The Eeriness of Spacetime in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar

The relativity and subjective experience of time are issues of persistent interest to the film maker Christopher Nolan. His first feature film, Memento, is specifically concerned with time, following its lead character, Leonard, who suffers from anterograde amnesia. The film is edited to play out in a sequentially reverse order so that the viewer experiences the same sense of disorientation as Leonard. In Inception, Leonardo Di Caprio plays Cobb, a specialist in inserting himself into other people’s dreams and extracting valuable information from them. The film builds to an extraordinary climax wherein three separate but embedded levels of dream run in three separate timelines. Each dream within a dream represents a deeper level of the subconscious mind; the deeper into the subconscious the characters descend the more that time becomes drawn out so that an hour experienced in the deepest level corresponds with only a few seconds at the shallowest level. Nolan also uses three intersecting timelines with different durations in Dunkirk. The soldiers on the beach are followed over a one-week period; the boats crossing the Channel are followed for one day; and the Spitfires take one hour to cross the Channel. The timelines flip between each other without signalling that they are running within differing parameters. The effect is to create a psychologically coherent set of narratives that nonetheless represent varied timescales.

Continue reading “The Eeriness of Spacetime in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar”

Spacetime in Alan Garner’s Red Shift

Sirius is 8.6 light years away
Arcturus is 37
The past is the past and it’s here to stay
Wikipedia is heaven

Nick Cave
We Real Cool

In the opening sequence of Alan Garner’s powerful 1973 novel, Red Shift, two young lovers, Tom and Jan, are hanging around an area of Cheshire overlooking the M6 motorway chatting about Jan’s imminent departure to study in London. The dialogue is remarkable, as indeed it is throughout the book, mixing observations of trivial detail with profound emotion. In particular, it quickly becomes apparent that Tom has a high verbal acuity possibly shading into the speech of a savant. He alternates between moments of drably stated self-pity, genuine tenderness and voluminous, pedantic iterations of his encyclopaedic knowledge. He is a sad and maladroit character unable to reconcile the reality of his emotional life with his knowledge of the vastness of the cosmos. Cosmology seems to tell him that there is nothing to hold on to, nowhere solid to grasp and hold, nothing to provide a fulcrum of certainty. But what is also apparent is that his relationship with Jan provides him some sort of definite point of reality. Jan’s presence in his life is the lode star around which his cosmos moves.

Continue reading “Spacetime in Alan Garner’s Red Shift”

Waiting for You: A Detectorists Zine issue 2

I’m delighted to announce that the second issue of Waiting for You: A Detectorists Zine is now available to pre-order.


Comfort Viewing: Detectorists in an Age of Anxiety 
by Innes M. Keighren

Detectorists: The Joy Of Obsessive Hobbies 
by Scott Lyall

Permissions: Who Owns the Land? 
by Cormac Pentecost

Ponderings Upon Connection Through Introspection 
by Bec Lambert

The Holy Grail of Metal Detecting: Finding the Staffordshire Hoard 
by Kevin Leahy

And the Scarecrow Sees and the Scarecrow Knows: Thoughts on Worzel Gummidge 
by Andy Paciorek

Various Artists – Brutal Africa: The Heavy Metal Cowboys of Botswana 
& Crackdust – Dented Reality 
by Cormac Pentecost


Waiting for You: A Detectorists Zine issue one was reviewed by SkaldSummerisle over at the Folk Horror Revival site.

“A fanzine as beautiful and introspective as the series it lauds.”

Meanwhile, Interzone has been reviewed by Forrest Aguirre on his blog.

“I think that Interzone is a great reminder that those liminal spaces can be appreciated for what they are, where they are, and what they symbolize.”

