Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Cadigan, Pat (Editor): The Ultimate Cyberpunk

A series of stories covering the development of this strand of science fiction from Alfred Bester and
Philip Dick to William Gibson, generally looked on as the founder of cyberpunk, and later writers.
The collection was published in 2002 so it has taken me a long time to read it.   By and large, I do not
see much difference between the tales here and other sf books apart from the solid technically based
ones where the scientific advances held centre stage.   The individual stories vary in length and also
readability as far as I am concerned.   If I had to pick one only I would select "Green Days in Brunei'
by Bruce Sterling.

Shimada, Soji: Tokyo Zodiac Murder

A rather strange murder mystery which is told mainly in retrospect.   A celebrated artist who lived with seven women, his wife and daughters, is found murdered in a locked room.   None of the women
are in evidence but there is, amongst his writings, a declaration of intent to kill them according to a
mystic astrological pattern   Their bodies are found in the locations indicated over an extended period
as some are more deeply buried than others.   All this is historical with there being two mysteries which have led to a considerable literature - the first is the locked-room mystery and the second is
the murders of the women as the artist was already dead before they were killed.    The locked room
mystery is relatively easy to explain but solving the other murders takes time.  The narrator has an
astrologer friend who eventually works out what really happened.   This interplay between the
two is one of the standard approaches - Holmes and Watson et al. - and it works effectively here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Higashino, Keigo; Malice

A best-selling novelist is found dead in his locked study inside his locked house the day before he and
his wife were due to leave Tokyo for Vancouver.   The wife has a solid alibi as does Nonoguchi, the
dead man's best friend, who had visited him the evening before.   The detective investigating the case,
Kyochiro Kaga, knows Nonoguchi from the time when both were teachers.   He finds the latter's
statement does not quite fit and finds evidence linking him with the murder.   Nonoguchi confesses
and writes an extended statement in which he claims to have been the originator of the dead man's
success as he was blackmailed into writing the novels on which this success rests.   The blackmail is
the result of his being caught trying to murder Hidaka, the dead man, years earlier so that he could
continue an affair with Hidaka's wife.   She has been dead for a few years.the widow being from a
second marriage.   The opening chapters alternate between Nonoguchi's story and confession and
Saga's investigation, the latter continuing after the confession because he does not accept the
murderer's motivation as stated.   The story flows easily despite the changing viewpoints until the
closing chapters when the true situation is elegantly revealed.   I picked this novel up with two more
by the same author at a considerable discount even though they are recently printed.   On the basis
of this book, a very worthwhile purchase.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Stress, Charles: Glasshouse

Set well into the future when interstellar travel is a matter of teleporting, this is a thriller of sorts with
the lead actor initially trying to find out who is trying to kill him.   He agrees to join an experimental
social programme only to wake up as a woman married to someone who eventually turns out to be the woman he loves (don't ask).   The novel is heavier going than other novels I have read by this
author but, fortunately, not all the time.   Several chapters move along concisely and the book did
keep me interested though I found the later chapters something of an add-on, almost as if they had
been transposed from a different tale - or that there were some missing chapters somewhere.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Boileau, Pierre & Narcejac, Thomas: Vertigo (D'entre les morts)

First published in 1954 apparently with Hitchcock in mind, this thriller is the 'book of the film' if you
ignore the differences.   The collaboration between the two had Boileau producing the elaborate plots
and Narcejac the character details.   In this case, the story is set at the outbreak of World War 2 in
Paris and surroundings and continued after the end of the war in Paris and Marseilles whereas the film is set after World War 2 completely with a somewhat shorter gap between the two parts, the film
action taking place in San Francisco and south of that city.   While the story is basically the same, there are differences - in the film, the hero has an ongoing friendship with a woman designer/painter
who is not in the novel, there is no coroner's scene and the ending is different.   Our authors set up the plot concisely with the hero engaged by a former college friend to watch his wife who exhibits some
odd habits.   He follows her discreetly until she falls or jumps into the Seine for him to rescue her and
become her friend and confidant.   So far, location apart, book and film are the same but the film does
have him demonstrating his love while the book has him announce it but no more.  Madeleine, the
wife, seems possessed by the spirit of an ancestor who killed herself and she, too, does this by falling
from a church tower.   Here book and film differ - in both, the hero flees the scene but this is the end of it in the book whilst in the film he is berated by the coroner for his behaviour.   After some time in
the film with no idea of how much, he sees a look-alike in the street whilst the book has him see the
look-alike in a newsreel.   He finds or follows her and becomes her lover (book/film differences are
irrelevant) but is still trying to put the past behind him.   In the book, ill health has led to their moving
south to Marseilles where she confesses to him that she was Madelaine helping his former friend to
murder his wife, the latter's being the body that was discovered at the foot of the tower.   Following this he strangles her and the book ends.   In the film we see the murder before the end with the hero
who has by now transformed her appearance to that of Madelaine, working out what may have happened when seeing her put on the same necklace the original had worn.   He takes her back to the
tower and forces her up to the top where they are suddenly disturbed by a nun whose appearance leads her to fall to her death.   The book is much tauter and satisfying than the film which is spoilt
by the reveal before the end of what did happen.   While the film is considered by many to be Hitchcock's masterpiece, it is decidedly flawed - far too many shots of one car following another
around San Francisco, the give-away of what happened before the end in particular.   The novel does
hold up well despite its age and I am encouraged to find a second reprint, this time of a Henri Clout
film adaptation, to see how this compares.   Full marks to the authors but not to the film-maker.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Lansdale, Joe R: Lost Echoes

