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Martin Scorsese In Conversation

After Martin Scorsese delivered the 42nd  Jefferson Lecture in April last year, he sat down for a conversation with Jim Leach, the outgoing Chairman of America’s National Endowment for the Humanities, which conducts the lectures. The following is their record of that conversation.   JIM LEACH: I want to ask you about place, which, of course, […]

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To The Wonder

Terrence Malick: The Art Of Voiceover

No film-maker employs voiceover quite like Terrence Malick, or as often. Sometimes it can seem naive, like Sissy Spacek’s Holly in Badlands (“One day, while taking a look at some vistas in Dad’s stereopticon, it hit me that I was just this little girl, born in Texas, whose father was a sign painter, who only […]

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the prisoner free-for-all

The Prisoner: Failure Is The Only Option

What do we want? Information. You won’t get it…oh, you know the drill. Few TV series have provoked so much debate, interest, and even downright outrage as Patrick McGoohan’s  The Prisoner (for he did indeed orchestrate almost every detail of the show)  in 1967. A paean to liberty, a Rand-ian blueprint, metaphysical exploration of the […]

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More Than Words: Oldman’s George Smiley

We are not so very different, you and I. We’ve both spent our lives looking for the weaknesses in one another. Playing a new interpretation of a beloved character can be difficult at the best of times, however playing a character made beloved by the late, great Sir Alec Guinness is quite another matter (just […]

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a fistful of dollars outake

A Fistful Of Outtakes

This year marks the 50th anniversary of  Sergio Leone’s A Fistful Of Dollars, the spaghetti western (a term he disliked) that put both the Italian director and his American leading man Clint Eastwood firmly in the cinematic firmament. And now that  Cineteca Di Bologna has begun restoring the “Dollars” trilogy (A Fistful Of Dollars, For […]

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Stoker: Saddle Sore And Killer Heeled

In Park Chan-Wook’s first English language film Stoker, artifice and control collide in dizzyingly sadistic and stylish fashion. Fashion being the operative word, as costume design plays an intrinsic part in the story telling of this American Gothic psycho-chiller. “Just as a flower does not choose its colour, we are not responsible for what we […]

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Guilty Pleasures: Firefox

Clint Eastwood’s Cold War thriller Firefox (1982), based on the novel by Craig Thomas, has a bit of a rep as a plodding spy film, partially enlivened by some fancy model work dog fights in the third act. Rewatching it the other night, it struck me that the minutiae of the set-up, evasions and manoeuvres […]

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The Force In Rogue One: A Stealth Presence

Much has been made of how the story threads and protagonists of Rogue One A Star Wars Story exist and strive to win against the Imperial horde in a world without Jedi, without The Force. A concept, a religion, already slipping into distant memory. Yet The Force subtly weaves its way throughout heroine Jyn Erso’s […]

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Tarkin Care Of Business: Rogue One’s Digital Peter Cushing

One of the most exciting, groundbreaking and controversial elements of Rogue One A Star Wars Story, is the inclusion of a character, Grand Moff Tarkin, played in the original Star Wars by the now deceased Peter Cushing. Controversial, because the method used was a CG scan of his face over a physically similar actor (Holby […]

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Worst Sellers: The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu-Manchu

Sometimes it is very hard to say goodbye, more often than not a short wave, or fleeting glimpse stays in the memory longer than a heartfelt hug or a protracted chat. In terms of signing off of your film career, Peter Sellers had left the perfect goodbye with the last shots of Being There. As […]

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