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on 25 September 2009
Provincial college lecturer Larry Went is the disatisfied art world nearly-been at the centre of Neil Coombs' Dark Windows. Accidently becoming embroiled in a battle between sinister forces fighting to either liberate or constrict the collective unconcious through the medium of cinema, Larry becomes a player in a very dangerous game.

As the novel progresses, the line that divides fact and fiction becomes increasingly blurred for both Larry and the reader. Coombs encourages this blurring with a very original use of form that employs cinematic symbols and language as subliminal signposts to encourage the reader to create a 'film', from the text, within their own mind.

Dark Windows is an exhilarating read; deftly convincing and broadly conceived- taking in many cultural ideas and events of the 20th Century, from Roland Barthes to Groundhog Day and the Violent Femmes. Although the novel's sense of humour tells us not to take some wild ideas too, too seriously, Dark Windows ultimately develops into a rather chilling and plausible 'what if?'- and not just for the cinephile, to whom the book is dedicated.

What is the power of mass entertainment such as cinema, and how far can it influence what we think?
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on 28 October 2008
The discovery of a devastating method of mind-control leads to a desperate race through the history of cinema.

The apparent accidental death of an unknown man leads provincial college lecturer, Larry Went, to a startling conclusion. A notebook, containing a series of baffling clues, seems to confirm Larry's hunch that the dead man was a famous European film-maker and intellectual.

With the support of a cast of disparate friends, Larry begins to unravel a mystery that reveals a deadly battle between revolutionary and reactionary forces that has infected 20th century history and continues to affect and control contemporary society.

As the mystery accelerates, Larry is thrown into a maelstrom that leads him to question whether he is really at the centre of a global conspiracy or just developing an extreme form of narcissistic paranoia. The clues and their solutions revealing themselves through the history of cinema start to close in on Went and his family.

The only way to find an answer is to travel deep into the heart of the system that threatens to destroy him and everything he believes in. Once there he is offered a stark choice that ties his personal history to that of cinema and offers him either notoriety or obscurity.

Studying Surrealist and Fantasy Cinema (Studying Films)
Everything is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard
My Last Sigh
Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films [1938] (REGION 1) (NTSC)
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