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Tag: history

Film Reviews

Peterloo

Friday, May 10th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Rise, like lions after slumber In unvanquishable number! Shake your chains to earth, like dew Which in sleep had fallen on you: Ye are many – they are few! Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Masque of Anarchy, thought by many to be the greatest political poem ever written, was inspired by one, singular event. In the […]

Film Reviews

Mary Queen of Scots

Thursday, January 24th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Remember the Monty Python sketch: “Yoo are Mary Queen of Scots?” “I am” Crash, bang wallop! Well there’s plenty of bang in Josie Rourke’s new bio pic, but nothing to laugh about. There have been so many movies about the cousins and rival queens, Mary and Elizabeth, that I could spend this entire column listing […]

Film Reviews

The Favourite

Friday, January 4th, 2019 Film Reviews,

Queen Anne furniture is distinguished by its lightness and elegance – one might even say ‘timeless elegance’, as it looks as fresh today as it did at the dawn of the 18th century. Queen Anne, who ruled from 1702-1714, was no match for the chairs and cabinets that bear her name. Obese, gouty, wracked by […]

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

The Death of Stalin

Friday, March 30th, 2018 Film Reviews,

It’s conservatively estimated that 20 million people were murdered during Joseph Stalin’s reign.“So why were they all killed?” asks Simon Sebag Montefiore, in his devastating book, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. Nadezhda Mandelstam, who lost her poet husband, Osip, gave a succinct answer: “for nothing”. Montefiore suggests that under Stalin the supreme offence […]

Film Reviews

Mary Magdalene

Friday, March 23rd, 2018 Film Reviews,

Of all the figures in the New Testament, Mary Magdalene has been the most misunderstood. This is partly because early commentators found it hard to distinguish between Mary of Magdala, Mary of Bethany, and the ‘sinful’ woman in the Gospel of St. Luke, who anoints Jesus’s feet in Simon’s house and dries them with her […]

Film Reviews

The Post

Friday, January 12th, 2018 Film Reviews,

Steven Spielberg is to the cinema as Volvo is to the world of automobiles. Everyone recognises that a Volvo is an excellent, well-made car. It’s safe, reliable, high quality… but it will never get your pulse racing. With Spielberg we can be confident that each new feature will be a quality product. He’s too experienced, […]

Film Reviews

All the Money in the World

Friday, January 5th, 2018 Film Reviews,

Everything has a price. That’s the philosophy of life put forward by J.Paul Getty – not simply the richest man in the world in 1973, but allegedly the richest man that had ever lived. Getty applied the same principle when he sought to beat down the ransom demands of the gangsters who had kidnapped his […]

Film Reviews

Detroit

Friday, November 10th, 2017 Film Reviews,

If ever a film were poised on the edge of the great divide that exists in the United States today, it’s Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit. Like Ava DuVernay’s Selma (2015) it draws on the turbulent history of American race relations to make a not-so-subtle point about the present. After almost two-and-a-half hours, one leaves the cinema […]

Blog

Lore of the Land: Songlines

Friday, October 27th, 2017 Blog,

Under a blue, cloudless sky the road is one long strip of red earth, hemmed in by expanses of dry, tufty grass and scrub. The dominant colour is a pale yellow-grey, offset with the faintest tinges of green. The major landmark is Mount Conner, a long flat-topped monolith of reddish rock overshadowed by Uluru’s celebrity. […]