Whistle and I’ll Come to You. is a classic 1904 M.R James ghost story adapted for TV by Jonathan Miller. It tells of an eccentric and distracted professor who happens upon a strange whistle while exploring a Knights Templar cemetery on the East Anglian coast. When blown, the whistle unleashes a frightening supernatural force.
This version is highly regarded amongst television ghost story adaptations and described by Mark Duguid of the British Film Institute as “A masterpiece of economical horror that remains every bit as chilling as the day it was first broadcast”.
A BBC Press Release for its repeat showing in 1969 stated that it was an “unconventional adaptation…remarkable, both for its uncanny sense of period and atmosphere, and for the quality of the actors’ performances”.
The performance of Michael Hordern is especially acclaimed, with his hushed mutterings and repetition of other characters’ words, coupled with a discernible lack of social skills, turning the professor from an academic caricature into a more rounded character, described by horror aficionado David Kerekes as “especially daring for its day”.
The stage journal Plays and Players suggests that Hordern’s performance hints that the professor suffers from a neurological condition called the “idea of a presence”. The production starred Michael Hordern and was directed by Jonathan Miller.
It was broadcast as part of the BBC arts programme Omnibus and inspired a new yearly strand of M.R. James television adaptations known as A Ghost Story for Christmas. First broadcast 7 May 1968
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) today announced the full set of longlists of films and talent that have gone through to Round Two of voting for the 2023 EE BAFTA Film Awards. We are delighted to see that several Irish films and story makers were featured in the 24 categories, including three Screen Ireland-supported films.
An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl) has recently made history as the first Irish language film to be shortlisted for the Oscars, and continues to confirm its hit status with audiences and critics alike this awards season after an exceptional year rich in festival and cinema screenings. An intricate, deeply felt coming-of-age drama that delves into the meaning of family through the eyes of a neglected young girl, the film is longlisted in three categories, including Best Director (Colm Bairéad), Adapted Screenplay and Film Not In The English Language.
Two Screen Ireland-supported documentaries are also featured on today’s longlists. Nothing Compares, Kathryn Ferguson’s richly cinematic portrait of Sinéad OʼConnorʼs phenomenal rise to worldwide fame and exile from the pop mainstream, is shortlisted in the Oustanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer category. The documentary and An Cailín Ciúin are both currently screening in select cinemas across Ireland showcasing the best of 2022 Irish film, including the Irish Film Institute and Light House Cinema.
A fascinating look at the life and legend of an iconic Irish actor, Adrian Sibley’s The Ghost of Richard Harris is a feature documentary which recalls the life of the legendary actor, poet, and singer with the help of his sons, his friends and exclusive footage and interviews. The film is longlisted in the Documentary category. After a World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival this summer, the film was released in a limited theatrical run, followed by a streaming release on Sky Arts.
We are also delighted to see Irish talent recognised with the inclusion of multiple films featuring Irish cast, crew and locations, including The Wonder, Good Luck To You, Leo Grande, Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical and The Banshees of Inisherin. Congratulations to all longlisted films, and wishing them the best for the second round of voting.
Final nominations in all categories will be announced on Thursday 19th January, a month before the EE BAFTA Films Awards ceremony on 19th February at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. The full list of longlisted films can be found here.
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Michael Stevenson September 2017
I read this morning on the BBC that opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa says she will never sing in public again. “I don’t want to hear my voice,” said the soprano, 71, whose career has spanned more than half a century.
“It is in the past. When I’m teaching young singers and hearing beautiful young fresh voices, I don’t want to put my voice next to theirs.”
I don’t listen to much opera, but I do love Kiri Te Kanawa, whom I became a fan of after being introduced to her voice in Merchant-Ivory’s brilliant A Room With A View. Listen here to Dame Kiri singinging Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro” (“Oh My Beloved Father”), and Chi il Bel Sogno di Doretta.
Could anything be more beautiful? Thank you, Kiri Te Kanawa.