It’s not that Where Eagles Dare was a family favourite, one we all sat down to watch together. My mother never much cared for action films; my dad fancied himself a bit of an arthouse buff – the films I recall watching with my family were the old seasons that BBC Two used to show: Hitchcock, Chabrol, Malle and so on. (I just tried thinking of sitting in the living room with my whole family, and the film that sprang to mind was Lacombe, Lucien. Pretentious, moi?) Maybe I loved Where Eagles Dare because it was mine, my solitary pleasure. … [Read more...] about My favourite film aged 12: Where Eagles Dare
Richard burton about elizabeth
But what a script it must have been! What a plot! How do people dream up twists and turns like that? The key turnaround comes in the castle's Great Hall and involves Burton crossing, double- and triple-bamboozling everyone in sight. In the script the dialogue was divvied up more evenly between Eastwood and Burton, but it ended up with Eastwood doing more of the shooting and Burton more of the talking. Good call. Burton admired Clint's "dynamic lethargy", but in this scene calls him a "punk – and a pretty second-rate punk at that". It's a devastating bit of verbal jujitsu since, effectively, Burton takes Eastwood's signature line – "Ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?" – and turns it back on him, before Clint's even landed the part of Dirty Harry. … [Read more...] about Geoff Dyer on Where Eagles Dare
But Tory interest in Thaler has not stopped there. When he arrived in London last week to do some teaching, five senior Conservatives met him for more than an hour to discuss his ideas and how they might work together. Steve Hilton, the party's head of strategy and Cameron's chief ideas man, was there, as were director of research James O'Shaughnessy and Oliver Letwin, MP and head of the party's policy review. … [Read more...] about From Obama to Cameron, why do so many politicians want a piece of Richard Thaler?
I’ve never been involved in a show that harvested as many big laughs as regularly. There’s no single individual that you can credit for that – it was a collective alchemy. I couldn’t have done it without Cal or without Richard’s extraordinary gift for individual jokes and building a whole comic sequence. A lot of people came to the National not knowing who James was. A lot of people were sceptical about James. But he is incredibly sympathetic and lovable. Above all, he is unbelievably skilled. I hope he’ll come back one day – and I think he does, too. … [Read more...] about One Man, Two Guvnors: Nicholas Hytner on the joy of farcing around
10. A World of Love by Elizabeth Bowen (1954)At first, this seems like just another of the gothic wartime tales for which Bowen was famous. On closer inspection, it gives the genre an unexpected twist. After the death of her cousin Guy, Antonia inherits an old estate – you know the drill – a crumbling house in the middle of nowhere with letters hidden in the attic full of secrets . Over the course of the novel, these secrets are revealed and Guy’s memory is acknowledged and mourned in full, affording the other characters, eventually, a degree of peace. In this way, Bowen demonstrates how Ireland could come to terms with its troubled history; how it might exorcise its demons in order to look forward to the future with something, perhaps, resembling hope. … [Read more...] about Top 10 Irish gothic novels