Carry On But Don’t Lose Your Head (1966 UK)

carry on but“Infamy, infamy – they’ve all got it in for me!” Screenwriter Talbot Rothwell was at his best when indulging his fondness for historical burlesque. Sumptuously mounted (ooh er) on various high-blown locations, including Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire – the former home of the Rothschilds, this is a beautifully produced and acted film. A ribald parody of the French Revolution encompassing everything from silly character names (Camembert is the local “big cheese,” aided and abetted by the gormless Citizen Bidet, while the Black Fingernail conceals his true identity under the foppish pseudonym of Sir Rodney Ffing – “with two small F’s!”). This reviewer also has two small f’s in his name but let’s move on…
[Read more…]

Advertisements

Barry Lyndon (UK/USA/Ireland 1975)

barrylyndon07Like the sustained cinematic fugue it is, ‘Barry Lyndon”s opening scenes provide a theme that will be treated to increasingly virtuoso variations throughout. Barry’s father is killed in a duel. Barry loses his virginity to a woman playing a role while playing cards. These are the great threads – Fathers, Duels, Mother, Sex, Women, The Unattainable, Masks, Games, Gambling – weaving into the web that will eventually trap Barry Lyndon. Fate, (through Michael Hordern’s sonorous narration) is like a spider picking him off sadistically limb by limb.
[Read more…]

Black Sails (USA) 2014/15/16

black-sails-season-2I’ve watched the first two seasons and have seen no drop off in terms of episode quality; if anything the script, character development, and pacing have gotten stronger with each show. There are thrills, spills and wenching (even a brothel) on display. This series has captured my eye and drawn me into its world. It must be commended for not trying to do too much in terms of the budget. The sets, costumes, and especially the ships transform the screen into a window of 18th century Caribbean life, and the realism is a big plus for the show. [Read more…]

%d bloggers like this: