Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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A bit of pulp detection

One of the things that have helped me remain sane in the last few months is the weekly podcast I record with my friend Lucy.
It’s a simple thing, in Italian, that we started because we were isolating at home 500 kms apart, and were both feeling stressed – so we meet virtually once a week, and we talk about old horror movies. We would have done it anyway, as a way to keep a hold on our sanity, but then we said … why not turn it into a podcast?

So far we’ve discussed films new and old, from Carpenter’s The Fog to he classic post-apocalyptic Doomsday from 2008, and then Bride of Frankenstein and A Chinese Ghost Story, and so on and so forth. We have a pretty loose definition of horror, and we expand on SF, adventure, disaster movies, even comedies. We are currently about to record the 16th episode, and we are already working on the 17th.

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Brancalonia at the University of Edimburgh

Brancalonia, the “spaghetti fantasy” roleplaying game has been a runaway success on Kickstarter – which means the writers and illustrators are hard at work on these hot summer days to get everything ready.
But meanwhile, back when the Kickstarter was still running full tilt, the History & Game Lab at Edinburgh University took an interest in us.

As a result, you can listen to an interview on the subject of games, history, the interplay of the real world and fantasy, and a lot of other things, on this podcast.

Brancalonia art by Lorenzo Nuti

My voice is horrible, I am quite obviously clueless, but hey, you might find something interesting in my ramblings.


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Fear & Loathing

And so in the end I went and did a podcast, and it’s going fine – but it’s in Italian, and I’m afraid most of you couldn’t care less. But I’ll explain why it’s in Italian, while it’s been so successful, and all that.
Because I’ve got ideas, you see…

The podcast is called Paura & Delirio, and that’s how Fear & Loathing was translated in Italian when the movie based on Hunter S. Thompson’s book came out.
It’s basically two people – my friend Lucy and I – talking about old horror movies. No script, no planning, no nothing. We just pick a movie, or ask our listeners to pick one, we re-watch it, and then talk about it, while I drink some tea and Lucy smokes a fag.

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Radio Karavansara – why not?

I’ve been listening a lot to Martin Newell’s ODDCASTE, an irregular podcast in which the British musician and poet plays DJ, offering a selection of obscure and often fascinating pop tunes. I often thought that’s the sort of thing I’d love to do… but of course the ODDCASTE already exists, and there’s no need for more of the same.

On the other hand, I am having a lot of fun with the current work on Paura & Delirio, the podcast on horror and fantastic movies I host with my friend Lucy. Wouldn’t it be good to do something else, podcast-wise?
Of course it would!

Then last night the thought struck me.
Time to bring back Radio Karavansara.

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Sleeping patterns and other stuff

You may have notice a sudden increase of video posts on this blog – and a few shorter posts. Fact is, while the lockdown’s been lifted in my country, I am still in my old house, in my old village, doing my old things. I used to say that the lockdown had not changed my daily routines… well, the lifting of the lockdown did not change them either.

The only thing that’s changed is my sleep patterns – after six weeks of solid insomnia, now I have developed the vitality and spark of a dormouse: I’d spend 16 hours a day sleeping.
Bummer.

This new scrambling on my daily rhythms is starting to get annoying.

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A special (or two) for my birthday

My birthday is coming up in ten days, and I’ve decided I’ll do something special for my Patrons – because they are my special fans, and I felt like giving them something different.
Why not use my 53rd birthday as an excuse?

In the last few weeks I have started a podcast, in Italian, together with my friend Lucy – basically we sit in front of a microphone and talk about our favorite horror/fantasy/thriller movies. We started with pandemic, post-apocalypse British flick Doomsday, from 2008, and continued with the classic 1972 BBC production of Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape. We’re having a lot of fun, and when I asked her, my partner-in-crime accepted to do a special episode of our ‘cast, exclusively for my Patrons.

And why not let them choose the movie?, I said.

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