Showing posts from April, 2021


It’s a long while since I found it funny, but there was a time when I would not have missed an episode of the TV panel show, Have I Got News for You . One of its stalwarts was comedian Paul Merton. His deadpan, surreal interventions were often the highlight of the popular news quiz. A recurring theme of his weekly flights of fancy was the absence of the jet pack from the modern world.  Being of the same generation as Merton, I suspect his inspiration came from the 1965 James Bond film, Thunderball . The opening scene shows Bond escaping from several armed villains by donning a jet pack and flying to safety. As he takes off the jet pack after landing, Bond remarks to his glamorous companion that “No well-dressed man should be without one”. Both get into Bond’s Aston Martin sports car, which is equipped with an array of hidden weapons, including a water cannon that Bond uses to knock his pursuers to the ground. One of the great Bond pre-credit sequences, but is there another movie scene


By the time I started my solo visits to the pictures Cinerama had arrived in Dublin. Cinerama was the last word in movie-going. Instead of passively watching a film, you were plunged straight into the action. Cinerama achieved this illusion through a combination of the widest screen ever, and a multi-track system that filled the auditorium with sound from every direction. Cinerama was one of several technological advances that gave us a peek into a future that has yet to materialise. For instance there is nothing today like a Concorde plane that nearly 50 years ago could transport passengers across the Atlantic at supersonic speed. And, for all the hype, Imax cannot match the wonder and excitement of the Cinerama experience. My first Cinerama film was How the West Was Won in 1964. A terrific movie but, dare I say it now, a rather one-sided perspective if you happened to be a descendant of the Native Americans who already occupied the “West” before the Europeans arrived? But at the tim


I don’t have any specific memories of Easter during the 1960s. Christmas was far more important in my schedule, if only for the food and the toys. Of course Easter was also a holiday from school (and we had chocolate eggs!), but it was really a poor relation to the Big Day several months earlier. Because it commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, Easter is actually the more significant feast in the Christian calendar. The old Catholic Encyclopaedia calls it “the corner-stone upon which faith is built”.[1]  To honour this special day in this year of years, here is a unique description of the Resurrection itself. It is taken from Brian Cleeve’s The Fourth Mary , written in 1977 long after Jesus walked the earth.  The book purports to be “the story of the Crucifixion, told from the unfamiliar viewpoint of the enemies of Jesus, of those who planned it and regarded it as their triumph”.[2] Although Brian was a successful author with long experience in developing and crafting