Harry Wilkes has visions following a childhood illness.   They are formed when he is in places that
have seen murder performed.   While in college, he has perfected the routes he takes to avoid seeing
any of these but is then taken up by the local rich man's gorgeous daughter.   This rather unnecessary
episode comes to an end when she takes him a hideaway on the family estate where he has a vision
of a man's death while holding her - tightly enough to bruise her.   She rejects him, though her actions
were a ploy to make someone else jealous, her father has him beaten up and he starts drinking heavily
until one evening when he sees an elderly drunk beat three muggers.   The drunk befriends him and
agrees to teach him martial arts, get off the booze and, hopefully, tame the visions.   His childhood
girlfriend who had moved away has now become a member of the local police force and she asks him
to help her find out what really happened to her father, also a policemen, who apparently had killed
himself.   The outcome is that he was killed by the current police chief as he intended exposing the
latter's killings, one of which being the one Harry saw with the rich girl friend.   The episodes with
the rich girl do not really add to the story which ends up as a straightforward (more or less) thriller
with the inevitable happy ending.   Readable but not anything special.

Fowler, Christopher: Bryant and May on the Loose

The Peculiar Crimes Unit are given a week to solve the mystery of a dead body found in a freezer in a
shop freezer.   Then another is unearthed in work on a property development behind King's Cross
Station.   This book precedes the one I commented on last May and is, to my mind, a much better book.   The esoterica about London somewhat fits in better and the plot is rather more tightly put
together.   There is a sparkle in the writing which I found somewhat missing in the later book
'Bryant and May off the Rails'.   Overall, much more enjoyable.

Edugyan, Esi: Half Blood Blues

A rather strange story about a jazz group in the 1930s which starts with their playing in Berlin. as the
Nazis consolidate their power.   They leave Berlin and go to Hamburg, a brief interlude, where they are helped to leave the country by the father of one of them whose connections allow him to do this.
While some stay behind, the rest finish up in Paris which is then occupied by the Germans.    While in Paris they meet up with and intend to cut a record with Louis Armstrong but this does not happen.  
They make arrangements to leave but the narrator of the story deliberately hides the visa that has been obtained for the young black German trumpeter who is arrested and deported back to Germany.
This is all related in extended flashbacks while the two Americans, now elderly, are on their way to
Berlin for a tribute concert.   Once this is over, they seek out their former colleague who lives in
Poland and the narrator confesses what he did.  End of story.   Reasonably written and presumably a
cautionary tale of the effects of envy and jealousy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

