Film/History

Scorsese's "Gangs of New York" Distorts History (Daily Telegraph 15 Jan 2003)

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Scorsese’s film portrays racist mass murderers as victims Martin Scorsese is rightly the most lauded living American film-maker – a beacon of integrity as well as a brilliant talent. But his bloody, visually gorgeous new epic, Gangs of New York, set in Civil War-era Manhattan, distorts history at least as egregiously as The Patriot, Braveheart or [Read more…]

Reparations for the Raj? Mr Tharoor, you must be joking! (Politico Aug 3, 2015)

Comment/OpEd, Film/History, Latest Articles, South Asia Comments Off on Reparations for the Raj? Mr Tharoor, you must be joking! (Politico Aug 3, 2015)
Reparations for the Raj? Mr Tharoor, you must be joking! (Politico Aug 3, 2015)

The controversial Indian politician Shashi Tharoor sparks a polemical debate at the Oxford Union LONDON — An Oxford Union debate in which a senior Indian legislator, Shashi Tharoor, made a very funny speech last week calling for Britain to make reparations to India for the sins of the Raj, ignited a social media firestorm that culminated [Read more…]

What American Sniper Gets Right (Weekly Standard.com Jan.25 2015)

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American Sniper is easily the most authentic looking and sounding movie that Hollywood has made about American troops at war since Black Hawk Down. You can tell within minutes of its beginning that the filmmakers cared to get the details right, that their military consultants weren’t the usual Vietnam veterans that the studios often turn to, [Read more…]

Roger Ebert, R.I.P. (NRO April 5, 2013)

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I was shocked to hear last night of Roger Ebert’s death. This was partly because only yesterday I read a blog post, written by him on Tuesday, in which he announced that he was about to take a “leave of presence” from his fearsome schedule of film reviews (more than 200 in 2012) but was relaunching his [Read more…]

'Black Hawk Down', Two Decades Later (NRO Oct. 5, 2013)

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How an extraordinary feat of arms was turned into a political catastrophe. October 3rd and 4th marked the 20th anniversary of the “Black Hawk Down” incident in Somalia, also known as the First Battle of Mogadishu. The BBC ran a video report about it on Thursday entitled “US Black Hawk Down military disaster revisited.” It is worth watching [Read more…]

On 12 Years A Slave, the Oscars, Slavery in the Movies, Reparations and the Anglosphere

Film/History Comments Off on On 12 Years A Slave, the Oscars, Slavery in the Movies, Reparations and the Anglosphere

            There is little question that “12 Years A Slave” which last week won the Best Picture Oscar, as well as Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress, is a well-made, powerful and important film that deserves the plaudits it has won.             Since that triumph in LA, [Read more…]

Oscar and the Oppressors (Spectator Life 29 March 2014)

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Oscar and the Oppressors (Spectator Life 29 March 2014)

 Hollywood loves a social conscience picture, but its own culture is more conservative than it looks   As host Ellen DeGeneres joked at the Academy Awards, there were two outcomes that night: ‘Possibility number one: 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture. And possibility two: you’re all racists.’ There is little question that 12 Years a Slave is a well-made, [Read more…]

Exile on Jermyn Street (Standpoint July/Aug 2009)

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Exile on Jermyn Street (Standpoint July/Aug 2009)

Blacklisted by Hollywood, my father Carl Foreman made a new life in Britain. But he never forsook the country of his birth Funerals feel more natural in the winter. It’s as if death and loss ought to be accompanied by darkness and bad weather. My father’s took place on a perfect summer day in Los Angeles [Read more…]

Truth and Falsehood in "The Rising" (Daily Mail, Aug. 27 2005)

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A Lottery-funded film on the Indian Mutiny shows the rebels as heroes – and (surprise, surprise) the British as sadists. In fact, the mutineers were ruthless butchers… TO THE steady beat of drums, the captured mutineers were first stripped of their uniforms and then tied to cannons, their bellies pushed hard against the gaping mouths of [Read more…]

Big Bad Brits, And Other Movie Casting Myths (NR April 1998)

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Media people are different, if not from you or me, then from most Americans. They tend to be upper middle class and, if they are in positions of influence, to be Baby Boomers, i.e., between the ages of 35 and 55. Their politics and their values are influenced more by their generational experience than by anything [Read more…]