unless you already have an interest...


  10. says:

    A really interesting gossipy read, which made me laugh out loud in parts Not sure critics really appreciate George Formby


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Shepperton Babylon This Is A Wonderful Secret History Of British Movies That Includes The Scandals, The Suicides, The Immolations And The Contract Killings The Product Of Thousands Of Conversations With Veteran Film Makers Here You Ll Meet, Among Many Others, The 20s Film Idols Snorting Cocaine From An Illuminated Glass Dance Floor On The Bank Of The Thames, The Model Who Escaped Soho S Gangsters To Become The Queen Of The Nudie Flicks And The Genteel Scottish Comedienne Who, At The Age Of Fifty Five, Reinvented Herself As A Star Of Exploitation Cinema, And Fondly Remembers The One Where I Drilled In People S Heads And Ate Their Brains Welcome To The Lost Worlds Of British Cinema.