10th London Korean Film Festival

'Miss Granny' is a comedy in which an opinionated elderly woman living with her son overhears
him and his wife talking of putting her in a home.   She decides to have a photo taken for her burial
but this changes her into a young woman in her twenties while keeping the knowledge and experience she has.   She goes to the seniors' day centre where she had been working and sings.
this is overheard by a TV producer on whose talent show she appears to become a success.   She does eventually revert to her proper self.   Well-performed with a number of very amusing incidents, I can understand why this was a big hit in Korea.
'Masquerade' is a historical drama.   The king who wants to bring in a land tax against the wishes of
his advisers and nobles is afraid he will be assassinated.   He has his personal advisers find a look-alike to take his place when he wants to leave the place for sex with one of his mistresses.   A double is found who needs a lot of tutoring in the way to behave with the added complication that the king
falls ill - he is being drugged by his mistress - so the double becomes a full-time substitute.   The
early scenes where the double is learning what he should and should not do lead to several very funny
moments (one girl in the cinema audience was laughing almost non-stop).  It turns out that the king
has to excrete in front of servants who are there to wipe him and to collect his stools for analysis
which seems to include not only examining and weighing but also ...tasting.   The double's reaction
to this is hilarious.    His first meal is tempting enough for him to eat it all without knowing that the kitchen staff are allowed only to cook for him and rely on the left-overs to feed themselves; so the next night he eats only one dish to their delight.   The official taster is a young girl (actually the lead from 'Miss Granny') with whom he develops an unspoken and unconsummated affection.   When the captain of his personal guard suspects he is not the real king he confronts him while with the queen but he is able to convince the captain that he is the real king.   The film does turn serious when the taster is bullied into poisoning his food though she deliberately eats it herself and dies.   With the senior ministers against him, they learn that he is an imposter and march on the palace to kill him.   The adviser who has been tutoring him is, however, able to get the real king, now recovered, back in time which leads to the arrest of the conspirators.   However, the king wants his double killed but the guard captain does not do this but tells him to flee.   With other troops also sent to kill him, the captain stops them and kills them but is himself killed.   The scene is, together with the death of the
food taster a strong contrast to the rest of the film.   The final scene is one where the imposter is on a ship setting out with his tutor watching.   Even with the change of tone towards the end which is unusual as most of this sort of film end 'happily ever after' so to speak, the film is well-paced, lavishly costumed and well-acted.
'A Swordsman in the Twilight'   was one of the historic films, being over 50 years old and, according
to the programme, a classic.   Telling the story of a traveller who kills one guard of a pair who harass
him before taking shelter in a nearby village where he takes a senior government official hostage, the
story is in interrupted flashback.   The swordsman has objected to the treatment of the queen following the king's replacement so is considered a traitor and becomes an outcast.   His elder brother
will not help him but a friend takes in his wife and child.   After some fights in which he kills most of
those sent to capture him, he surrenders because his family have been seized.   Offered his freedom if
he will shoot five arrows into a portrait of the queen (there is some shamanic reason for this), he does
so but is then shown that he has killed his wife and child who were behind the portrait.   Yet again he
escapes despite the numbers against him.   The climax comes when he has finished telling the hostage
all this to find himself surrounded, this time by troops with guns (though I thought the story was set
in the pre-Christian era though this might be a subtitle error).  He is wounded but the government
official stops what is happening and orders the final sword fight between the swordsman and the
leader of those chasing him.   He wins and is seen leaving the village alone.   Although there was an
apology for the print, there seemed to be no depth of focus used - characters were either in focus at
the front of the action or increasingly blurred behind.   Catalogued as a 10 minute film, it actually
ran around 75 minutes or so which was a blessing in disguise as the action sequences looked very
amateurish and the acting overall rather poor.

Harrison, M. John: Light

The book has three stories which do connect to each other - one in the present tells of a brilliant
scientist who is a serial killer having disputes with his partner and sex with his ex wife who appears
to be the only person with whom he is at all comfortable.   The discoveries he and his partner make
lead to inter-stellar travel in the future which is where the other two stories are situated.   One tells
of a genetically modified female who flies a starship, this being what she has chosen to do.   The
other tells of a male pilot, very much down on his luck, who gets employment in a circus of sorts.
Each part is imaginatively told and complete in itself.   The link from the present to the other two
which are set in 2400AD is straightforward and not emphasised.   The link between the two future
stories is also not emphasised as the link is not necessary to the plot of either.   It does, however,
become revealed in a few sentences which indicate that the down and out is the younger brother of
the modified pilot.   Very imaginative and well-written.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

