Live from Miskatonic: John Hough in conversation

Legend of Hell House

Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies – London

Instructors: Justin Harries

Date: 11 February 2016

Time: 7-10pm

Venue: Horse Hospital

Address: Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JD

Prices: £10 advance / £8 concs / £11 on the door

Miskatonic website

Following on a sold-out class on the work of sci-fi author J.G. Ballard with visiting instructor Jack Sargeant earlier this month, the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies – London returns in February with a special instalment of ‘Live From Miskatonic’, featuring director John Hough in an extensive on-stage interview with Filmbar70 curator Justin Harries.

From 60s TV series The Avangers and salacious Hammer Horror Twins of Evil to 70s gearhead staple Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry and children’s classics Escape to Witch Mountain and The Watcher in the Woods, British filmmaker John Hough has had an eclectic and storied career behind the camera. He considers himself a craftsman rather than an auteur, but is responsible for some of the most beloved films in horror history – most notably his 1973 adaptation of Richard Matheson’s novel Hell House.

In this special instalment of ‘Live from Miskatonic’, Hough will participate in a lengthy on-stage conversation with our guest interviewer Justin Harries, the curator of London’s popular FILMBAR70. The conversation will cover Hough’s early television career, his work with Hammer Films and Disney, his interactions with 1970s renegade Hollywood and his work with screen giants such as Orson Welles, Roddy McDowell, John Cassavetes, Max Von Sydow, Sophia Loren, Rod Steiger and so many more. The talk will be punctuated by film clips and there will be a Q+A period following the formal discussion.

Watch the trailer for Miskatonic London’s Spring 2016 semester:

About the instructor

Justin Harries is the co-creator and curator of Filmbar70, a London based film-club that specialises in screening anomalies drawn from the last gasp of European genre cinema, and has contributed visual and written essays to a number of DVD releases – especially those that lean toward the more glamourous side of the giallo genre. He also makes up approximately 50% of ‘The Carpenters’ (a John Carpenter tribute band) and is a member of ‘The Begotten’, a collective providing improvised sonics to E. Elias Merhige’s avant-splatter flick.

About the Miskatonic Institute:

Named for the fictional university in H.P. Lovecraft’s literary mythos, The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is a non-profit, community-based organization that started in Canada, founded by Kier-La Janisse in March of 2010. The school currently has branches in Montreal and London, with Miskatonic London operating under the co-direction of Kier-La Janisse and Electric Sheep Founder/Editor Virginie Sélavy.

All classes take place at the historic Horse Hospital, the heart of the city’s underground culture. Individual class tickets are £10 advance / £11 on the door / £8 concessions and will be available 30 days in advance of each class. Season tickets are £40 and will be available shortly.

The course dates of the Spring semester are 7 January, 11 February, 10 March, 14 April, 12 May. For the full details of the course please check the Miskatonic website. For all enquiries, please email[at]

Rich Pickings Presents: Life After Life

Out of Body, 2008. Courtesy of Susan Aldworth and GV Art gallery, London.

Format: Screening/talk

Part of The London Short Film Festival and Rich Pickings

Date: 16 January 2016

Venue: ICA, London

We are proud to announce an exciting new partnership with Rich Pickings for their new series of science and film events, Inside Out, which brings together filmmakers and scientists to explore various aspects of the human experience. Each event will be announced and documented on the Electric Sheep website. The first event in the series, Life After Life, was presented as part of this year’s London Short Film Festival. Below is Rich Pickings’ report of the event.
View a list of all events in this series here.

Life after Life was a short film and discussion event presented by Rich Pickings at London Short Film Festival 2016 on 16 January 2016 at the ICA.

The event examined the phenomenon of Near Death Experiences (NDEs) and how they can affect people’s lives. The programme featured a programme of short poetic films about life, death and what may or may not lie beyond. This was a jumping off point into a discussion with two guests with very different approaches to the subject.

Christopher French is Professor of Psychology and Co-coordinator of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London. Chris presented some of the scientific research that has been done around NDEs, looking at recurring patterns in people’s accounts and biological explanations for the experiences people report. French particularly focused on the out-of-body elements of the NDE, as this is one of the more measurable and replicable components common to the experience.

Raymond O’Brien experienced a NDE during a cardiac arrest five years ago, an incident that profoundly affected him. In the years since, Raymond has experienced huge highs and huge lows, and the emotional journey he has taken since his NDE mean that his experience has become a core part of his identity and his understanding of the world. O’Brien was generous enough to share his experience and interpretation of it with us, offering a unique insight into both his experience of an NDE and life following it.

The short films were a diverse mix of live action, animation, documentary and experimental moving image. They explored one man’s desire to confront the wilderness and conquer a mountain, and another’s powerful connection with the giant redwoods of California following a brush with death. Real life and fictional accounts of NDEs painted a vivid picture of the fear, regret, acceptance, love and transcendence that a person may experience in the moment of their death.

One theme that emerged strongly throughout the event was the human drive to hold onto life. Whether an NDE has a traumatic or positive effect on an individual’s identity, it seems that the impact is universally life-altering. The encounters with death that were presented were visceral and affecting, and while elements of the experience were repeated, each at its core was utterly unique.

Watch an edited video of the discussion with Christopher French and Raymond O’Brien:

Rich Pickings presents: Life After Life from Mackinnonworks on Vimeo.

Watch some of the films that played at the event:

Crossing Over: The Art of Jeremy Down
Impact: A Boxer’s Story
Out of Body
Phantom on The Cliff
Mother and Void
Moving the Giants [trailer & rental link only]

Supported by a Wellcome Trust People Award.

Check the Rich Pickings website for future events.