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Tag: biography

Film Reviews

Stan & Ollie

Friday, February 22nd, 2019 Film Reviews,

There’s famous line attributed to actor, Edmund Gwenn, on his deathbed. When a sympathetic friend said: “This must be terribly difficult for you, Teddy,” he replied: “Not nearly as difficult as playing comedy.” I think of this line almost every time I see a comedy nowadays because so few are actually funny, even when the […]

Film Reviews

At Eternity’s Gate

Thursday, February 14th, 2019 Film Reviews,

With the maniacal gleam in his eye, his hagged, lean and hungry look, it’s amazing that it’s taken so long for Willem Dafoe to be cast as Vincent Van Gogh. He’s even got a Dutch name, although he was born in Wisconsin. Dafoe is 63 years old, while Van Gogh died at the age of […]

Film Reviews

On the Basis on Sex

Friday, February 8th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Karl Marx notoriously argued that the revolution would only arrive after capitalism had collapsed under the weight of its own contradictions. Even allowing for the findings of the Banking Royal Commission that day may be a long way off, but it’s a longstanding idea that things have to get worse before they can get better. […]

Film Reviews

Vice

Thursday, December 20th, 2018 Film Reviews,

Dick Cheney will forever be known as the man who put the “vice” into “Vice President”. While the Trump administration continues to sink into a legal quagmire we can look back at Cheney and marvel at how he ever got away with it. His continuing prosperity, indeed his very existence, suggests that his contract with […]

Film Reviews

Colette

Friday, December 14th, 2018 Film Reviews,

“When one can enter the enchanted kingdom of reading,” said Colette, “why write?” Many writers have expressed a profound distaste for their profession, but Colette (1873-1954) was one of the most natural talents ever to pick up a pen. Although she felt writing to be a dreadful chore she produced a constant stream of novels, […]

Film Reviews

Bohemian Rhapsody

Friday, November 2nd, 2018 Film Reviews,

When a film spends eight years in production, from first announcement to opening night, it doesn’t augur well, epecially if that same film changes directors when two-thirds complete. After such a painful birth perhaps we should be pleased Bohemian Rhapsody made it to the cinema at all. Dare we hope that it’s any good? Bryan […]

Film Reviews

Whitney

Friday, July 27th, 2018 Film Reviews,

Whitney Houston’s story is horribly familiar – which doesn’t make it any less compelling. We’ve been to a very similar place with Amy (2015), Asif Kapadia’s documentary about doomed pop star, Amy Winehouse. We’ve been there with Whitney herself only last year, with Whitney: Can I Be Me, a documentary by Nick Broomfield and Rudi […]

Film Reviews

Loving Vincent

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 Film Reviews,

Loving Vincent is one of those films that leans heavily on its novelty value. Alan Crosland’s The Jazz Singer was the first talkie; Alexander Sokurov’s The Russian Ark was the first feature to be shot in a single take; Thor:Ragnarok is the world’s first Kiwi superhero comedy; Loving Vincent is the world’s first fully painted […]

Film Reviews

The Final Portrait

Friday, October 6th, 2017 Film Reviews,

In Paris in 2006 I dined with James Lord in the restaurant of L’Hotel in rue des Beaux Arts. It’s the hotel in which Oscar Wilde had expired in an upstairs room, losing his final battle with the wallpaper. Many years after Wilde’s departure, Lord established himself in an exquisite apartment on the other side […]

Film Reviews

Victoria and Abdul

Friday, September 15th, 2017 Film Reviews,

One marvels at the undying appeal of Queen Victoria for latter-day filmmakers. Along with two features: John Madden’s Mrs. Brown (1997) and Jean-Marc Vallée’s The Young Victoria (2009), there are dozens of movies in which the Dear Old Queen makes an appearance. She’s usually portrayed as a stern but lovable grand dame who strikes an […]