59th London Film Festival 7 to 18 October 2015

'Blood of My Blood' directed by Marco Bellocchio was our first excursion.   This is a film of two parts, the first being the interrogation and torture of a nun accused of seducing a priest who then
committed suicide.   His brother watches the interrogations which end with the nun being walled up
in a small cell; years pass and she finally seeks forgiveness which ensures her release.   However, she
is still young and her appearance causes the death of those watching.   The second part is present-day
in the same town with most of the same actors.   Involving some underhand development plans which
the locals oppose, the Count, supposedly the brother in the earlier sequence, does enough to stop it
before dying (though he is meant to be a vampire!).   Both halves are well filmed but the connection
between them far from obvious.
'Ryuzo and His Seven Henchmen' directed by Takeshi Kitano represents a welcome return to form for
the director whose recent films have disappointed.   A number of retired Yakuza chiefs get together
to take revenge on a young gang after one of them is duped by a phone scam.   A number of scenes
show them trying to cope with their age and infirmities before a riotous finale with them chasing the
young crooks in a commandeered bus.   Delightfully hilarious.
'Ghost Theater' directed by Hideo Nakata is the story of a talented but reserved young actress who
manages to get a role in a production about the infamous Countess Bathory.   She plays a maid but,
because of her habit of memorising the complete script, lands the lead role when the actress playing
it is killed in a freak accident.   The play involves the Countess talking to a dummy as her alter ego
or conscience and the new lead becomes convinced that the dummy is alive which gets her fired.
However, she is correct and her attempts to prove this lead to a general bloodbath among the cast and
stage crew before the dummy is stopped.   The coda has her being called on to a film set where she
is obviously the star but, lurking in the long grass is the head of the dummy....   Clearly lit and filmed,
the scares were, by and large, not overly scary as there was a light-hearted approach apparent but strong central performances produced an enjoyable film.
'21 Nights With Pattie' directed by Arnaud Larrieu.   The lead role is played by Isabelle Carre which
was the real reason for seeing the film.   She has come to a remote village in Languedoc to bury her
mother whose houses undergoing restoration by some workmen with the sister of one of them, the
Pattie of the title.   The mother led a bohemian life involving lots of travel and memories of this fill
the film.   Pattie is uninhibited and regales Caroline (Carre) with tales of her sex life.   Life is interrupted with the apparent theft of the mother's corpse which leads to the local Gendarmerie chief
flirting with Caroline and the appearance of a former lover of her mother who may be the celebrated
Nobel winner, J G Le Clezio, though this is only hinted at.   Needless to say, Pattie takes up with him
and Caroline goes to a local dance where she is taken with the thought that one of the workmen wants
her, only to see him dashing off in the nude with an equally naked girl.   She continues her night walk
and comes across a car with her husband and two young daughters in it.   They return to the mother's
old house, put the girls to bed and make love.   This is a delightful comedy mixing sex and sex appeal
with the memories of the mother whose ghost appears more than once.   Fine performances by the
main male actors and another brilliant one from Isabelle Carre.
'The Assassin' directed by Hou Hsaio-Hsein is a gloriously photographed but ultimately flawed film
of a female assassin  who baulks on a mission and is then sent by the nun who trained her to kill the
man to whom she was once betrothed which is something she again does not do.   Though there are
a few flurries of typical fast-moving action, the film moves at a very leisurely pace - one scene has
its focus for some minutes on a small herd of goats for no reason other than, I suppose, to emphasise
the rural setting (or maybe goats have symbolic meaning in Chinese myth?)   The brilliant cinematography does not make up for the overall emptiness of the film though it will doubtlessly garner praise for this greatly feted director though why this should be escapes me.
'Evolution' directed by Lucile Hadzihalalilovoc is a real oddity.   An isolated community by the sea
has only women and young male children and the first half of the film depicts this slowly but surely
concentrating on one boy and his mother.   It then turns into a weird science fiction situation where
the boys are operated on for no apparent reason.   As slow-moving as the previously reviewed film,
it ends with the young boy being set adrift in a boat by his mother to drift into the water around a
huge chemical plant.   I confess I missed a part of this but think the whole film was something of a
waste of time.
'Youth' directed by Paolo Sorrentino tells of the friendship between a composer played by Michael
Caine on top form and a film director played by Harvey Keitel who was almost acceptable here.
The former is offered a knighthood which seems to hinge on his agreeing to conduct his most famous
piece at a Royal Command concert.   He refuses without giving a reason.   Keitel is trying to make a
new film with his favoured actress, played by Jane Fonda.   The pair of them are at a Swiss spa where
another occupant is an actor researching his latest role, Caine's daughter who is also his secretary, and, later, Miss Universe.   Whether the latter is a real one or not, she has a spectacular body.   Paloma Faith, the pop singer, has a brief appearance as well.   Rachel Weiss who plays the daughter
does at one point say it has been ten years since Caine has visited his wife which he does; after a
visit to Stravinsky's grave, he goes to a nursing home where his wife sits silently pressed against
the window.   The film is very bitter-sweet but the excellent performances keep one enthralled until
the denouement when Keitel kills himself because the financing has fallen through and a harpy-like
Fonda has refused him while Caine has given in to conduct his 'Simple Songs'.   The film does not
really need any explanation other than the varying reaction to passing years.
'The Brand New Testament' directed by Jaco Van Dormael posits that God is a Belgian who lives in
a run-down apartment in Brussels, browbeating his wife and daughter and taking delight in the many
misfortunes he creates.   Benoit Poelvoorde plays this excellently and he is matched by his silent
wife, Yolande Moreau, and Ea, his daughter, played by Pili Groyne.   The daughter rebels and is able to disrupt his computer while she finds six more apostles with the film telling the story of their conversion.   Poelvoorde loses his powers which is delightfully shown when he chases the daughter
who walks across a canal basin while he just falls under the water.   One of the more amusing conversions has Catherine Deneuve finding true love with a gorilla.   The daughter has created havoc
by telling everyone in the world exactly how long they have left to live but, once the number of Apostles reaches 18, power is given to Moreau, Madame God, who settles down behind a freshly
restored computer to fill the sky with flowers and put everything right.   In the meantime, Poelvoorde
is working in a Belorussian factory!!!   Very amusing and a real delight.
'Old Czech Legends' directed by Jiri Trnka was the final film seen.   He was one of the originators of
puppet animation and this film was made under difficult circumstances after the Communist takeover
in Czechoslovakia.   Having delighted in the films of Svankmaier, I had high hopes for this film even
though it is over 60 years old.   Starting with Cech, the father of the Czech people, six tales tell the
early history of the nation.   While very expressive and, for its time, technically impressive and having a fine score by Vavlav Trojan, I did find it rather tedious as, narrative apart, there was much
sameness to each episode.
CODA: 'The Lobster' directed by Yorgos Lanthimos was one of the Festival Gala showings but we
saw it after the Festival.   In the near future it is a crime to be single.   Colin Farrell plays a divorcee
who reports, as he must, to The Hotel, together with his dog where he has 45 days to find a mate or
be turned into an animal they choose.   Outside The Hotel live Loners, fugitives from the system who
are hunted daily to be shot with tranquilliser guns and brought to the hotel, each capture adding a day
to the time left.   Farrell has no success in finding anyone until he pretends to be heartless and takes
up with the Heartless Woman (never named) and is paid with her; unfortunately she brutally kills
the dog who was actually Farrell's  converted brother.   With the help of a hotel maid, he shoots her
and drags her into the Transformation Chamber and then leaves to join the Loners.   Here, he and
Rachel Weiss become lovers which is not appreciated by the Loner leader, Lea Seydoux.   Weiss
is blinded by choice and Farrell seems to accept this but the film ends with her sitting alone waiting
for him to come back - this may be because he has killed himself in trying to blind himself.   This is
unclear.   Apparently, others have seen this film as hilarious which is far from the reaction I had.   The
main performances were good, the basic plot acceptable as an absurd comment on social conditioning
to produce uniformity but there was a very nasty undertone - dog killing and blinding are hardly the
stuff of comedy.   Quite frankly, apart from introducing me to a new, comfortable, West End cinema,
it was a great disappointment.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Martin, Andrew: The Necropolis Railway

