What I've been reading in July

August 19, 2020
I finished Beneath the Streets by Adam MacQueen at the start of the month. A murder mystery sent in the 1970s within an alternative history where Jeremy Thorpe's murder bid on his lover had been successful. It was a page turning read, with each chapter ending on a new revelation or predicament. 

I've recently got into Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels, and I took on Tripwire this month. This is the third Reacher novel published in 1999. I'm reading a bit out of sequence, having recently completed Without Fail, the third book in the series. This story centred on a shady money lender apparently helping out struggling businesses with a piddling million dollar loan here and there.

Playwrights on Playwriting - Beginnings

January 27, 2018
How do playwrights get ideas? How do they begin writing their plays? What do they do to get the first draft completed? Below are some thoughts from playwrights on how they begin.

Ideas and Getting Started

"I’m a thorough planner. I don’t write from nothing onto the page. There are five stages of the writing process for me. There’s a lengthy period of months and months of mulling. I move from what Peter Brook describes as “a formless hunch” to starting work on a play. I’ve got to go ...

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Films of Other Years That I Saw For the First Time In 2017

December 30, 2017
1. Little Children (2006)

2. Tower (2016)


3. Good Vibrations (2012)

4. Philomena (2013)


5. Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades (1972)

6. The Dark Horse (2014)


7. Warrior (2011)


8. Boy (2010)

9. (500) Days of Summer (2009)

10. Dirty Girl (2010)

11. Before The Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)

12. The Lives of Others (2006)

13. Rabbit Hole (2010)

14. Take Shelter (2011)

15. The History Boys (2006)

16. Fish Tank (2009)

17. Proof (2005)

18. Senna (2010)

19. Big Gold Dream: Scottish Po...
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Tom’s Films of the Year 2017

December 30, 2017

1. Manchester By the Sea

2. The Big Sick

3. Get Out

4. It

5. Battle of the Sexes

6. The Disaster Artist

7. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

8. La La Land

9. Wind River

10. Free Fire

11. Baby Driver

12. Prevenge

13. Logan Lucky

14. Blade Runner 2049

15. Dunkirk

16. The Death of Stalin

17. Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool

18. Logan

19. Mindhorn

20. Borg vs. McEnroe

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Tom's Films of the Year 2016

December 30, 2017
1. Sing Street
Written and directed by    John Carney
Starring: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Aidan Gillen, Jack Reynor

2. Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Written and directed by Taika Waititi
Starring: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rhys Darby, Rima Te Wiata 

3. Arrival
Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Written by Eric Heisserer
Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg

4. Room
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson
Written by Emma Donoghue

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Best Films I Saw in 2016 That Weren't Released in 2016

January 3, 2017
1. Whiplash (2015)
Written and directed by Damien Chazelle
Starring: Miles Teller, J. K. Simmons, Paul Reiser

2. Locke (2013)
Written and directed by Steven Knight
Starring: Tom Hardy

3.Big Bad Wolves (2013)
Written and directed by Aharon Keshales, Navot Papushado
Starring: Lior Ashkenazi, Tzahi Grad, Doval'e Glickman, Rotem Keinan

4. A Hijacking (2013)
Written and directed by Tobias Lindholm
Starring: Søren Malling, Pilou Asbæk, Dar Salim

5. Downfall (2004)
Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel
Written by Ber...

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Best Films I Saw For the First Time in 2015 That Weren't Released in 2015

December 30, 2015
1. The Wild Bunch (1969)
Directed by Sam Peckinpah
Written by Sam Peckinpah, Walon Green
Starring: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O'Brien, Warren Oates

2. The Drop (2014)
Directed by Michaël R. Roskam
Written by Dennis Lehane
Starring: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini, Matthias Schoenaerts

3. Kill the Messenger (2014)
Directed by Michael Cuesta
Written by Peter Landesman
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ray Liotta, Tim Blake Nelson, Barry Peppe...
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Films of 2015

December 30, 2015
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (UK release date 17th December)
Directed by J. J. Abrams
Written by Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams, Michael Arndt
Starring: Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver


2. The Lobster (UK release date 16th October)
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
Written by Efthimis Filippou, Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, John C. Reilly, Olivia Colman

3. Birdman (UK release date 1st J...
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ON THE BUSES with Kelman the young Drumchapel writer

November 2, 2015
I came across this interview with James Kelman while researching old copies of the Clydebank Press. I thought it was worth preserving.

ON THE BUSES with Kelman the young Drumchapel writer


The Clydebank Press, Friday, January 11, 1974

Jim Kelman is a young Glasgow writer, presently living in Maryhill, who has just published his first book of short stories recently, “An Old Pub near the Angel” (Puckerbush Press, Orono, Maine, U.S.A.). Although born and bred in Govan, he was ...

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Short Attention Span Theatre

July 14, 2015

I'm producing an evening of short plays at the end of this month. We're on at the Old Hairdressers, 27 Renfield Lane, Glasgow on Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th July. Tickets are £5.50 and you can get them from See Tickets. The plays are -

Ava and the Seagull by Róisín Kelly
Ava loves Peter. Colm loves Ava. And Big Bad One. A dark tale of bird love, betrayal and revenge. 

Smokers by Julie McDowall
The play is about Julie's favourite topic - the end of the world - and shows two people enjoying ...

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