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1-20 of 35 items from 2012   « Prev | Next »


A Christmas Carol: the best and worst adaptations

19 December 2012 5:46 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Odd List Robert Keeling Dec 20, 2012

We delve back into more than a century of A Christmas Carol movies to find the best and worst adaptations of Dickens' festive tale...

Charles DickensA Christmas Carol, the classic story of a time travelling pensioner who sees dead people, is a festive fairytale which has itself become part of Christmas folklore.  In terms of favourite Christmas tales, Rudolph and Frosty may wrap up the children's vote, but for most people, it's Dickens’ seminal work which would get the nod.

The story was written by Dickens in order to tackle the relatively new issue of urban poverty, and in particular the growing underclass of impoverished townsfolk produced by the Industrial Revolution. With the rapid shift away from conventional farming and trade practices, and with the rise in new technological advancements, many people were suddenly without work and without the necessary skills to find a job. »

- ryanlambie

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Actors lobby David Cameron over plight of Belarusian political prisoners

19 December 2012 5:02 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Joanna Lumley, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman and Simon Callow among those who have recorded video messages to Pm

Actors including Joanna Lumley, Sam West, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Mark Rylance and Simon Callow have recorded video messages to David Cameron highlighting the plight of political prisoners held under the autocratic regime of the Belarusian dictator, Alexander Lukashenko.

The initiative has been organised by Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khazelin, co-founders of the Belarus Free Theatre, as part of the Free Belarus Now campaign and marks Wednesday's second anniversary of the rigged election that returned Lukashenko to power and a period when thousands of peaceful protesters were arrested.

"The regime does not want to show that there are any political prisoners," said Kaliada. "The authorities found different pretexts to make the arrests, things like hooliganism. Today there are still 14 political prisoners in jails of Belarus and they and their families are hostages »

- Mark Brown

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A Doctor A Day – “The Unquiet Dead”

7 December 2012 8:39 PM, PST | Comicmix.com | See recent Comicmix news »

Using the new Doctor Who Limited Edition Gift Set, your noble author will make his way through as much of the modern series as he can before the Christmas episode, The Snowmen. This is not a mere shadow play.

If you want to get picky, this is a Christmas episode before they started doing them officially.  On Christmas Eve in 1869 Wales, The Doctor, Rose and of all people, Charles Dickens, join together to fight…

The Unquiet Dead

By Mark Gatiss

Directed by Euros Lyn

“In what way do you resemble a means of  keeping oneself cool?”

Having shown her the future, The Doctor plans to show Rose the past.  Aiming for 1860 Naples, they land in 1869 Cardiff. Now, as a rule, the Tardis doesn’t land where there’s nothing going on, and this was no exception.  At a local funeral home, the dead are rising again, and at an increasing rate. »

- Vinnie Bartilucci

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James McAvoy Set To Play Macbeth On The London Stage

7 December 2012 2:53 PM, PST | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

James McAvoy, the star of such films as Wanted. The Last King Of  Scotland, X-men: First Class and the upcoming Welcome To The Punch, is set to make his first appearance on the London stage since 2009 in a new West End production of MacBeth, according to an official press release today.

The production will run at Trafalgar Studios from 9 February until 27 April, 2013,  and the difference with this adaptation of the Shakespeare work,is that ‘the action will play out in a dystopian Scotland brutalised by war. Under a toxic fog, Macbeth begins his tormented struggle for power fuelled by ambition and paranoia.’

Tickets are on sale now at www.macbethwestend.com. Here’s the full release.

BAFTA winning and Golden Globe nominated actor James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland, Atonement, X-Men) will star in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Jamie Lloyd’s (Donmar’s Passion, Broadway’s Cyrano de Bergerac, the »

- Paul Heath

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The Richard Burton Diaries edited by Chris Williams – review

29 November 2012 1:31 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Simon Callow on the booze, the money, the life with Liz …

One Sunday evening, in the winter of 1981-82, there was a celebration, at the Duke of York's Theatre in London, of the original radio production of Under Milk Wood. Various participants in that famous broadcast, including Richard Burton, the original narrator, were to read the play under the direction of its producer, Reggie Smith. The theatre was packed, with a largely Welsh audience.

Burton seemed to be enjoying himself, but it was not easy to hear him. He was glued to the book, seemingly in private communion with it. After the interval, the reading resumed. It was evident that Burton had liberally refreshed himself. Now he was not just inaudible but incoherent, with a tendency to slump. The reading lurched to its conclusion, after which the cast repaired to the Garrick Club for a celebratory supper. On the appearance of the first course, »

- Simon Callow

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Top TV spoofs: 'Don't I know you from Lark Pies To Cranchesterford?'

