World Cinema

A sweet and simple short film by the Coen Brothers. Originally made for Chacun Son Cinema (To Each His Own Cinema), a French anthology film commissioned for the 60th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival, in which 35 directors made 33 short films inspired by the movie theatre.

I don’t know exactly what the Coens are saying about “the cinema” in this film, but it is gently funny, with some Pythonesque moments of dialogue, and it’s really interesting to see what they do with a filmmaking challenge like this.

Writers’ Block are hoping to stage a Coens night at the Arc Cinema in March, and we’re also hoping to run a Chacun Son Cinema challenge of our own. Watch this space!

Long Shot

Long Shot is the name of a short animated film I’m working on with the supremely talented artist and animator Ben Klimmek. He can cook too. I think that this animation will probably win a BAFTA when it’s finished. This is a picture of the hero. He has a gun but he will learn a Valuable Lesson. He will shoot some stuff and then he will find love. Actually, we’ll probably get an Oscar too. How exciting!

Here is an animation test Mr Klimmek done. Sweet!

Monkeywood Theatre: Last Orders

S’up. Back in the day, as we middle-class white men like to say, I co-founded a theatre company: Monkeywood. A-aight, etc. We did a production of Closer (later Clive Owen would have a brave stab at playing me in the film, bless him) in a disused Manchester church, then mi Shameless Films compadre Señor Stephen Morris wrote us a dark comedy, Coach G, which we performed at three Manchester venues to some acclaim (“Hip… edgy and watchable… compelling and intriguing new play… well-served by a talented young cast.” – Manchester Evening News).

Then I kicked a strop and flounced out. I used to do that every now and again. Anyway, once I’d gone, Monkeywood started to do very well indeed, winning critical plaudits and BBC grants all over the shop. The bastards.

“Monkeywood is one of the most exciting young theatre companies to come out of Manchester in the last 7 years.” Ian Tabbron, Head of Theatre, Arts Council England North West

See? Bastards!

But I still love them. And now we’re all friends again, and I’m returning to the Monkey fold for a couple of performances of Sarah MacDonald Hughes’ play Last Orders (clicky for more informings). I think I’m playing a funny barman or something. Not sure. But it should be fun, and if you’re in Manchester on the evenings of Wednesday 26th or Thursday 27th of January, why not pop along to… er… a mystery location… er… well it says to meet at the Contact theatre at 6.30 or something. I dunno. See you there!

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2010. That’s about 8 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 153 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 348 posts. There were 178 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 10mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was June 27th with 69 views. The most popular post that day was My Night With Terry Gilliam.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,, Google Reader,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for ramshackle charm, “ramshackle charm”, optimistic, optimistic images, and the uninvisibles.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


My Night With Terry Gilliam June 2010


Optimistic Duck March 2010


Friday’s Short Story February 2010


Fact File #7: Polar Bears January 2010


An A to Z of Writing part 1 June 2010

So that was 2010. I blew kisses at Terry Gilliam, drew lots of ducks, joined a brilliant company dedicated to kicking peoples arses into writing stuff, became an actual artist with an exhibition and everything, had a fag with Jo Brand, met Stewart Lee and Bob Mortimer, drew more giraffes than in all my previous years combined and made films about tree huggers, insomniacs, talking turkeys and teleporting teens.

And I just slept in Fyfe Dangerfield’s bed, which I think bodes well for 2011. How’s your year looking?