Tangled Web UK Review November 2000
File Updated: 06/11/00
The Director's Cut The Director's Cut by Nicholas Royle
pbk out August 00 (Abacus) at £9.99
An unusual story with a very specialist theme, which concerns the fringe film industry in London and especially the history of now defunct cinemas in the capital.
The author has a long track record of anthologies and short stories, as well as three previous novels. Without wishing to give away the story – which always inhibits a reviewer’s field of action – the plot concerns four men marginally involved in the making of films, who about fifteen years previously, had covertly filmed a co-operative cinema projectionist as he commited suicide. The body was buried after being wrapped mummy-like in a reel of film, but in 1998, development work on a site containing an old cinema off Tottenham Court Road, unearths the corpse, setting off a bizarre train of events. The writing is excellent and the strange plot gripping enough to qualify for the ‘unput-downable’ diploma. It is surreal in places, especially where it concerns Angelo, who is obsessed with old London cinemas and has a collection of empty video cassette boxes, filled with the ‘space’ from these derelict halls. The author has an encyclopaedic knowledge of cinema history in London and must have used this novel as a vehicle for expressing his own fascination with this unusual background.

( Bernard Knight - Author of the highly acclaimed Crowner John series set in Medieval Devon)