Monday, 25 August 2014

RIP Lord Richard Attenborough 1923 - 2014

Richard (Lord) Attenborough, who died today aged 90 was one of cinema's most prolific talents both in front and behind the camera. In a career that has spanned six decades Lord Attenborough has entertained, moved, terrified and enthralled movie audiences around the world in many of filmdom's most famous and legendary titles. Brighton Rock, The Great Escape, Flight of the Phoenix, 10 Rillington Place, Ghandi, Cry Freedom, Jurassic Park, and Shadowlands are just the fragment of the tip of the iceberg that is Lord Attenborough's career. He has enjoyed success in the US having worked with many of cinema's greatest living and sadly departed talents. 



Image Credit; Kate Gabrielle
Even though he was a success in Hollywood Lord Attenborough never forgot his roots. He championed the British film industry as chairman of the UK's most prestigious film production companies as well as the BFI, and along with David (Lord) Puttnam lobbied Parliament to aide the industry he worked in so tirelessly. Although he will be sorely missed Lord Attenborough has immortalized himself in some of cinema's finest work in a career that many would be so lucky to have. 

Since Lord Attenborough passed away on the weekend of the 15th Film4 Frightfest in London it seems only fitting to pay tribute with a look at a directorial effort that is as terrifying today as it was over 35 years ago.




Monday, 11 August 2014

RIP Robin Williams 1951-2014

In the film Dead Poets Society written by Tom Schulman teacher John Keating (Robin Williams in what I feel was his best role) attempts to save his class of young aspirants from a life of mediocrity by inspiring them to think for themselves. In it he quotes from Walt Whitman; "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?" In answer to Keating's question Williams has contributed extraordinary verses to the powerful play lighting up the screen and our lives with his emotionally charged performances as an actor and his boundless frenetic energy as a comedian. His body of work is immense and although some could rightfully be buried in the landfill of awful forgettable movies (Cadillac Man, Hook) Williams' legacy is a plethora of incredible performances all of which deserved a nod from his peers. 


Friday, 28 March 2014

Oxford Literary Festival - Some Thoughts

If you are a writer and/or love books then the ideal getaway has to be the Oxford Literary Festival. Like all good things, such as Christmas, it comes but once a year and when it does the event is a literary onslaught of all things bookish. The just over week long event features many big names in the field of literature, broadcasting and written journalism all eager to talk for an hour about their latest published work, answer questions from the audience and stay as long as required for the obligatory pasting of their John Hancock on your treasured copy of their publication. This year marked my first of what will hopefully be many more attendances at the festival and must say that it has certainly awakened the sleeping passion in me for all that is printed and bound.