Man is the Animal: A Coil Zine

The relentless march of Temporal Boundary Press to world domination continues apace with issue one of a new title. Man is the Animal: A Coil Zine is dedicated to the esoteric music project pursued by Jhonn Balance and Peter Christopherson. It is available now for pre-order:


The Vision and the Voice: Esoteric Dimensions of Coil’s Vocals 
by Hayes Hampton

A Hauntology of Coil 
by Sean Oscar

Are You Loathsome Tonight?: Coil’s Transformations 
by Benjamin Noys

The Horseman Betrays His Steed 
by Cormac Pentecost

The Spaces Between: Outside the Circles of Time and Love’s Secret Domain 
by Andy Sharp

Jhonn is Unbalanced 
by Val Denham

Dancer in the Dark

I first saw the film Dancer in the Dark at the cinema on its release in 2000. Having just rewatched it twenty years later it reminded me very strongly of how powerful a director Lars von Trier is and also of how effecting Björk’s performance in the lead role is. I guess that revisiting a film after such a long break should also present an opportunity for some ‘mature’ reflection on what has changed in the interim.

The film is set in 1960s America and follows the story of Selma (Björk) who is a Czech immigrant. Selma is suffering from an ocular condition which is causing her to go blind. She keeps this condition as hidden as possible because she fears losing her factory job. Her job is intensely important to her because she is saving money to pay for her young son to have an eye operation that will prevent him from inheriting his mother’s blindness. Selma finds some escape in watching musicals at the cinema, and as her sight deteriorates she slips in and out of fantasy segments where her immediate environment and the people around her appear to be part of a musical performance.

Continue reading “Dancer in the Dark”

Waiting For You: A Detectorists Zine

I am overjoyed to have edited the first issue of Waiting For You: A Detectorists Zine. It is now available for pre-order here:


-Waiting for You by Cormac Pentecost
-Phantom Signals by David Colohan
-Towards a Psychogeography of Danebury by David Petts
-The Call of all the Songbirds: Interviews with Harvey Robinson and Dan Michaelson by Jim Peters
-Background is Everything by Phil Smith


-The Windvale Sprites and The Lost Journals of Benjamin Tooth
Rosemary Pardoe
-Landscapes of Detectorists
Carl Taylor

This is Moon Music: Coil’s Music to Play in the Dark

Why should music be played in the dark? Presumably, because the absence of visual distractions will allow the listener to focus more wholly on the sounds, and also because the quieter, emptier nocturnal atmosphere feels different to that of the diurnal; more sympathetic to ritual and sex. And in the case of Coil, whose Music to Play in the Dark Vol 1 has just been reissued by Dais, because the night is watched over by the moon, and this is moon music. The turn to lunar influences was a significant twist to the Coil story. Previously, their work had been determinedly solar in character, informed by the androphile sexuality that infused their music, lyrics and wider aesthetic context. Some of their ritual music was concerned with the generation of male sexual energy. The rest was often explicitly queer. But with the Moon’s Milk releases and the two Music to Play in the Dark albums there was a conscious and deliberate decision to explore the very different sorts of energy that might be associated with the moon.

Continue reading “This is Moon Music: Coil’s Music to Play in the Dark”

Spectres of Lil Peep

I’ma Haunt You in the End

Lil Peep has been haunting me. Like all stars who die young his image is in perpetual circulation around the world through fibre optic cables and in the invisible mists of Wi-Fi signals. His voice is eternal and eternally young. He has achieved that uncanny state of immortality that requires pixilated black scrying mirrors all around the world to sustain the spectre. Yet his unruly spirit stands out from the rest somehow.

Gus Åhr’s fate was so obviously inevitable (with hindsight) that we can see the signs and portents there even from his birth. Born on the night of Halloween when the spirits of the dead draw closer to the world of the living, he was always conscious of this connection between his birth and the realm of death as can be seen from the two tattoos that he got to commemorate it (a pumpkin and the numbers 11-1 to represent November 1st). His lyrics often address suicidal ideation, self-harm, self-destructive violence, haunting. He grew into the role of the romantic hero who dies young and he couldn’t escape from it.

Gustav Elijah Åhr
Continue reading “Spectres of Lil Peep”