Vincent – Short Film by Tim Burton – 1982

Vincent Tim Burton FilmI’ve no idea how I missed this after all these years, because it’s awesome. Tim Burton doing his thing way back in 1982, full of all the zany goodness that we’ve all come to love.

My favourite Tim Burton is probably Ed Wood, also my favourite film with Johnny Depp in it.

Anyway, check out this cartoon if you’ve never seen it – there’s worse things to do with six and a half minutes! Not only that, it’s actually narrated by Vincent Price, and as it’s all about a little boy who keeps pretending to be Vincent Price that’s pretty damn cool!

Asylum

This BBC documentary tells the fascinating and poignant story of the closure of Britain’s mental asylums. In the post-war period, 150,000 people were hidden away in 120 of these vast Victorian institutions all across the country.

Today, most mental patients, or service users as they are now called, live out in the community and the asylums have all but disappeared.

Through powerful testimonies from patients, nurses and doctors, the film explores this seismic revolution and what it tells us about society’s changing attitudes to mental illness over the last sixty years.

The Haunted Castle

Georges Méliès’ “The Haunted Castle,” showing that you can do a lot more in three minutes in 1896 than you can in two hours over two episodes of a James Herbert adaptation in 2012. I’m looking at you Crickley.

James Herbert has had a bit of a bad run with adaptations. I don’t think anyone has ever made a good film or TV adaptation of one of his books. One of my favorites, The Survivor, was turned into a terrible film and one of my other favorites, The Spear, has never been tackled when I’ve always thought it would make a terrific film.

On the other hand, if no one is really up for getting some really great scriptwriters and directors to tackle one of his stories then perhaps we’re just better off reading the books.