Fearful Symmetry

Film. Books. Comics. TV. Music.

Posts Tagged ‘Drama

Good Night, And Good Luck

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David Strathairn is Edward R Murrow

David Strathairn is Edward R Murrow

It’s not often, especially nowadays, that I finish watching a film wishing it had been longer, to be left wanting more. But that was exactly the feeling I got when Good Night, And Good Luck finished.

The film is a bio pic but one that concentrates on a one key experience rather than show the whole life – the time when the broadcaster Edward R Murrow decided to take a stand against that infamous Senator for Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy. He defies the shows sponsors, and endures producing saccharine star interviews (one excruciating example with Liberace is shown) in order to go up against McCarthy – exposing him in an interview. The black and white filming, reflects the black and white nature of the argument – good vs. evil. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Fearful Symmetry

July 20, 2009 at 10:58 am

Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead

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Grim brothers - Before The Devil Knows You're Dead

Grim brothers - Before The Devil Knows You're Dead

Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead is from that sub-genre of crime, the heist movie; in this case the robbery of a ‘mom and pop’ jewelry store. Ironically mom and pop are going to be robbed by their own sons. Harking back to noir traditions, it all goes terrible wrong and the film plays out the consequences of the failed robbery for each of the various parties involved, interspersed with flashbacks showing how the robbery came about from the different perspectives of each of the characters.

Andy, the oldest son, is played with dead weight solidity by the always brilliant Philip Seymour Hoffman. He’s mired in the middle of middle-aged depression, with a failing marriage, a stultifying job and drug addiction. The only time he was recently happy was on a holiday in Rio and he desperately wants to get back there with is wife – the ever gorgeous Marisa Tomei -permanently. So he lures his brother Hank into a plan to rob their parent’s jewelry business. They’re insured, nobody gets hurt right? Hank, played with a jittery edgy by Ethan Hawke, doesn’t need much persuading. He’s several months in the hole with child payments to his ex-wife (plus the kid needs and extra hundred bucks to go an a class trip to see The Lion King). And he wants to get away with his lover too. Who just happens to be Andy’s wife… Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fearful Symmetry

July 16, 2009 at 9:26 am

The Steep Approach To Garbadale by Iain Banks

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Snakes and ladders

Snakes and ladders

For me, with writers, there’s Iain Banks and there’s all the rest. Other writers I’ve developed obsessions about – Tim Willocks, for instance – but with Banks the obsession is deep and total. So a new Banks coming out is a major event. Especially when there’s hasn’t been one for a while, with the author deciding to slow down from the one-book a year (alternating between sf and lit fict.) of his earlier career, and the latest being delayed by events in Banks’ life (getting divorced if you didn’t know already).

Whilst in his ‘M’ guise, Banks sf output has remained high in turns of quality, there’s a general consensus that there’s been somewhat a dip with regards to his ‘M-less’ output: Whit being somewhat uninspiring, The Business and especially Dead Air being distinctly underwritten (or as a friend of mine said, more succinctly, ‘shit’). Only the literary but bleak A Song Of Stone, based on a long poem Banks wrote years ago, stands-out in the non-sf novels since the glory days of his early years finished with Complicity – although even then he still turned out the odd clunker like Canal Dreams. So is A Steep Approach To Garbadale a return to form? Well, judging by most of the reviews, no; although I think differently… Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fearful Symmetry

July 16, 2009 at 9:08 am

Beeb Mac

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“Working in art film or commercial cinema is like dancing through a mine field, and every broadcaster is now racing down market in a desperate attempt to survive. But what is happening at the BBC is the real scandal: it is bigger than all the rest combined, it is free from direct commercial pressure and its public service obligations carry cultural responsibilities. There are no excuses.”

Veteran producer Tony Garnett, has launched a blistering attack on the current process of drama commissioning at the BBC

Written by Fearful Symmetry

July 15, 2009 at 11:51 am

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