11 October 2012 7:27 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

From the House of Idiot to Uptown Downstairs Abbey to Hunderby there are a host of pitch-perfect pastiches. But what makes a good spoof? And is it just period dramas that are ripe for imitation?

It was "The House of Idiot" wot dun it. Ever since French and Saunders' pitch-perfect 1993 pastiche of The House of Eliott, the Beeb's hit Sunday-night drama about a haute couture fashion house during the roaring 20s, I've been unable to watch a period drama without subconsciously looking out for historical anachronisms, budget-saving trickery – just two vintage cars and a penny farthing, then? – and clunky attempts to establish context. ("Don't forget we're between the wars here, Evie!").

This is a particular problem during Downton Abbey, a show that teeters on the edge of soapy self-parody anyway. A highlight of last year's Red Nose Day was "Uptown Downstairs Abbey", from "the Oscar-winning writer of something similar" and starring Victoria Wood, »

- Michael Hogan

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Jack Whitehall: a class act

5 October 2012 4:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

He's made his name playing insufferable public school toffs. But is that the real Jack Whitehall?

Jack Whitehall sits outside a Putney cafe, looking slightly harassed. This is his third attempt at finding an interview venue. The first place he suggested we meet was closed, not unsurprisingly, given that it was a pub and it's 10.30 on a Wednesday morning. So he suggested another pub, also closed. Eventually, he leads me on a lengthy walk to discover somewhere that isn't a pub. Does he know this area? He frowns: yes, he grew up in Putney and still lives here. "My parents' house is just down there," he says, pointing across the road.

You could suggest that this is all very Jack Whitehall-ish. He has, after all, made a career out of playing clueless public schoolboys of varying degrees of ghastliness. Pj in Fresh Meat, the student sitcom by Jesse Armstrong »

- Alexis Petridis

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Jack Whitehall: a class act

5 October 2012 4:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

He's made his name playing insufferable public school toffs. But is that the real Jack Whitehall?

Jack Whitehall sits outside a Putney cafe, looking slightly harassed. This is his third attempt at finding an interview venue. The first place he suggested we meet was closed, not unsurprisingly, given that it was a pub and it's 10.30 on a Wednesday morning. So he suggested another pub, also closed. Eventually, he leads me on a lengthy walk to discover somewhere that isn't a pub. Does he know this area? He frowns: yes, he grew up in Putney and still lives here. "My parents' house is just down there," he says, pointing across the road.

You could suggest that this is all very Jack Whitehall-ish. He has, after all, made a career out of playing clueless public schoolboys of varying degrees of ghastliness. Pj in Fresh Meat, the student sitcom by Jesse Armstrong »

- Alexis Petridis

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Rewind TV: Parade's End; The Last Weekend; Funny Fortnight; The Queen's Mother-in-Law – review

25 August 2012 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall are extraordinary in Tom Stoppard's adaptation of Parade's End

Parade's End (BBC2) | iPlayer

The Last Weekend (ITV1) | ITV Player

Funny Fortnight (C4) | 4Od

The Queen's Mother-in-Law (C4) | 4Od

Any diehard Downton fans tuning in to BBC2 on Friday night, hoping for a fun, easy, schmaltzy, pretty, faintly rewarding hour or so, or so-so, of bodiced bitchery, and a bit of intrigue telegraphed only by railway hooters and wobbly cartoon finger-signs pointing to "the bad 'un", will have been royally disappointed. That's the first piece of excellent news about Parade's End. Saturday morning, there must have been legions of Boden-clad sandal-criminals zombieing their way round Homebase, mouths fluttering like those of guppies, still trying to work out… but who was that one? And why did the other one, the one with the hair…? And where were the cartoon fingers? Marvellous.

