A different view of ‘Manchester’

A different view of ‘Manchester’

By Rev Steve Parish   Manchester By the Sea (cert. 15) is a “a film by Kenneth Lonergan”. Such an “auteur” label for the writer-director may smack of hubris, but it’s a cracking film. Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck, winning the Golden Globe best actor award) is a janitor in Boston, seemingly impervious to the charms […]

Testimony to the ‘hidden Christians’

Testimony to the ‘hidden Christians’

By the Rev Steve Parish   Silence (cert. 15), after its private showing in the Vatican, may be some redemption for director Martin Scorsese for the controversy over The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). The trailer promises an adventure, something in the style of The Mission (1986) about Jesuits in the New World opposing slavery, […]

A treat in store for fans of Star Wars

A treat in store for fans of Star Wars

By Rev Steve Parish   In a galaxy far, far away, there have been seven Star Wars films out of nine, with the final two in production. Now we get the first of two, maybe three extra “standalone” films, Rogue One (cert.12A). The director is Gareth Edwards, whose brilliant low-budget (half a million dollars) movie […]

Small Screen Selection: The Commitments, 25th Anniversary Edition (DVD)

Small Screen Selection: The Commitments, 25th Anniversary Edition (DVD)

(RLJ Entertainments) Some might say that Alan Parker’s The Commitments is just a movie about trying to put together “the world’s hardest working band,” but it is so much more than that. Roddy Doyle’s original story, full of Irish wit, is tremendous entertainment. Self-styled manager Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Atkins) places an ad in a Dublin […]

A controversial take on a dark period of history

A controversial take on a dark period of history

By Rev Steve Parish The Birth of a Nation (cert. 15) is the story of the 1831 slave revolt in Virginia led by Nat Turner. Nate Parker is co-writer, director and stars as Turner. The film is mired in controversy over an accusation of rape against Parker and co-writer Jean McGianni Celestin while they were […]

CD Choice: Cara Dillon – Upon a Winter’s Night

CD Choice: Cara Dillon – Upon a Winter’s Night

(Charcoal Records) Sometimes I wonder whether the really good Christmas albums – a rarity at any time – may have become so elusive that it is hardly worth trying to find them. Their pitfalls are many and well-known: cheesy remakes of American ‘50s crooners; reject songs buffed up with bells and seasonal lyrics; artists abandoning […]

A very British drama based on reality

A very British drama based on reality

By Revd Steve Parish In a year where overt racism has been a factor in western politics, A United Kingdom (cert. 12A) is a superb fictionalised telling of the true story of the heir to Bechuanaland’s throne marrying a white English woman. David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike star as the couple facing opposition from Britain […]

CD Choice: Foy Vance – The Wild Swan

CD Choice:  Foy Vance – The Wild Swan

(Gingerbread Man Records) Keen to avoid fame, but respected by the cognoscenti in the music industry, Vance enjoys a career that works on his terms. That means a lot of live performances, but only a few albums over the last decade – which makes this one as special as it sounds. Vance doesn’t share his […]

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