5 items from 2013
Sky's Hannibal might have been more interesting with a bit more psychology and a bit less blood and guts
Hannibal (Sky Living)
The Apprentice (BBC1) | iPlayer
Life of Crime (ITV1) | ITVplayer
Murder on the Home Front (ITV1) | ITVplayer
Great Artists In Their Own Words (BBC4) | iPlayer
There are two ways of looking at the kind of psychologically rich and physiologically brutal fiction written by Thomas Harris, author of The Silence of the Lambs. The first is that it's a sort of cultural safety valve, a secure and harmless realm in which to explore the dark thoughts that haunt our nightmares. The second is that it's gruesome porn for sickos.
The more sophisticated understanding is obviously the former, but there's some queasy part of me that can't quite shake off the suspicion that the latter contains a kernel of truth. Given the popularity and critical acclaim these books have enjoyed, I »
- Andrew Anthony
We're used to actors stripping on camera by now, so, in the many episodes of Girls in which Lena Dunham tugs her dress over her head, what's shocking isn't the bare breasts, but the belly: it's convex. Though Dunham could hardly be called fat, her stomach displays a distinct little jiggle. Has she no shame? No, as a matter of fact. She doesn't.
By increments, the tyranny of the thin is seeing cultural pushback. The bouncing roly-poly Beth Ditto and the formidable what-are-you-looking-at? Christina Hendricks in Mad Men project an audacious aesthetic alternative to the functional-anorexic ideal. So incendiary has the issue of physical size become in the west that weight takes on the character of a political statement. The rise »
- Lionel Shriver
The Emma Thompson period drama Effie, about one of the Victorian era's most infamous love triangles, is now cleared for release after winning a second copyright case in New York against a Us playwright who claimed it was based on his work.
Judge Thomas P Griesa of the southern New York district court ruled the high-profile film, which centres on the story of famed art critic John Ruskin, his wife Effie Gray and Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais, did not infringe on Gregory Murphy's similarly themed 1999 play The Countess, which was performed 634 times in New York and was revived for the London stage in 2005. Murphy had claimed in a Daily Mail article in April 2011 that he was considering his legal options after a mutual friend allegedly sent Thompson and »
- Ben Child
By Mike Malloy
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Complex and arcane religious rituals wouldn’t seem to make for good filmed entertainment. And yet, the Vatican’s papal election process – occurring again this week to name a successor to Pope Benedict XVI – has been detailed in cinema almost as many times as the more Hollywood-sounding subject of papal assassination attempts.
And while the workings of the pontifical election conclave might not be surprising in a religious film, they were even deemed dramatic enough for inclusion in The Godfather Part III. Yep, Francis Ford Coppola’s 1990 crime epic takes a break between whackings to portray the 1978 conclave that elected the first Pope John Paul.
But more impressive than the fact that cinema has depicted this process is the fact that, on occasion, the movies seem to have gotten it right. When a »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
In a transparent attempt to piggyback on a major news event and use it as an excuse to talk about films, here are some of our favourite cinematic popes
Following news that Benedict XVI is to be the first pope to resign in 600 years, we introduce the only important matter for debate: what are the best on-screen portrayals of pontiffs? Here are a few of our favourites, including nominations from @guardianfilm Twitter followers @Lazslokovacs, @farah0912, @nigelfloyd, @pafster, @DulachG, @filipequintans and @FPSFilm.
The film might not have been a classic, but Robbie Coltrane is certainly one of the most memorable movie popes.
Reading on mobile? Watch the clip on YouTube
- Adam Boult
5 items from 2013
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