The first of a series featuring Jim Stringer, a Yorkshire lad who wants to be a train driver rather than
becoming a butcher like his father.   He is given an introduction to work on the London and Southern
Railway and starts work at the Nine Elms depot with lodgings right by Waterloo Station.   His early
days are difficult as he is looked on as an outsider planted by management.   There is a lot of detail
about the types of engine, the working practices of the time and the language used by railwayman
which Martin conveys without holding up the story.   The plot which develops is one of murders which have been thought of as a series of unconnected accidents.   The resourceful Stringer works
this out and is almost killed but survives.   The budding romance with his landlady seems somewhat
out of place, partly because there is no early indication that she is the same age not older.   With a
rather fortuitous accident catching the killer (though the reason for the accident has been well prepared) the story ends with the young lovers together though there is then an unexpected twist
which remains unresolved - possibly to be dealt with in later books.   Straightforward writing which
did not convey any great excitement or tension does create a rather flat feeling but possibly this was

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Roslund, Anders and Hellstrom, Borge: Cell 8

The book starts in cell 8 in Marcusville prison in Ohio, one of the cells on Death Row.   It then moves
to the present time on a Swedish ferry boat on which one of the entertainers kicks a drunken, groping passenger in the face for which he is, after arrival in Stockholm, arrested.   The entertainer is an
illegal immigrant who has settled down in Sweden, has married and has a son but his passport details
do not agree with official records even though the passport is a legitimate one.   From these two
situations, the authors create a wholly believable story with the police treating the accused more than
fairly, bending the rules to allow him time with his wife, for instance.   He tells his story which provides the link between the scenes in Marcusville and the present day but at a cost.    He is a convicted murderer although the Swedish police involved believe he is innocent and he also declares
that he is not guilty despite the circumstantial evidence which led to his conviction.   The Ohio authorities are the bad guys here mainly because the murdered girl was the daughter of a senior
political aide to the State Governor, hence the conviction.   Even though Sweden will not extradite
anyone accused of crimes carrying the death penalty, a loophole is found which salves the government's conscience though it means he is returned to the USA.    There is a startling twist in
the final chapters which I did not see coming.   Again, well-paced though the varying time periods
did confuse a little.   Whether the authors wrote different parts of the book or collaborated in other
ways is unknown since, obviously, any stylistic evidence would have been erased by the excellent

Cain, James M: The Cocktail Waitress

One of the three great crime writers of the 1930s, Cain outlived Hammett and Chandler to die in
1977 with this novel unpublished.   He had been working on it for years, adding and deleting passages, sentences and phrases and, with his death, the novel disappeared.   References to it led
to Charles Ardai carrying out a lengthy search which eventually produced a typewritten copy with
corrections which he has edited for publication in 2012.   Cain was always looked on as the less
polished of the trio and was consigned by many to the trash can because he wrote about people on
the edge of society rather than the supposed moral middle- and upper-class ones in the novels of
Hammett and Chandler.   Works such as 'Double Indemnity','Mildred Pierce' and 'The Postman
Always Rings Twice' were made into highly considered films, the latter twice in the USA and once
in Italy but the nature of his characters coloured critical views of his work, tending to be censorious
and dismissive of his talents.   While the books might have appealed to the prurient, their impact
these days is anything but that.   This book is the story of a young mother whose abusive husband
kills himself by driving while drunk.   The marriage was a forced one with his parents never approving of her; after his death, she lets her sister-in-law take care of her son while she gets things
together.   With no skills, she gets a job as a cocktail waitress where she meets an elderly widower
who falls in love with her and also a young man who had driven her to the funeral and now lusts
after her.    Eventually she agrees to marry the widower who turns out to be wealthy: his heart
condition should preclude sexual activity but he finds a new doctor who tells him this is not a
problem.   However, having successfully had sex with an escort girl once he repeats the exercise
but dies.   The local police have already shown an interest in the heroine after her first husband's
death and now arrest her on a murder charge as there are suspicious circumstances.   Before the
arrest, she gives in to the attraction of the young chauffeur and spends the night with him but
leaves him before he wakes up.   In the end, justice is done.   The writing is possibly not as taut
as my memory recalls in his earlier works but this does not detract from the pace of the tale.   Some
of the episodes seem unnecessary but do help build a picture of both the heroine and those around
her.   The book is not as long as many current crime novels and all the better for it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Frightfest: Monday 31 August 2015

Curve.   On her way to her wedding in Denver, Julianne hough decides to take the scenic route but
breaks down.   She is helped by a hitchhiker and she gives him a lift for him to turn creepy.   In an
attempt to escape him she deliberately crashes the car which leave her trapped in the car but he is
not.   He leaves her struggling but returns from time to time to taunt her.   Then a flash flood which,
apart from nearly drowning her, moves the car so that she can get free.   Once out of the river, she
goes to the nearest house for her travails to start all over.   Good idea, well made.
Night Fare.   Two friends, one English returning to Paris after some time, the other French, are in
love with the same girl and go to a party to join her.   They deliberately avoid paying the taxi fare
on their way there but the taxi driver follows them and chases them, killing those who interfere.
The denouement was a bit far-fetched but the film was well paced and well-acted.
Nina Forever.   Rob attempts suicide after his girl friend has been killed.   Holly who works at
the same supermarket takes up with him and they end up in bed together but find Nina, the dead
girl, also there.   An oddity but quite jolly.
Goddess of Love.   A stripper is dumped by her boy friend, the love of her life, and goes more than a
little crazy.   With the co-writer playing the stripper this was no better than most vanity pieces.
Tales of Halloween.   The final film of the Festival but, alas, one film too many for us.