Second fine piece of news »

- Euan Ferguson

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TV highlights 21/08/2012

20 August 2012 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Gates | Discovering Hergé | Accused | The Queen's Mother In Law | C4 Comedy Presents: Them From That Thing | Bad Education

Gates

8.30pm, Sky Living

Sarah (Catherine Shepherd) pass-aggs Helen (Jo Page) into next week when the latter turns up late to collect Chloe from school. The parents are all talking about their feud by the time the bell rings, so Mark (Tom Ellis) goes to sort things out, but the women have their own, more direct form of negotiation. Some sharp writing and brilliant performances make this another solid comedy go-er for Sky, with the uneasy politics of parenthood guaranteeing broad appeal. Julia Raeside

Discovering Hergé

9pm, Sky Arts 1

Fans of Tintin, including Robert Elms, suffer in this documentary on the books' author, Hergé, as they try, and fail, to justify the likes of the boy adventurer's sojourn to the Congo, in which the Belgian cartoonist added insult to the injury of »

- Julia Raeside, David Stubbs, Jonathan Wright, Ali Catterall, Phelim O'Neill

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Simon Callow returns to West End as Charles Dickens

14 August 2012 9:24 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Simon Callow will return to the West End this autumn for a limited run of Peter Ackroyd's The Mystery of Charles Dickens. Following his turn as William Shakespeare in Being Shakespeare at Trafalgar Studios, Callow treads the boards as Dickens to cover 49 of the writer's characters, from Scrooge and Oliver Twist's Nancy to Miss Havisham and Tiny Tim. The play runs at the Playhouse Theatre for a limited season from September 13 to November (more) »

- By Mayer Nissim

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Ivor Novello, master of the musical

3 August 2012 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Simon Callow, Mark Elder and Gerard McBurney share a love for the music of Ivor Novello, which will be celebrated in a Prom, Glamorous Night

One day over lunch some 15 or more years ago, the trailblazing conductor of the Hallé Orchestra, Mark Elder, the Shostakovich scholar and avant-garde composer Gerard McBurney and I discovered our shared passion for the music of Ivor Novello. The slow-burning result of that encounter is the late-night Prom on 9 August celebrating the work and remarkable life of our hero. All those years ago we pledged that we Must Do Something About Ivor, but exactly what was unclear. Novello was the most successful British musical theatre composer of the 20th century before the meteoric rise of Andrew Lloyd Webber, and one of the great figures of his time. But it would have been hard at that moment in the 1990s to have chosen a less fashionable »

- Simon Callow

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Sky Arts shows it means business

22 May 2012 7:25 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

With its Playhouse Presents plays, live opera and a new series starring Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm, Sky Arts is increasingly moving up the must-watch list

Sky Arts is keen on springing surprises of the "odd but interesting" kind. The latest example is the engagement of Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe and Mad Men's Jon Hamm to star in A Young Doctor's Notebook, an adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov's Village of Muryovo set in 1917 which will broadcast next year under the Playhouse Presents banner. Made as a four-part comedy drama by Rev producer Big Talk Productions, it is bound to be worth sampling. Much the same thing can be said of the current, third and best run of original plays on the channel, which have featured pairings such as Sir Tom Jones and Brenda Blethyn discovering a lost love.

The results aren't always brilliant – but the key is that Sky »

- Maggie Brown

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DVD Review: Acts of Godfrey

11 May 2012 3:13 AM, PDT | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

Acts Of Godfrey

Stars: Iain Robertson, Simon Callow, Harry Enfield, Doon Mackichan, Ian Burfield | Written and Directed by Johnny Daukes

If anything complicates life it’s people and fate.  People are complicated individual and like to think they are in control of their fate.  Acts of Godfrey takes a look at this and shows a different side of thing, where fate is in fact manipulated for events to happen and people are pushed into actions that others see the best of them, no matter if this is in fact the truth.

Vic Timms is an insurance man who is not good at this job, he should be pushing people into buying his product but he lacks belief in it.  He has a cynical yet moralistic look on life that makes him appear in a perpetual bad move, life just does not work for him.  At the start of the story »

- Pzomb

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DVD Release: Arn: The Knight Templar: Complete Series

9 May 2012 3:52 PM, PDT | Disc Dish | See recent Disc Dish news »

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: June 5, 2012

Price: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray $34.98

Studio: Entertainment One

There are battles a'plenty in the medieval action-adventure TV series Arn: The Knight Templar

Costing approximately $35 million to produce, the 2007 television mini-series Arn: The Knight Templar is the  most lavish production ever undertaken in Scandinavia.

Set in Sweden and the Middle East in the 12th Century, the medieval action-adventure show tells the saga of Arn Magnusson (Joakim Nätterqvist), the son of a high-ranking Swedish nobleman, who is educated in a monastery and sent to the Holy Land as a knight templar to do penance for a forbidden love. Needless to say, there are a helluva lot of battles, betrayals, love affairs, intrigue and acts of gallantry that go down over the course of Arn’s journey.

