Mind on the Run: The Basil Kirchin Story PREVIEW Hull City of Culture 2017
Mind on The Run: The Basil Kirchin Story
by Roger Crow
Back in 1982, in the days before multi channels, DVDs (and even VHS in our house) meant I could watch anything I liked. I used to stay up every Friday and watch the late movie. For a film buff, these formative years meant I got to watch an awful lot of rubbish, but also caught some classics, cult or otherwise. One of them was I Start Counting, an eerie little thriller starring Jenny Agutter. The same year I saw Logan’s Run for the first time, which inspired a 35-year fascination with the actress, and eventually three chats with the Call the Midwife star.
She was hugely enthusiastic when I mentioned I Start Counting and the fact it’s never on TV anymore. One of the charms of the film is a score by Basil Kirchin, the enigmatic composer who spent part of his life living in Hull and whose life is worthy of a documentary. We may have a while to wait for that, but for fans of sixties and seventies music, there is hope.
Kirchin also worked on The Abominable Dr Phibes, (another Friday night discovery for me back in the 1980s), an outlandish, compelling horror classic which gave Vincent Price one of the most memorable roles of his career.
Basil Kirchin Story: “An extraordinary experience”
Thankfully, Hull City of Culture is honouring their former resident between Friday 17 and Sunday 19 February with ‘Mind on The Run – The Basil Kirchin Story‘.
Sean O’Hagan and friends will be presenting new music inspired by I Start Counting. And aside from assorted other attractions, Price fans are in for a treat when ‘Phibes’ gets an airing, complete with a live performance from Alexander Hawkins on the Hull City Hall pipe organ.
As a recent convert to the venue, thanks to the stunning John Williams concert at HCH, it should be an extraordinary experience.
Here’s a crash course in The Abominable Dr Phibes for those keen to see one of Vincent Price’s best films with a score from the Hull resident movie history (almost) forgot
- Joanna Lumley made an appearance in the film but her scene ended up on the cutting room floor
- The stars who do make it into the movie include Dad’s Army veteran John Laurie and The Third Man’s Joseph Cotten
- Made for a mere £300,000, it was directed by Robert Fuest, who also worked on many of the best episodes of The Avengers
- Vincent Price’s 100th movie kept fans waiting for his dialogue – he doesn’t speak for the first 10 minutes
- And some of the cast and crew returned a year later for the sequel, Dr Phibes Rises Again, which includes an appearance from a young John Thaw
Friday 17 February 2017
WE START COUNTING: SEAN O’HAGAN & FRIENDS + TWO AND TWO ARE ONE
Hull City Hall, Main Hall
THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES – FILM SCREENING & LIVE PERFORMANCE BY ALEXANDER HAWKINS
Hull City Hall, Main Hall
Top image © Anna Bean