The founder of Permanent Plastic Helmet (January 2, 2010, to be precise), Ashley is an intermittently moustachioed freelance film and culture journalist. He contributes regularly to Little White Lies and Brixton Blog, and has also written for the Guardian, the 405, When Saturday Comes football magazine, and many others that – like Gob Bluth’s tears when Tobias Funke get hits by a car in Arrested Development - just aren’t coming right now. When he’s not film-watching, blogging or clogging up Twitter with inane aphorisms, he can be usually be found attempting to decode the lyrics of Steely Dan records for pleasure, or lurking outside Bodean’s debating whether or not to go in. He enjoys the films of Spike Lee, Michael Haneke, Paul Thomas Anderson, Walter Hill, Charles Burnett and Wim Wenders. He also has a mortal fear of writing about himself in the third person, so will probably wrap it up there.
Guillaume Gendron is currently studying journalism in Paris. Prior to this recent developement, he lived and worked in London for half a decade, thinking of himself as a young Orwell in Down and Out in Paris and London, minus the extreme poverty but with added unpaid media internships. Frequently derided by his contemporaries for being the least French Frenchman they ever met – he doesn’t do cheese – he finds solace in deviant activities such as supporting Olympique de Marseille and Queens Park Rangers, watching highlights of Curb Your Enthusiasm on YouTube and jazz-funk noodling on his bass guitar. Obsessed by seventies’ New Hollywood in his teenage years, he built his filmic references around Scorsese’s stuff up to Casino and Coppola’s least successful films (how good is Tucker, seriously!), African-American cinema (from Blaxploitation to Spike Lee) and HBO classics like the The Sopranos and The Wire. Today, he reveres Terence Malick, Claire Denis, Jacques Audiard, P.T Anderson and David Fincher. He occassionally contributes reviews for Sight and Sound and promises he will resuscitate his own blog soon.
Fintan is originally from Belfast. Eventually tiring of being constantly mistaken for Liam Neeson, he decided to up sticks to the Netherlands and settled in The Hague, the heart of Paul Verhoeven country. There, he has carved a niche for himself in the Verhoeven oeuvre. If you look carefully at the street scene 15 minutes into Black Book, he can clearly be seen peering out of his window at Carice van Houten cycling past his house. (It’s clearer on BluRay). Fintan’s taste in film is broad, although a large part of his affections are reserved for Hollywood and European classics of the old studio system. If pushed really hard, he might admit to Billy Wilder being his favourite film-maker, which would sadly relegate Joel Schumacher to a lowly second place. Fintan is currently undergoing treatment to alleviate his Breaking Bad withdrawal symptoms. He is a contributor to the BFI Screenonline website.
Cathy is an American expat from the New York metro area (i.e. from New Jersey) who has lived in London for a couple of years. She teaches English literacy to 16 year olds, and is grateful to have a forum to try and practice what she preaches. On her good days, she aims to be a petite Filipino version of Robin Williams from Dead Poets Society mixed with a bit of Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds. On her bad days, she’s closer to Matthew Broderick in Election. She grew up reading Peter Travers’ reviews in Rolling Stone, which shaped her filmic tastes to lean towards American indie flicks. Her favourite films tend to feature strong female or minority characters, liberal politics, meta elements and ambiguously feel-good endings. Re-reading this bio is making her feel conspicuously non-European.
Sophia read English at Oxford University, and now works in a vintage shop selling bric-a-brac to the masses, while saving up for a Film MA. She writes on film for Cinemart, Grolsch Film Works and Cinevue, among others, and blogs at Wanderlust. Her favourite films often involve 60′s psychedelia and bad dialogue, and she loves documentaries, Pedro Almodovar, Gaspar Noe, We Are The Lambeth Boys, anything on the Flipside label, and loads of old weepies. She is not suffering from “post-graduation malaise”
Michael is a refugee from the north of England, who has remained safely hidden in London since 1999. Music and film are his great loves and sport his obsession; thus, in addition to offering contributions to PPH (and acting as an unofficial ‘Bond correspondent’), he can sometimes be found ranting about the Football Association’s ineptitude over at It’s Round and It’s White, while listening to American Music Club. As the twisted mind behind the BFI Film Quiz (hosted at the BFI IMAX), Michael spends the second Wednesday of each month watching contestants wrestle with questions on everything from the films of Godard to the history of dogs in cinema. Still harbouring a man-crush on John Cusack and a love of British New Wave cinema, Michael also retains a healthy disrespect for George Lucas, who promised him the stars and gave him only the prequels.
Others to have typed some lovely words for this very organ are: