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film history

How do you measure the quality of a “classic” film?

Last year, I was doing a comparison of the films on the WJEC French curriculum. There were four films on the A-level curriculum, La Raffle (the Round Up), (A very Long Engagement), La Classe, and Le Havre.  Which of those four would I recommend? Well, for learning French, La Raffle had a huge weakness.  In […]

Categories
film history

6 films about Mental Illness

As the second Monday in May starts mental health awareness week, we thought he’d find six films that show what Hollywood thinks about mental illness.  This list may expand as time goes on, but we feel these are most representative of the way society changes its views.

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editorial finance

Why new technology should never be used to measure inflation

The UK government is cheating with inflation figures. For a while, camcorders were on the list of items in which prices were compared to overall inflation. Now, action cameras are. Why do I call this cheating? New tech always starts off expensive and drops in price. The initial price is what funds development. Then, after […]

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history writing

Beaumarchais and the first writers’ strike

You may have heard of Beaumarchais. He was a watchmaker, publisher of Voltaire’s works, gun runner for the rebels in the American Revolution, but most notably a playwright of works such as The Barber of Seville (which Mozart adapted into an opera.) In Beaumarchais’s time, writers were not well paid. The theatres of Paris held […]

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film history

The use of Flashback in Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace (dir. Michael Apted, written by Steven Knight) seems to be the first major film to depict the life and activism of Wilfred Wilberforce. I was reluctant to write any review because I’m not sure of the historical accuracy of Wilberforce’s life. However, from a creative point of view, I find the use of […]

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editorial history history

It takes more than 100 days

2 years ago, I witnessed the re-enactment of the battle of Waterloo.  Thousands of talented volunteers from around the world walked through the footsteps of Napoleon, Wellington, and Blücher, and their allies and armies. Although we didn’t have the best seats on the field, it was wonderful that so many dedicated re-enactors, or living historians, brought history to […]

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history review

“A short course of nothing” review of “Las Maestras de la República”

I hate to start a review with a spoiler, but knowing your history is always a spoiler.  And, if you don’t know your history, historical films often lack interest. Spain was backward during Franco’s dictatorship, just as fundamentalists in the middle east are making their own countries backward.  Much of Europe only truly emerged from […]

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1812 history history

The papers were wrong! Clinton is the loser!

In a letter to the British press, an American Federalist was sure of victory over Madison’s “Democrats.” “De Witt Clinton will be president; Mr Monroe will go out; his successor is not named.” He continued that “our secretary of treasury is going down as fast as possible. His budget will, no doubt, be the laughing […]

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history

Happy 104th Father’s Day

“A mischievous youngster named Wood Declared that he wouldn’t be good Till his father one day With a shingle they say[…]” Fill in the last line. Back in 1910, the Los Angeles Herald held a contest to finish that limerick.  Before you read the results, I’d challenge you to finish it yourself. The winning boy’s […]

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history writing

Lesson from history: only a madman would write for a living

It started as a story on the Hokusai Manga, for the 1812 timeline, and it turned to the study of an inconvenient truth. Okay, some writers are billionaires. I’m ready for your list of best selling authors and other freaks. A lot of Hollywood’s top producers started as writers, or at least a few of […]