Exec-produced by Keith Griffiths, producer of Radio On, The Cardinal and the Corpse marks the beginning of Petit's loose partnership with writer Iain Sinclair. There's a nod towards narrative here involving a book-search launched by graphic novelist Alan Moore and a dealer (the dapper but barking Driffield), but it's little more than an excuse to showcase a number of authors and other miscreants. Former aristo turned crime writer Robin Cook (aka Derek Raymond) sets the tone ('All life is ultimately about death. It's what I call the general contract') while Michael Moorcock ('Moorcock schmoorcock,' mutters a Charing Cross Road dealer) casts doubt on Driffield's claim that a pulp novel, The Cardinal and the Corpse by Stephen Blakesley, is actually the work of Flann O'Brien. Petit and Sinclair's film is a deliberately jarring, oddly engaging rogues' gallery that even makes room for Tony Lambrianou, a former associate of the Krays ('I don't like the word gangster: I feel embarrassed when people use that word').
Cast and crew