Posts Tagged ‘Cinema’

The release of the Laurel and Hardy film biopic Stan & Ollie has brought the legendary comedy duo back into the public consciousness for a while.

And it reminded me that, among various things I’ve written for this site over the years but never posted, there was a piece on Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy that I had notes for. It was originally to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Laurel’s death; but it works just as well to put it here now.

Even if it’s mainly about Laurel and the last days of his life, you actually can’t write about Laurel without it being about Hardy: the pair were inseparable, both in public consciousness and, as it happened, even in life and death.

It is a remarkable sign of the longeivity potential in the medium of film, and a testatement to the talents of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, that we still talk about them even now.

We are soon coming up to 100 years since the pair starred in their first movie together. Most of the shorts considered their classics are 80 and 90 years old by now. When I developed my love of Laurel and Hardy as a kid in the eighties, they had both already been dead for around two decades and their prime era had begun before even my grandparents had been born. (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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The passing of Peter O’Toole in December 2013 was a sad moment for me.

I had a strong personal affection for the man and his work, stemming primarily from my undying love for the film Lawrence of Arabia, which I consider a contender for the greatest movie ever made.
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In anticipation of the highly anticipated X-Men: Apocalypse movie, I have been revisiting the previous installments of the X-Men film franchise, reminding myself of some of the superb cinematic moments scattered throughout the series.

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The X-Men film franchise in general has been a mixed affair, with some truly wonderful films and some very lackluster offerings, some mind-blowing sequences or scenes and lots of very underwhelming ones.

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To mark Easter Sunday, I’ve decided to pay respect to a largely forgotten film that no one ever talks about, but that I think is utterly worth mention. That film was called The Greatest Story Ever Told; a 1965 Biblical epic produced and directed by George Stevens.

Now first off – I’m not big into Biblical films and I tend to dislike overly evangelical works of any type. In fact I resent any art that is really just sneaky evangelism masquerading as something else and I’m instinctively turned off when anything gets preachy. There’s a reason Biblical films have been so out-of-favor for decades now, the social and cultural climate having (rightly) changed very much since the hey-dey of the Biblical Epics in the fifties. But if this particular film wasn’t so damn special, I wouldn’t be caught dead evangelizing for it.

READ ORIGINAL POST:A Masterclass in Cinematography For Easter Sunday… (more…)

Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia, 1962

“Omar Sharif…? No one is called Omar Sharif! Your name is… ‘Fred’!” That was what Peter O’Toole said to his then unknown co-star the first time they were introduced, on location filming what would become a legendary film, ‘Lawrence of Arabia’.
And true to his word, O’Toole continued calling him ‘Fred’ for the decades that followed; the two actors had remained close friends right up until O’Toole’s death in December 2013. Legend has it that the two of them got themselves arrested on their first night in Hollywood.

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The passing of Peter O’Toole in December was a sad moment for me; not only because he was one of the greatest screen presences of the past fifty years and one of the last – if not the last – surviving greats of a golden age of cinema.

But mostly because I had a strong personal affection for the man and his work, stemming primarily from my undying love for the film Lawrence of Arabia, which I consider a contender for the greatest movie ever made.
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