Sweet Smell of Success (1957) Cheat Sheet

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Background: A noir film directed by Alexander Mackendrick, ‘Sweet Smell of Success‘ is regarded as a cult classic by those aware of the film, and much like other cult classics such as ‘Fight Club’ and ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Sweet Smell Of Success’ was poorly received by audiences and critics at the time. However, over the years its popularity has grown and the films stands out not only as one of Tony Curtis’s best performances on screen, but the film has also aged quite well in its profound depiction of seedy men and corrupt business.

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Their Finest (2017)

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For a film about propaganda, its own marketing campaign was quite well organised. Last weekend a feature was published in The Times which contained a charming interview with the film’s star Gemma Arterton. In this interview, she discussed her desire to move from big blockbuster films to smaller character driven ones. Arterton is probably better known for her roles in big blockbuster American films such as ‘Prince of Persia’, ‘Hansel & Gretel’ and ‘Clash of Titans’. Arterton explained that whilst these films offered well-paid opportunities to new talent, they were ultimately unsatisfying roles, a familiar path for many actors including Bill Nighy.
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Casablanca (1942) Cheat Sheet

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Background: Casablanca is a 1942 black & white romantic drama directed by Michael Curtiz, and it was based on a stage play called ‘Everybody Comes to Rick’s’. Casablanca is a city located in the north-west area of Morocco and the film is set during the start of the Second World War. Continue reading

Rogue One (2016)

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Minor Spoilers throughout, and I will place ‘The Last Jedi’ trailer at the bottom.

Star Wars is an iconic series, redefining both cinema and the science fiction genre when it was first released in the late 70s. The series has spanned an impressive 40 years, something which is currently being celebrated with various panels events and the release of the ‘The Last Jedi’ trailer. In its time on screen the series has produced two trilogies with ‘The Force Awakens’ initiating a third. Rogue One serves as something different and altogether quite interesting as a spin-off film, though one that is still attached to the main Star Wars narrative arc. Rogue One introduces us to new characters and new planets whilst remaining in familiar territory.

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12 Angry Men (1957) Cheat Sheet

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Background: 12 Angry Men is a 1957 film, originally a teleplay called ‘Twelve Angry Men’ written by Reginald Rose in 1954. It was then adapted into TV series before becoming a film with its perhaps more ionic title ’12 Angry Men’. The film is exclusively a male cast, with Henry Fonda being the most iconic actor to star, playing Juror 8. The film was directed by Sidney Lumet and is almost entirely shot in one room.

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Moana (2016)

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Ancient Polynesia, and a terrible curse has been placed upon the land by the Demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson), causing famine to spread throughout the surrounding islands. The curse has now reached Chief Tui’s island (Temuera Morrison) where fish are disappearing and newly harvested coconuts are rotten. Moana (Auli’I Cravalho), the daughter of Chief Tui, must venture forth beyond the high seas and find Maui in order to restore peace.

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Bleed for This (2016)

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A boxing film normally contains a certain formula. Normally an American man who comes from a working-class background, who rises through the ranks to gain his weight class title. The story should be inspirational, with music suited to being in the gym or to run to. The character will normally confront a number obstacles, such as defeat, injury or personal loss, before a combination of at least one inspiring sport montage and a sheer force of will guides them back into the ring to face one last fight.

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Apocalypse Now (1979) Cheat Sheet

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Apocalypse Now is a 1979 film adapted from the book ‘Heart of Darkness’ by Joseph Conrad. The book is set in 1890 and depicts a voyage going up river into the Congo Free State, a large state in Central Africa from 1885 to 1908. Francis Ford Coppola, who both directed, produced and co-wrote ‘Apocalypse Now’, updated the time-period by setting it during the Vietnam War.
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Arrival (2016)

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Arrival is based on an online short-story called ‘Story of Your Life’ by Ted Chiang which was first published in 1998 and then again in 2002 in Chiang’s collection of short stories. The film was adapted by Eric Heisserer and directed by Denis Villeneuve. The story explores the arrival of 8 different vessels who have suddenly appeared all over the world. Dr Louise Banks (Amy Adams) a linguistic lecturer and Dr Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) a theoretical physicist are approached by Colonel G.T.Weber (Forest Whitaker) to understand these new arrivals, and to find an answer to questions such as “What is your purpose on Earth?”.

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Iron Fist (2017)

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The latest Marvel/Netflix series and the introduction of the last member of ‘The Defenders’. ‘Iron Fist’ marks the last step before the big team-up that began with Daredevil in 2015. So, now we have met the entire assemble, the question is, how does Iron Fist fare as its own series? and, how does it compare to all we have witnessed thus far in this Marvel/Netflix relationship. There are some spoilers.
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