I have a confession to make, it's not exactly a secret but it is one of those somewhat nerdy interests/obsessions that one rarely mentions in adult company. It may have something to do with being born in Nottingham, in fact I'm sure it does but it's more than that. When I was five or six I fell in love for the first time, you won't be surprised to hear that it was with a film but given the monochrome nature and national origin of most of my work you might not guess that it was a Hollywood movie and in colour. Not that I knew it was in colour at the time, we only had a black and white telly in those days and in any case, colour broadcasting in the UK was barely in existence at the time. The film was Warner Bros 1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood. I am still devoted to it, it remains my favourite film and I still consider it a work of near perfection. It kick-started a twin obsession, with movies in general and with Robin Hood films in particular. Forty something years later the flame hasn't dimmed. I've even used it to academic advantage, my MA thesis was about cinematic representations of masculinity in Robin Hood movies, punningly entitled 'Beaux and Arrows' (you can't blame me for that though, my tutor suggested it).
Whilst Errol Flynn and the deliciously nasty Basil Rathbone still have my primary devotion I've made a point of seeing (not to mention buying) as many different film and TV adaptations of the legend as I can. To the extent that I even own a Russian DVD (without subtitles) of the 1975 Soviet era Arrows of Robin Hood and a Czech copy (don't ask) of the Italian Il Magnifico Robin Hood from 1970. Thus it was that couple of years ago when Sir Ridley Scott was about to premiere his new version of the legend with Russell Crowe in the lead I stuck my hand up and volunteered to write a brief history of Robin Hood in film and TV for whatculture.com.
When the article failed to appear when expected I huffed to myself and got on with other stuff, like starting this business. Journalism's loss is the art world's gain. Well, remember that Russian film in the paragraph above? A couple of days ago somebody on a message board asked if anyone had seen it, I gave them my rather dimly remembered impression of it and they came back to say that my name appeared as the author of an article they'd come across in their search. So, ladies and gentlemen it turns out that I am a published author after all (and have been for over two years), I just never knew about until now. So, if you're still interested after that lengthy preamble here it is ...
Rise and Rise Again: 100 Years of Robin Hood part 1
Rise and Rise Again: 100 Years of Robin Hood part 2
Other than a few changes in part 1 to reflect the later than expected publication date it is pretty much as I wrote it (although the Batman references are very much not from me). There is however a glaring omission from part 2 which is entirely my fault and for which I deserve beating with bowstrings (look out for '50 Sherwoods of Grey' in the shops soon). I unaccountably failed to include Maid Marian and her Merry Men which is work of unalloyed genius and deserves to be considered as such (well OK, that's a bit rich but it really is very good).
Work in progress and other stuff that happens.