Sunday, 14 August 2016


At the end of August, it’s gonna be one year since my trip to England. For almost a week, I had the opportunity to be in contact with a culture that has fascinated me throughout life. Accepting Marcus's (Brooks) invitation, I've come back to PCASUK, to talk about my passion for cinema and literature, relive some moments of my trip and finally talk about my plans for the future.


Since I can remember, I have a great passion for cinema. But it was at the age of ten, while watching a silent film in black and white that I began to look at films with different eyes. Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, 1920 caught my attention from the first scene until the very end. The play of light and shadows, classical music playing in the background, psychedelic sets, focus on the characters' look, the precision of the movements ... It was a set of details that connected two totally different generations. Although I was separated from that film by almost a century, it aroused the desire to know more about classic films. In a few months, I had already watched all the section of silent films of the video store.

Peter Cushing appeared by chance in my life when I was 12 years old. One of my hobbies at the time (and still is) was going to the video rental stores. Among several films I picked up Madhouse, 1974. After having watched the Dr Phibes’ films and feeling completely amazed by Vincent Price, I was in a true saga in search of all films in which he was the protagonist. But in Madhouse I came across with another actor who would become, like Vincent Price, one of my biggest inspirations. The end, far from being obvious, in which Peter had an iconic participation, made me want to know more about him. The next week I was immersed in Hammer’s adaptations of Frankenstein and Dracula.

As the years passed by, my interest for cinema increased more and more. I used to watched everything. I often say that I am a person of phases: when I come across with a certain genre, actor or director with which I identify myself, I watch everything of him. Documentaries, silent films, terror, Mafia, Alice's in Many Lands and so on. They all exert some level of influence on me, some more, some less. But terror will always be my favorite genre, both in film as in literature.

After all, I have chosen a completely unrelated career from the movie business: Economics and International Relations, which are the courses that I currently study in Sao Paulo. Despite my career choice, I can not see my future without doing something related to cinema in some point of my life. Be a short film, a documentary, or even a video for YouTube. Somehow, I want and I have plans to do something behind or maybe in front of the cameras: writing, directing or acting.

Last year, I had the opportunity to do a theoretical course on cinema’s history. It was six wonderful months of classes ministered by Inacio Araujo, who showed us a more critical and methodological view of the film industry, pointing out established directors and key films for any cinephile.

Since 2015, I have been involved in an academic project, in which I study the relationship between Philosophy and British Gothic Literature of the 19th century, to be more specific: the relationship between the works of Francis Bacon and novels such as Frankenstein and Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde. In this study I could relate two fields that apparently did not make any sense.

I was charmed and I felt madly in love with England. I visited a golf course and also a croquet one (believe me: golf courses are extremely rare and inaccessible in Brazil), I walked through a cold, almost desert of shingle
beach (the opposite of what we see here), where the sun was still shining bright at 7PM (the sunset here happens much earlier than in Europe). I tried the famous delicacy Fish & Chips, which approved at first. Walking through Whitstable was like a tour next to Peter. Despite not having had the opportunity to meet him, I could see him in every corner of the city: his ocean-front home, the restaurant that bears his name, Geoff Laurens Antiques, the museum filled with items from his personal collection, and the population as a whole, always willing to share an actor's memory.

In London I came across old houses, which I only see in historical cities of Brazil. There, on the other hand, it seems that the Victorian air still remains.I went to a casino for the first time and visited the acclaimed Whitehaven Mansions, the Poirot’s building (which I refuse to call Florin Court) and passed by Scotland Yard. Not forgetting the classical tourist sights.

I also broke the stereotype that British people are cold and distant, finding, on the other hand, polite and nice people, always willing to help, very thoughtful and patient.

Funny situations were also part of the script: it did not take long to realize that the delicious ice cream brand Kibon, in England is called Wall's; pass the subway card (Oyster Card) both to enter and to leave was a real surprise, because in Brazil whether you spend two hours or two minutes on the underground you will always pay the same amount. Finally it is worth remembering to any unsuspecting tourist that trains have a little button to open the doors!

Finally, I would like to thank Marcus for the opportunity to return to PCASUK and share my experience with thousands of Peter’s fans around the world. I hope that both my history and my trip to Whitstable have brought good memories of our dear Master of Horror.

Alice Lopes, 20 anos, São Paulo, Brasil


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