Archive for the ‘FILM’ Category

In the sixth Star Trek  film, The Undiscovered Country, Ambassador Spock tells Captain Kirk, “There’s an old Vulcan saying – only Nixon could go to China.”

The line was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, suggesting that Nixon going to China was so symbolically significant that it had even become a saying among an alien race centuries in the future.

The Nixon-going-to-China reference has also been cited a bunch of times in recent days, since it has been announced that Donald Trump appears to have accepted North Korea’s invitation for the US President to attend a talk with Kim Jong-un. The seemingly sudden onset of diplomacy and de-escalation seems to have caught most commentators off-guard.

It seems, on the surface, to be a positive development, with the historic meeting tentatively scheduled for May. (more…)

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I haven’t seen the Black Panther movie yet; but I’m looking forward to it.

T’Challa, the Black Panther, has for a long time been one of my absolute favorite comic book characters – and I’ve been glad that his mythology has been given the cinema treatment: and that it appears to be doing so well and generating so much conversation.

But, amid all of that conversation (much of which, rightly, is focused on the subject of the first entirely black superhero movie), one thing that probably won’t be discussed is the subject I’m going to cover here now: which gives me a rare opportunity to talk about both my love of comic-book mythologies and my interest in real-world geo-political conspiracies at the same time.

This isn’t an article about the film or even about the character’s history. Rather, it’s about a specific perception I have of the Black Panther mythology and how it relates to particular real-life North-African nation that I’ve written a lot about in the past – specifically Libya, and more specifically the Gaddafi-era Libya.

Now, obviously, I’ll need to justify this – and I will. (more…)

Is The Last Jedi the ‘worst Star Wars movie ever’? Possibly. Even probably. But what does that even mean?

Needless to say, this is my provisional review of The Last Jedi.

Writing this review – and thinking all of this through – has actually been a form of post-The-Last-Jedi therapy for me. And I needed that. A much longer version of this review can be found here. (more…)

As Episode 8 of the Star Wars saga hits cinemas and adds a new chapter in the mythology of the galaxy far, far away, here’s a timely revisit to all the existing films in the epic, magical universe Uncle George made.

Even die-hard fans have mixed feelings about the various films, particularly in regard to the prequel trilogy, which has been excessively and mostly unfairly maligned. But here is a loving and critical look back across cinema’s greatest saga, with the added power of hindsight and greater perspective.

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There is something that occurred to me ever since seeing The Force Awakens for the first time. It’s a theory based firmly in the mysticism and esoteric nature of the Star Wars mythology that has always been there.

And I want to lay it out here – before people go to see the new film.

As the next chapter in the Star Wars film saga sees general release, I’m taking a last chance to bore everyone with my juvenile fan-boy theorising and wide-eyed analysis: and, in this instance, to explain why I think there’s a hidden story in The Force Awakens and that it wasn’t entirely the film we thought it was.

For anyone who’s not particularly a Star Wars fan, I apologise – for what is going to read like a lot of rambling, geeky nonsense.

I’ve posted this theory elsewhere too; but I wanted to make sure I shared it here as well. I can’t say, of course, whether The Last Jedi will validate any of this or not. But you will need to rewatch The Force Awakens after reading through this – in order to test the argument out.

An alternate title for this could be ‘ANAKIN SKYWALKER WAS IN THE FORCE AWAKENS AND WE DIDN’T NOTICE’. (more…)

Rita Hayworth is still one of the most iconic pop culture figures of the 20th century and one of the four or five most iconic ‘Hollywood’ stars of the last century.
A few weeks ago marked the thirtieth anniversary of her death in 1987, and I wanted to take a moment to draw attention to some of the curious things relating to Hayworth and also to generally reflect on her.

Her story is an extraordinary, though not particularly happy, one; one that straddles the ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood and cinema, the Second World War, and even becomes a real-life story of a princess, is punctuated by high-profile marriages and dysfunctions, and eventually finishes as a sad story of early onset Alzheimer’s.

The fact that Hayworth developed Alzheimer’s very young – and a time when the illness wasn’t very well understood – is the saddest aspect of her story. For much of her final years, it is said she didn’t really even know what being ‘Rita Hayworth’ meant and didn’t fully even remember her past.

My own fascination with Rita Hayworth began not with any of her films, but with a feature-length documentary film about her life I remember seeing on TV a number of years ago. It was narrated by Kim Basinger and called simply Rita – The Biography of Rita Hayworth; I remember being entranced by it when it was on in the very late hours of Christmas Day (or early hours of Boxing Day) about twelve years ago. (more…)

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In a mansion in the fictional Xanadu, a vast palatial estate in Florida, the elderly Charles Foster Kane is on his deathbed. Holding a snow globe, he utters the mysterious word “Rosebud” and then dies; the snow globe slips from his hand and smashes on the floor.

And that’s how one of cinema’s most iconic scenes opens one of the greatest motion pictures ever made. (more…)

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Didn’t have enough time to properly, fully eulogise concerning the brilliant British film, stage and TV actor John Hurt, who passed away a few days ago after a struggle with pancreatic cancer.

There would be a lot to say about Hurt, whose rich, varied career included any number of memorable or stellar performances. But my own permanent sense of connection to Hurt’s on-screen legacy is a particular performance from his younger years.

While many would regard his portrayal of the Elephant Man as one of the great performances in cinema, John Hurt’s portrayal of the unhinged Emperor Caligula in the classic series I Claudius stands as one of the most compelling television performances there has ever been. (more…)

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You never forget your first love, they say.

Carrie Fisher was my first crush – and my infatuation with Princess Leia as a little boy was the closest to falling in ‘love’ that a five or six year-old boy is likely to experience.

Princess Leia – to my childhood eyes – was the most beautiful human being that could’ve been conceived of. To my more grown-up eyes now, nothing has really changed. Carrie Fisher in that role is still my absolute standard by which ‘beautiful’ is measured.

And I still retained my crush on Carrie Fisher and Princess Leia all through these years. (more…)