Fearful Symmetry

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Posts Tagged ‘Historical

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

The Religion by Tim Willocks

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The Religion by Tim Willocks

The Religion by Tim Willocks

Tim Willocks has been one of my favourite writers from when I first read Green River Rising in one sitting back when it came out in paperback. Unfortunately he’s been a bit quiet of late spending the last few years contributing to some rather duff films in Hollywood. Green River Rising depicted a brutal prison riot in America and his other novels were deep-fried southern gothic novels of crime and redemption. But now he’s back with something a bit different, a historical novel – but one that still deals with the same essential concerns of his previous novels.

The Religion is set in late medieval Europe, the events occurring mostly during one of the greatest battles in history – the siege of Malta. The title has multiple meanings; The Order of St John who hold the island consider themselves so devout they call themselves The Religion but there is also the Muslim religion of the invaders. Although we have a clash of civilisations at the heart of the novel Willocks shows that to the common man it does not really matter who is charge; everyone involved suffer for their leaders ambitions. In fact the personal obsessions of the main characters are so deep-seated that they are almost religions on there own.

The novel’s flawed hero straddles both of the religions. Mattias Tannhauser was born a Christian in the Germanic area of Europe but in the prologue was captured by Muslim invaders as a child and raised as a warrior for Islam. At the beginning of the novel he’s left behind both factions and is more interested in business ventures. But the Knights of Saint John enlist him to help with the siege by persuading a beautiful woman to beg hin to help him find her son who is lost somewhere in Malta. Close on his heels is a Grand Inquisitor after his blood.
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Written by Fearful Symmetry

June 24, 2009 at 3:38 pm