Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.
Matt is almost done with his extended trip through Ingmar Bergman’s films, and before the final double-whammy of Fanny and Alexander in its TV and cinematic versions, he watched Autumn Sonata – undoubtedly a good, well-acted film, but not necessarily one that brings anything new to the director’s oeuvre… other than a certain iconic actress with a very familiar surname.
Welcome to Six Damn Fine Degrees. These instalments will be inspired by the idea of six degrees of separation in the loosest sense. The only rule: it connects – in some way – to the previous instalment. So come join us on our weekly foray into interconnectedness!
In last week’s Six Damn Fine Degrees post, Julie wrote about Shakespeare on film. In the post, she also talked about “less faithful adaptations”, which made me wonder: what do people generally consider a faithful adaptation of Shakespeare? Does faithful mean as close as possible to what those performances at the Rose Theatre or the Globe, back in the heady days around the turn of the century (16th to 17th, that is)? All in one location with minimal set changes, no artificial lighting, all female characters played by boys, that sort of thing? Because, most likely, that kind of stylised, formalised performance would be so alien to many people that they’d consider it downright avantgarde.
Each Friday we travel back in time, one year at a time, for a look at some of the cultural goodies that may appear closer than they really are in The Rear-View Mirror. Join us on our weekly journey into the past!
How many movie tropes are there that are common knowledge, yet if you were to ask what films actually use them you would draw a blank?
Well, that’s a lie. Obviously I can comment and I will. So there.
I’ve been watching the American remake? reimagining? resomething of House of Cards. On paper it seems a perfect proposal, updating the series and adapting it to the US context while giving David Fincher and Kevin Spacey something to get their teeth into. Critics largely agreed, on both sides of the pond. We’re now about half a dozen episodes into the first series, and I have to admit I’m not quite feeling it yet. I can’t even say it’s the series: my main problem at this point is that my memories of the BBC original (primarily the first series – the second and third got progressively worse in terms of writing and plot) keep getting in the way. I don’t have any issues with remakes on principle, but I keep thinking that BBC – no, scratch that, that Ian Richardson did it better. In fact, I think that’s my main problem so far: Spacey’s performance up to this point, or possibly the way his character is written, strikes me as somewhat lazy. He’s got the Spaceyisms down pat, but there’s no urgency behind it, no purpose. We’re told what this Frank Underwood wants to achieve, giving his machinations and manipulations a theoretical goal, but so far I don’t feel it. Manipulating people seems to be an end in itself to Underwood, whereas Richardson’s Francis Urqhart was a driven man, something his aloof, calculating irony sometimes covered but that was constantly seething under the surface.
I’m hoping I’ll learn to appreciate the Netflix House of Cards for what it is, rather than for what it isn’t and perhaps shouldn’t be. In the meantime, though, here’s a shoutout to Ian Richardson’s defining role, which he played to perfection even in the inferior second and third series. Is he the best neo-Richard III of all times?