Summary: Mark Gatiss starring, Jeremy Dyson written and directed, Jan Roldanus produced. This adaptation of Robert Aickman's short and slight piece is interesting in how little story it adds to the original, being a mood piece slightly removed from the strange words of the page.
BLOT: (17 Jan 2014 - 07:49:39 PM)
Friday Horror Short 6, The Cicerones [from the Aickman short]
Finding dramatizations of Robert Aickman's works is not entirely easy. The single most concentrated collection of them, Night Voices, which bubbled onto the screen something like six years after it was shot, and then got panned, is a bit of work to find [note: though I have not tried super-hard, I've never found a copy]. Then there is an episode of The Hunger, called "Swords", that is from one. And then there is this one: "The Cicerones".
Written and Directed by Jeremy Dyson, and starring his fellow League of Gentlemen'er Mark Gatiss, it is a fairly faithful adaptation of Aickman's story, meaning that is strange, non-distinct story that seems to be a massive allusion [five bucks on "death"] but might not be and then sort of ends right about the time your average horror story would be kicking into high gear. It is good, as an adaption of "The Cicerones", and hits many of the right mood-strokes, but you wonder if they couldn't have diverged from the plot a little more to tap into some "on the screen" visuals or why the world's creepiest doll house story—with apologies to M.R. James—"The Inner Room", couldn't have been chosen, instead? *wink*
If you pay close attention to that link, this is one of those shorts where I have to link to someone's channel who is not the original creator [in this case, it seems to be a Blake Ritson fan including it for Ritson's brief bit]. I'm more iffy on that than linking to for-pay horror shorts, but there are a few that are such classics and so hard to watch any other way that I will go ahead and do such.
Addendum: For those game to getting something a little wider on Aickman, by the way, this is the 100th year since his birth so there is a chance for stuff to float up. Middle of last year, Audible released three collections of his short stories [as read by yet another League of Gentleman'er Reece Shearsmith]. Tartarus has been printing what I consider to be just about the prettiest little editions you ever did see. You can see the page for We Are for the Dark, which has links for the other books. And just earlier this week, Faber Finds tweeted that they are going to be reissuing his posthumous novella, The Model. I would also be surprised if someone, somewhere [but, you know, probably in the UK], doesn't get something out dedicated to him in the next few months.
Friday Horror Short
OTHER BLOTS THIS MONTH: January 2014