Appearing at last on YouTube (although I think it may have been there once before) is the curious TV film that Iain Sinclair (writer & “freak wrangler”) and Chris Petit (director) made for Channel 4’s Without Walls series in 1992. This is a must for enthusiasts of Sinclair’s early novels since it features the real-life models for several of his characters—guitarist/bookdealer Martin Stone, artist/author Brian Catling, crazed bookdealer Driffield—plus Sinclair’s friends Michael Moorcock and Alan Moore. The latter is seen searching for a copy of Francis Barrett’s grimoire, The Magus (1801), a year before he attached the magus label to himself; I still don’t know whether this quest was Alan’s suggestion or Sinclair’s.
Elsewhere there are fleeting portraits of crime writer Robin Cook (aka Derek Raymond), and Kray gang member Tony Lambrianou. Other notable appearances include poet Aaron Williamson, artist John Latham and David Seabrook, a writer whose Jack of Jumps book I designed a cover for in 2006. The narrative, such as it is, is a series of quests and meetings, threaded together with anecdotes about the various personalities who are the real subject of the film. It’s all very hermetic, and what sense it makes to the uninitiated I can’t say, but it holds the attention for 40 minutes. These obscurities have a way of vanishing, so if you’re interested watch it now or download it for later.