Great piece by Iain Sinclair, which even-handedly points out that whilst From Hell might be a reasonable piece of Hollywood hokum, Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's original serialised graphic novel was effectively unfilmable. Mentioning the looser narrative structure of graphic novels (both in framing the 'action' throughout, and enabling ambiguous endings), and the book's thrust that the past is essentially unknowable - that at this distance, truth recedes in the rear-view mirror the more you pursue evidence - Sinclair doesn't mention the sheer labyrinthine density of Moore's work - the startling plot-shifts; sudden dizzying reorientations; murky alleyways; and numerous vividly realised but essentially bewildering dead-ends. The copious footnotes are like a whole extra book right there. It's a further example of Moore's brilliant use of information density and layering to both throw readers off a simplistic narrative scent and - perhaps incidentally, perhaps not - provide a richer, truer experience of the city (see earlier aside on Top 10). Too dense for film.
Interesting also that the Hughes Brothers recreated 1880s Whitechapel in Prague - as Sinclair notes, "it is more real than the real". In contrast, Sinclair quickly sketches Spitalfields now - still as lurid and obscene as at any point in its past. Also, a nice little list of his favourite London films.