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2 items from 2013

Simon Hoggart's week: A dawn chorus of dissent

25 October 2013 4:10 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Tabloid complaints about the BBC can descend into the absurd, such as moans about migrant birds featuring on Radio 4

✒The select committee that interviewed the chairman and director general of the BBC this week had trawled through all the tabloid allegations against Auntie over the past few months. It seems there is nothing the Beeb can get right. Some matters are serious, such as Jimmy Savile and the overpayment of departing staff. Others are incredibly trivial, such as the exact length of cleavage shown by female presenters.

But they all get full coverage in the anti-bbc press, including this week the allegation that some of the birds in the popular Tweet of the Day feature on Radio 4 are not actually British, but migrants who stop here on their way to somewhere else.

You can almost write the stories. They come over here, some of them from outside the EU, and »

- Simon Hoggart

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Are animals in Hollywood films too human?

26 April 2013 1:49 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The simian star of new Disney film Chimpanzee is the latest animal to be portrayed as having human emotions. But does such anthropomorphism give a distorted view of nature?

You could say cinema and nature got off on the wrong foot, or paw, right from the start. In 1926, to much excitement, an adventurer named William Douglas Burden brought back two komodo dragons to New York's Bronx zoo – the first live specimens the western world had ever seen. Most of that excitement had been generated via a movie Burden had made depicting these semi-mythical reptiles in the Indonesian wild, voraciously devouring a wild boar. By comparison, the real, live komodo dragons were something of a disappointment. They just lay about lethargically in their cage, and died a few months later. It later transpired that Burden's film had been heavily edited and staged to amp up the drama. The dragons hadn't actually »

- Steve Rose

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2013 | 2010

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