Directed by Peter Flinth and based on the historical novels of Jan Guillou, the two-hour-plus Arn also stars Stellan Skarsgard (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo »

- Laurence

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The Saturday interview: Professor Mary Beard

21 April 2012 5:44 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

With her new TV series about the lives of ordinary Romans, Professor Mary Beard wants to tackle history differently. The nation's new favourite classicist talks to Stuart Jeffries

"I'm trending on Twitter," says the professor of classics at Cambridge as we walk to the departure lounge at Heathrow's terminal five. But it's not all good news. One reason Mary Beard's trending is that some viewers have been unpleasant about what she looks like on Meet the Romans, her three-part BBC2 TV series that started on Tuesday.

"I've been getting tweets like 'Can't she brush her hair?', 'Shouldn't she be sexing herself up a bit?', 'Did she try to look so haggard?' Lucky I've got a thick skin. Sometimes you think they're writing this after half a bottle of wine, and I feel like writing back after more than half a bottle: 'Actually, that's what a 57-year-old woman looks like. »

- Stuart Jeffries

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DVD Review - Acts of Godfrey (2012)

20 April 2012 3:52 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Acts of Godfrey, 2012.

Written and Directed by Johnny Daukes.

Starring Simon Callow, Iain Robertson, Harry Enfield, Doom Mackichan and Ian Burfield.

Synopsis:

God (Simon Callow) presents us a story (in verse), mainly following Victor (Iain Robertson) at a business seminar but bringing in others and slowly revealing how every single one of them is connected.

A film that takes existentialism as one of its themes is probably suited to the image of a man standing naked outside a classy hotel, rain pouring down on him. But I’ll come back to that later. Johnny Daukes, director, writer, even on the soundtrack, has crafted a decent film out of an idea that sounds like it could be up its own backside.

And because it’s the biggest point about a film that’s in verse, the huge, neon-signed, man bellowing through a megaphone question is: Can the writing be good without being a show-off gimmick? »

- flickeringmyth

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Mark Kermode's DVD round-up

14 April 2012 4:08 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; Dream House; Black Pond; Acts of Godfrey

When Rooney Mara picked up an Oscar nomination for her punchy central performance in David Fincher's American remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011, Sony, 18), one question hung awkwardly in the air: how come Noomi Rapace wasn't similarly honoured for her equally impressive turn as cyberpunk Lisbeth Salander in the original Scandinavian movie a couple of years earlier? Adapted from the first of Stieg Larsson's posthumously bestselling Millennium trilogy, Niels Arden Oplev's modestly budgeted thriller made a European star of the mercurial Rapace, who went on to feature in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and is soon to be seen headlining Ridley Scott's eagerly anticipated sci-fi epic Prometheus. It's hard not to conclude that, while Rapace delivered her dialogue in Swedish, Mara was feted for performing essentially the same role in »

- Mark Kermode

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Many gay actors still fear coming out will damage their careers

6 April 2012 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Actors' union Equity enlists famous names, including Antony Sher, to support gay actors who choose to be open

When Antony Sher started acting with the pioneering Gay Sweatshop theatre company in the 70s, he managed to stay in the closet. "I look back and blush," he said. "We all agreed to do it on the basis that it was stated that not all the performers were gay so you didn't know who was and who wasn't.

"Then, in the mid-80s, when I did the British premiere of Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy, I still wasn't out. I was doing press interviews about this great gay play that I felt so strongly about for a specific reason and I wasn't saying it – it was an astonishing waste of energy. But that's the kind of tangle you get into if you're not out."

Sher finally came out in 1990, inspired by »

- Alex Needham

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Many gay actors still fear coming out will damage their careers

6 April 2012 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Actors' union Equity enlists famous names, including Antony Sher, to support gay actors who choose to be open

When Antony Sher started acting with the pioneering Gay Sweatshop theatre company in the 70s, he managed to stay in the closet. "I look back and blush," he said. "We all agreed to do it on the basis that it was stated that not all the performers were gay so you didn't know who was and who wasn't.

"Then, in the mid-80s, when I did the British premiere of Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy, I still wasn't out. I was doing press interviews about this great gay play that I felt so strongly about for a specific reason and I wasn't saying it – it was an astonishing waste of energy. But that's the kind of tangle you get into if you're not out."

Sher finally came out in 1990, inspired by »

- Alex Needham

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1-20 of 35 items from 2012   « Prev | Next »


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