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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Gambon

Page Eight

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Very hush-hush. The world of secret intelligence is one of private encounters behind closed doors: very hush-hush. There is something inherently dramaturgical about such scenarios, whose language games unfold in the absence of extras and their entire hubbub. This works to David Hare’s advantage: prolific he may be, at a writing desk, but his directorial prowess is oft maligned. Here, that singular theatrical flair produces character-driven drama, whose plot is intimate to the protagonist, propelled by his discoveries and self-reinventions. Don’t expect pretensions to international espionage intrigue, or the genre conventions of conspiracy thrillers. Page Eight is really about the climacteric of one senior officer’s life and the changing constitution of our security services.

Page Eight

Catch my review from EIFF 2011 at The Ooh Tray.

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Written by James P. Campbell

26/06/2011 at 12:56

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ***½

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HalfbloodprinceReturning for his sixth year at Hogwarts, six months behind schedule, the sixth film adaptation of the Harry Potter series has arrived with a peaky pelvic thrust. Helmed by David Yates, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has excelled both at the box office and in critics’ notebooks. Alfonso Cuarón’s Prisoner of Azkaban was the last critical darling (and arguably the only truly self-sufficient cinematic installment to date) but now it has a peer with which to jostle. Like the latter, Half-Blood Prince adopts a darker, more adult tone (but unfortunately, rather bungles the sexual aspect to our heroes’ coming-of-age, reducing what was an integral and not insincere dimension of their last full year at school to diminutive comic relief). Yates doesn’t have quite the flair of Cuarón when it comes to blending light with dark, and what emerges is a film of two distinct halves.

On the one hand, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) is plunged deeper into the dark intrigue surrounding the ascent of Lord Voldemort, riding on the tailcoat of Prof. Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). Tasked with extracting a memory from the magically sealed recesses of the mind of new Potions master Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent), Harry must uncover the secret of Voldemort’s turn to murder and evil, and make various inadvertent references to grooming in the process. Without giving too much away, I will point out that this involves horcruxes, which are something like the One Ring from that other big-money fantasy franchise (and not quite the amazing flight of originality some seem to believe; nor is the name itself big or clever – just another lazy Latin portmanteau from Rowling, who lacks the Tolkeinesque education to conjure a serious system of naming within cohesive mythical language).

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