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Full Contact/Six Nations documentary (Netflix)

A colleague on the Rust asked me if I had seen this documentary. As I had not, I watched it on Wednesday night and was disappointed. I am no fan of “fly-on-the-wall” documentaries. Vast amounts of money are expended in return for granting access to “where-the-fan-cannot-go” [...]

February 2, 2024 // 0 Comments

Two unwatchable films/Maestro & Saltburn

If Maestro and Saltburn are acclaimed as two of the best films of 2023 I would not like to see the two worst. I thought Maestro was the biopic of Leonard Bernstein but it is not; it is the story of his marriage his wife played by Carey Mulligan. She occupies the film stage front, left and centre [...]

January 5, 2024 // 0 Comments

Art of Film/Comedy/Sky Arts

Last night Ian Nathan presented the latest in the series on comedy. It’s obviously hard to cover this vast topic in an hour but nonetheless I was disappointed by the omissions. Mel Brooks and The Producers got a deserved mention but not Woody Allen. Although the point was made that comedy [...]

November 24, 2023 // 0 Comments


My heart dropped when in the opening sequence of Napoleon Joaquin Phoenix opened his mouth and a broad Brooklyn accent emerged. In films like Spartacus Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis had thick American accents, but you might have thought that a voice coach assisting Phoenix – or a French film [...]

November 23, 2023 // 0 Comments

Art of Cinema/depiction of war

I was so looking forward to Ian Nathan and the Sky Arts film team appraising war films in this series but I was disappointed. There were too many omissions and the emphasis was on British films like The Cruel Sea, an excellent film, but one featuring a merchant navy corvette, not the Royal Navy. [...]

November 17, 2023 // 0 Comments

The Lancaster Bomber

Last week there was a fascinating documentary on the Lancaster bomber on Sky. The Lancaster was the elite aircraft of Bomber Command which under Air Marshal ‘Bomber’ Harris raised German cities to rubble. This is a remarkably prescient topic given the Israeli Air Force bombing of Gaza. In [...]

November 13, 2023 // 0 Comments

A Voyage Round My Father: Chichester Festival Theatre (review 08.11.2023)

This piece by barrister/writer John Mortimer (1923 – 2009), perhaps best known of all for his creation Rumpole Of The Bailey starring Leo McKern as Horace Rumpole, had an interesting gestation. It began in the form of three sketches he wrote for BBC Radio in 1963, then developed into a [...]

November 9, 2023 // 0 Comments

Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?

Having watched a bio-documentary of Elizabeth Taylor in which the critic Derek Malcolm argued that the above film, based on the Edward Albee play, proved she could act, I duly ordered the DVD. It stars Elizabeth Taylor as Martha, the daughter of the President of the Faculty, and her husband George [...]

November 7, 2023 // 0 Comments

Frances McDormand

I read Olive Kitteridge and saw the HBO series after Melanie’s recommendation of both. The series did indeed highlight what a great actress Frances McDormand is. She rose to fame as the detective in Fargo, a typically unglamorous rôle, in which she is mainly in a bulky anorak to keep herself [...]

November 4, 2023 // 0 Comments

The Admirable Crichton (1957)

I livened up Monday morning by watching this film, directed by Lewis Gilbert, on Film 4 yesterday. Dramas on service and class have always been popular. Think of Upstairs Downstairs, Downton Abbey and Remains of the Day.   In many ways the genre all started with the J.M. Barrie play and Lewis [...]

October 31, 2023 // 0 Comments

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