Novelist. Short Story-ist. Film enthusiast. Book enthusiast. Purveyor of sarcasm and dark humour. And somehow, he escaped…

If you’re reading this, it’s already too late. To click on this page is to open Pandora’s Box. So why not satisfy your curiosity, and chew on a mouthful of my Medium articles? I submit these to a variety of publications, including Illumination, The Writing Cooperative, Frame Rated, Fan Fare, Cinemania, and Backyard Church. I also have my own publication, Simon Dillon Cinema, where I publish my film reviews (the only articles not listed here, but follow the link for more).

Cinema Articles

Disastrous Movie Dates

How E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Changed My Life

Ten Films There Ought to Be a Law Against…


Five lessons in love for the cinematically inclined, drawn from personal experience.

If someone uses the phrase “bad dates”, I think of the Nazi monkey’s demise in Raiders of the Lost Ark. However, I’m writing this to chronicle bad dates of a different kind; five movie-related (and in one case TV-related) romantic interactions that went pear-shaped, prior to meeting my wife. It is my hope that these tales of woe will prove instructive to single film buffs, as they search for their significant others via that swipey-appy-thingy.

With the understanding that what one wants in a life partner will vary according to background, personality, and temperament, if you are a cineaste, I…


Retro Rewind

Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece was the Damascus Road moment that converted me to cinema.

Retro Rewind is a weekly series that reconsiders pre-2000 pop culture. More here.

My emotional baggage for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is a suitcase so overstuffed with bittersweet nostalgia and melancholy reminiscence that it would incur a hefty excess charge were its physical manifestation to accompany me on a commercial flight. Steven Spielberg’s 1982 smash — the most successful motion picture of all time until Spielberg dethroned himself eleven years later with Jurassic Park — is one of the greatest films ever made, with or without my personal baggage. …


My all-seeing eye scours Medium for the diamonds amid the coal.

Further to last month’s Dillon Picks, here again is my monthly roundup of truly excellent writing on Medium. What do you gain from being on this list? Absolutely nothing, other than a generous quantity of smug points for having found favour in the eyes of the Dillon Empire, as my criteria is stupidly strict.

Please remember that these articles are not necessarily from the calendar month, as I reserve the right to exhibit hidden gems from the Dark Ages of Medium. These pieces are from a variety of authors. …


M Night Shyamalan’s latest sacrifices character for shocks, but still has entertainment value.

M Night Shyamalan’s Old has been touted as a return to form. The accuracy of this assertion depends on how you define “form”. If by form you mean as moderately diverting as some of his better post Signs output — Split for instance — then yes, by that metric Old is a return to form after the dog’s dinner that was Glass. However, if you mean a return to the lightning-in-a-bottle brilliance of his one undoubted classic The Sixth Sense, to paraphrase Sallah in Raiders of the Lost Ark, you’re digging in the wrong place.

The premise concerns a group…


THUNDERDOME

“It may have escaped your notice, but life isn’t fair.”

Thunderdome is a FanFare series where our writers good-naturedly debate some matter of pop culture and then leave it to the readers to decide. Read each post and vote at the bottom!

Who is the best teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? I suppose it depends on your definition of “best”. Kindest? Fairest? Funniest? Or the one from whom Harry Potter learned the most, in order to survive when targeted by Lord Voldemort? By the latter criteria, the answer must be the Potions Master, Severus Snape.

From the very start, JK Rowling paints this enigmatic teacher as misunderstood…


The sledgehammer satire may be obvious but it elevates this latest entry in an often indifferent franchise.

First, a confession: I’ve always had a slight vendetta against the Purge series, because the ingenious premise — for one night every year, all crime is legal — I came up with myself, some years before these films existed. I even went so far as to write a screenplay, though it was radically different from anything we’ve seen on screen in the Purge series. For one thing, it had more of an oppressive religious angle and was set amid a Puritanical cult, who repress all their sinful urges to an absurd degree, except for one day in the year when…


I shudder to think of anyone discovering these for the first time on the small screen.

I am a cinema fundamentalist. Cinema is the true faith. Television is the antichrist. When the VHS revolution came about, I was having none of this “I’ll wait till it comes out on video” piffle. Watch a low-res, pan and scan, mono version on a 4:3 television instead? Nope.

In a similar way, today I utterly reject all this newfangled streaming nonsense. Yes, films can now be seen in their correct aspect ratio in a better resolution, and yes, you can add big TV screens, surround sound gimmicks, and the like (which do not replicate the cinema experience, contrary to…


My pre-internet childhood delight at seeing trailers on the big screen, and how exclusive previews could tempt audiences back to cinemas.

I first recall a film trailer having a significant impact on me in the autumn of 1984. My father took me to a re-release of 101 Dalmatians, at what was then the ABC Magdalen Street, Oxford — a lovely Art Deco one-screen cinema. The lights dimmed, the curtain rose, and following the supporting cartoon shorts, the trailers began. Some of these intrigued me (especially Beverly Hills Cop, which looked hilarious), but then the trailer for Dune came on, and everything changed.

The imagery from David Lynch’s notorious science fiction flop captivated my imagination. Ravishing production design, leather costumes, giant…


How I feared for my life during my first viewing of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

In the very first episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, there’s a hilarious sketch involving a man who writes the funniest joke in the world, and as a consequence dies laughing. When I discovered Monty Python around the age of twelve or so, I ought to have realised this was a harbinger of things to come. Sure enough, a few years later, during my first viewing of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, I laughed so much, I began to genuinely wonder if it really was possible to die laughing.

I knew I was in trouble the moment the opening…

Simon Dillon

Novelist and Short Story-ist. Film and Book Lover. If you cut me, I bleed celluloid and paper pulp. Blog: www.simondillonbooks.wordpress.com

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