Film Archive (111)
Every morning, I wake up next to Robert De Niro. He says good luck, I nod at the signed photo I am referring to and then I rise. Smiling. Guess you could say I am a bit of a fan.
By 1962, Tony Hancock had been absorbed into the role of the nation’s favourite comedian. The comedian’s morose dejection was in its own way, as contemporary to his day as Johnny Rotten or Liam Gallagher was to theirs. ‘Ridiculous!’ I hear you say, but rather true in fact. Take a look if you don’t believe me. Remember though, during this era of cold, post-war austerity no one previously had dared to display such affront.
Where do you start with a man whose nickname is "The King of Cool"? How on Earth can anyone be called that? I mean, it's a bit much 'init? Well, not really... 'cause it's the nickname of Steve McQueen.
It was with a great sense of sadness that I learned of Sir Norman Wisdom's demise the other day. After a six month illness, at the grand old age of 95, our Norm, Norman Pitkin, the loveable Gump, quietly passed away at an Isle Of Man nursing home. A true working class hero, Norman certainly was a chap of many, many talents… his greatest being the ability to make us laugh, something he always tried very hard, sometimes too hard, to achieve…
In late September of 1967 Patrick McGoohan returned to London a compromised man. Throughout his highly successful career, the 39 year old actor had consistently and publicly maintained he would never, ever ‘sell out to Hollywood,’ and act in a meaningless blockbuster. Yet that summer that is exactly what he had done by accepting a major role in the big budget film adaptation of the Alistair MacLean novel, Ice Station Zebra.
“Being in the right place, at the right time,” is how Brian Jones, then of The Rolling Stones, described the discovery of the band. Certainly there is more depth to Brian Jones’s statement. Nevertheless what is true with his train of thought is the essence and spirit of the 60’s. An era where new ideas and new acts, seemed to be an everyday occurrence.
For someone who never had the intention of ever being an actor, Tamer Hassan has certainly achieved a great deal of success. He has worked with the likes of Christian Bale, Bob Hoskins, Orlando Bloom, and Morgan Freeman. His career path all started from a small part in Eastenders in 2001. Tamer was fortunate enough to pass by the failed auditions, and wondering where his next meal was coming from.
Most people’s relationship with Lieutenant Columbo is relatively simple – he’s the shabby detective that clogs up ITV on Sunday afternoons. But look closer, you’re missing a genuine TV great.
Before Al Pacino gained world wide recognition as a talented actor and achieved global fame from his spellbinding appearance as Michael Corleone in The Godfather, he had been a fringe actor. Only appearing in three feature films, and just one of those as a lead, The Panic in Needle Park, it was from this appearance that Francis Ford Coppola knew Al Pacino was perfect for The Godfather.
Picture This – London Town 1987. A once swinging city paralyzed by a cult of conformity and materialism. The youth more pre-occupied with getting on the property ladder than getting “on one.” But something stirs deep in the heart of the city’s underground – the sound of pumping bass and percussion. A seismic shift in London’s landscape is about to happen.
It’s powerful, resonant ending is up there with the classic Jimmy Cagney‘s “Made It Make top of the world” finale in White Heat. But Babylon is not available in any British Video store. It has been not been shown on British TV, neither terrestrial or satellite, for many years. What is the meaning of this outrage?
Released nearly thirty years ago, Babylon stands up today as a well crafted, convincingly acted, hard hitting piece of realistic drama.
I enter into a hotel lobby to meet the star of the BBC 3 hit comedy series, Mongrels, Nelson the Fox. He has requested that I don’t reveal the name or location of the hotel, as it is place that he likes to frequent on his own or with friends, to unwind and enjoy a selection of cakes and tea. All I can reveal is that it is a five star hotel in the heart of central London, renowned for their afternoon beverages.