Archive for November 2nd, 2012

by Sam Juliano

Swing Little Girl, Swing high to the sky,

And don’t ever look at the ground,

If you’re looking at rainbows, look up to the sky,

You’ll never find rainbows, if you’re looking down, 

Life may be dreary, but never the same,

Some days it’s sunshine, some days it’s rain.

Swing little girl, Swing high to the sky,

And don’t ever look to the ground,

If you’re looking at rainbows, look up to the sky,

But never, no never, look down.

-Charles Chaplin, 1969

When the immortality of Charles Chaplin is broached, one will readily identify the uproarious ingenuity of the conveyor belt and winding gear sequences in Modern Times, the eating of the shoe and the dinner roll dance in The Gold Rush, or the continuing drunk vs. sober saga of the millionaire played by Harry Myers in City Lights.  Likewise, cineastes will no doubt recollect Monsieur Verdoux’s continued failed attempts at murdering Arabella, the hysterical vocals inflections in The Great Dictator or the spirited slapstick in Shoulder Arms when the doughboy goes undercover dressed as a tree.  All of these films have multiple moments of comic inspiration, and still others like One A.M., A Dog’s Life and The Kid would serve as springboard for further discussion.  Since it first appeared in 1928 The Circus has steadfastly held down the dubious position as Chaplin’s most underrated film, and the one that has received short shrift in both summary assessment and in the unavoidable rankings of the master’s canon.  Yet The Circus has been favorably re-evaluated in recent years, and is now being seen by many as one of the silent clown’s supreme masterpieces, a film that boasts the strongest first reel of any of his films, and one that includes some of the best set pieces. (more…)

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by Allan Fish

NB: while I have a shorter version of this, I decided to just repost the longer version first posted here in 2010. 

Simon Lewis  d  Philippa Lowthorpe  w  Stephen Butchard  ph  Chris Seager  ed  David Thrasher  m  Peter Salem  art  Tom Bowyer

Jaime Winstone (Anneli Alderton), Natalie Press (Paula Clennell), Eva Birthistle (Annette Nicholls), Aisling Loftus (Gemma Adams), Kierston Wareing (Nina), Ruth Negga (Rochelle), Sarah Lancashire (Rosemary Nicholls), Juliet Aubrey (Maire Alderton), Ian Hart (DCC Stewart Gull), Lisa Millett (PC Janet Humphrey), Sean Harris (Brian Tobin), David Bradley (Patrick Palmer), Kate Dickie (Isabella Clennell), Joseph Mawle (Tom Stephens), Anton Lesser (Dr Nat Cary), Lauren Socha (Dawn), Vicky McClure (Stacy Nicholls), Christopher Fairbank (DCI John Quinton), Holly Grainger (Alice Clennell), Jo McInnes (ACC Jacqui Cheer), Chris McCalphy (Steven Wright),

There’s always a sense of the distasteful about using contemporary cause célèbres for dramatic purposes.  Not only does it recall a million dire disease/murder of the week TV movies on Hallmark and its ghastly ilk, it recalls the events themselves.  Remember Warner Bros indefinitely postponing the VHS release of Natural Born Killers in the UK after the Dunblane massacre or the delay in the release of Gone Baby Gone in the UK for fear of parallels being drawn to the Madeleine McCann case.  Or remember how Warners had to postpone the last episodes of Buffy‘s third season when one of the episodes, ‘Earshot’, was too close to the bone in light of the Columbine tragedy.  Even several years after the event, many found United 93 an impossible watch.  So when the BBC announced that it was dramatising the events of October to December 2006 in Suffolk, I have to admit to a deal of uneasiness about the enterprise.  I still remember Paula Clennell speaking to Anglia TV reporters only days before her death about the fear of getting in cars, but having to do it for the money, or Anneli Alderton on that fateful train CCTV footage back to Ipswich and her imminent death.  I didn’t watch it immediately when it was broadcast, and it’s perhaps unusual I am writing it now. (more…)

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