Shakespeare’s King Duncan Mar12

Shakespeare’s King Duncan...

The Cyclone Repetory C.ompany performed scenes from Macbeth in the Everyman Palace for 5th years today. It was part of the Shakespeare Sessions; the Spring season consists of Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice and Romeo and Juliet. The company offered us some literature on Macbeth which included a list of important themes in the play. They are as follows: Appearance vs. Reality; Conscience; Evil vs. Good; Blood; Manhood vs. Womanhood; and Heroic Fate. What struck me was the notion that the play is modern, more modern than many pupils may realise. Free will was a Renaissance invention, the argument goes. Before Humanism and the greater questioning of tradition and religious authority that the Renaissance period espoused, rulers were more or less secure in their positions, at least in principle. With Renaissance thought came something of a Pandora’s Box however, since Humanism, though exalting the human mind and man’s potential to do good, also allowed dangerous, overly-ambitious people to challenge the old way of looking at the world. In Macbeth, the witches declare that Macbeth will become king. Were this a true prophecy however, all Macbeth would have had to have done is wait and the throne would drop into his lap. But Macbeth takes measures, spurred on by his wife and his own ambition, to ensure that it happens, thus heralding the modern period characterised by free will, individualism and the idea that the world is your oyster. Traditional power roles therefore are under threat, put on notice. Duncan represents such a role. The basis of Duncan’s power is religious faith. The Thanes accept his rule because they believe God has decreed it; moreover, it is natural since God favours the good. This faith in Providence though brings with it its own problems. For...

Movie Quiz Mar12

Movie Quiz

The not-so-totally impossible movie quiz for big boys 1. What actor links the movies Paris Trout, Waterworld and Easy Rider? 2. Which movie contains the quote: “Forty-eight: one in the box, one in the bush.” 3. What was the name of the whiskey that Bill Murray’s character was promoting in Lost in Translation? 4. Which actor links the movies, The Mambo Kings and Q&A? 5. In which movie does Ray Winston’s character say, “You’re fat and I’ll throw you in the river!”? 6. In which movie is Tim Robbins’ character refered to as a “Rembrandt”? 7. Who links the popular TV show Cheers and the really bad one CSI? 8. In which movie does Jack Nicholson ask, “Is there another kind?” 9. In which movie does Kevin Spacey drink out of a kobayashi mug? 10. Which diminutive actor recently split with the woman who played Carla in Cheers?...

Che by Steven Soderbergh...

(Soderbergh’s latest movie, Side Effects, threatens to be his last. That would be a terrible pity. If he never made any movie besides Che, his name is secure, in my opinion.) Soderbergh’s two-part film is a work of genius. His take on it all is, despite some of the iconography on the box, pretty balanced. There’s a fanaticism in these people, that, although inspired by a need for equality and a deeper moral urgency that Batista probably perceived, involved great suffering and death and also no small measure of propaganda. This is usual in war. But whatever about the historical veracity, the film is utterly engrossing and is a great example of how to portray a struggle on film. The director shows us the legwork, the slow, deliberate, sometimes extremely arduous and challenging ordeal of organising a revolution. But detritus broke off and caused misery. In one scene, a few of Castro’s men strike off on their own, steal and rape. It’s often like a film set – lots of sitting around, waiting for something to happen, much reflection and discussion but a liberal dose of excitement too. There were slips too, for instance with the urban movement who wished for negotiation while Fidel’s rural agrarian force wished for military force and an engagement on violent terms with Batista’s army. Fidel saw the power of the urban movement though. In the film he advises Ernesto “Che” Guevara that they have a lot of followers while Che refers to them as clowns. Watch this movie on a lazy Saturday afternoon, maybe when it’s raining outside and you have a spare three hours or more. It’s fabulous viewing....

Nun the Wiser by Cormac Larkin...

A review on the play Nun the Wiser by MMC students. I went to see this play on Thursday 7th of February with my parents and my sister. This play is about a singer, Dolores, who is trying to escape from a vengeful ex-boyfriend who is trying to kill her because she has agreed to testify against him. To evade him, she joins a convent but struggles to adapt to the lifestyle of the nuns, which is the polar opposite to the life she previously led. After settling in, Dolores revitalizes the convent choir and they gain fame and fortune. They become so famous that they are asked to perform for none other than his holiness himself, the Pope! The night before however, the ex-boyfriend shows up and tries to get Dolores but she runs away. She is overcome with guilt though as she sees how much the nuns need her, and she returns, and the police apprehend her ex. The quality of acting in this play was of a high standard, as was the singing. The play was billed as a comedy, and didn’t disappoint, as the show was jam-packed with humour. I would recommend seeing this play to anyone. I would give it a...

Argo by Daniel Dilworth Mar12

Argo by Daniel Dilworth...

So, Argo. Ben Affleck’s latest thriller about the Iranian Hostage Crisis has had the critics talking. Ever since co-star Bryan Cranston’s appearance on the Late Late Show I had it in my mind to watch the film. When I finally got to see it I was expecting an empty theatre. However, despite its DVD release people flocked to see Argo on the back of its Oscar triumph. The film starts with a brief history of Iran and then the action commences with the storming of the American embassy in Tehran. A group of embassy employees flee through an underground exit and flee to the Canadian ambassador’s residence. Cue Affleck as Tony Mendez and his sci-fi Star Wars-like idea, which is received sceptically among the other CIA workers. Eventually, with Jack O’Connor (Cranston) the plan is given the green light. In Iran Mendez gives the six American embassy staff new Canadian passports and supposed roles in the sci-fi film. At the same time the Iranians become aware that embassy staff are missing from their clutches and believe they may be being sheltered by the Canadian ambassador. Just as the embassy staff are coming to grips with their new identities O’Connor contacts Mendez to cancel the plan, who reneges and brings his charges to the airport. They are initially told they have no bookings for the Swissair flight to Zurich. However, at the same time O’Connor re-obtains authorisation for the seven to fly out of Tehran. The climax is certainly palpable. Affleck has delivered a brilliant film, worthy of all the praises that have been sung about it, and deserved better at the Academy Awards. Bryan Cranston was pretty good too, but all in all the entire cast made this film memorable and so entertaining:Without a...