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Lassie (2005)
Where's Nantucket?
28 December 2005
OK so am I the only one who never realized Lassie was set firstly in 1939 and secondly in Yorkshire? I grew up believing in gingham tablecloths, dusty gold mines, skunks in prairies and dangerous rattle snakes all of which our furry heroine, pined at, climbed from, lifted to safety and made friends with, yes and all without being stung, bitten

or even pooped on. Well move aside Nantucket because the real bitch is back and Charles Sturridge has done Eric Knight's beautiful story proud.

The film looks beautiful, set very convincingly in the 1930s English depression. The sets, camera work and locations provide us a time that makes much more sense of a dog returning home to his young master than 1960's America. Lassie's impossible journey deals with issues of loyalty, generosity, determination and good old Britishness all of which must have been useful propaganda tools for a country heading into war in 1939. So that's why it was written back then, so why remake it now? Because, those same basic issues and emotions are just as useful to remind ourselves of now as then but unfortunately for us modern family films have become lost in a sea of CGI and comuterized, sickly nothingness that has no relevance to anything but thrill. Truthfully? It's just plain nice to sit with your family in a cinema, cry your heart out and remember what's important in life. (And it doesn't have to be 40 feet tall and eat bananas!)

The boy is wonderful as indeed is the dog(s). The support from Morton, Lynch, O Toole, Drinkage is perfectly judged and I defy you not to blub a dub during the emotional Christmas homecoming. This is a beautiful film, a joy to watch and a credit to its makers.

Go Lass go.....
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Yes (I) (2004)
When Harry met Sally Potter
8 August 2005
Sally Potter has in my view made a masterpiece.

To challenge every issue from racism to religion to cultural difference, let alone to the big question, the what's it all about question, and all in one film is astounding but to do this with such daring, the rhyming verse, structure, cinematography, musical score is nothing short of genius. Joan Allen is remarkable as She. Her beauty is second only to her delivery of the some of the most intelligent and profound verse that I have ever heard. Shiela Hancock's death speech sits on its own as an inspired piece of writing. There are so many great moments in this film, there is no point in trying to list them, but do look out for the wine bar scene!

Potter has reminded me why film is great.

Thank you Sally Potter.
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