Margaret Tyzack

Margaret Tyzack

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2001: A Space Odyssey Review


Essential
It could be the greatest freak-out of all time. Stanley Kubrick's masterful 2001 is a smorgasbord of sight and sound, and its special effects are indistinguishable from reality, despite an age of over 30 years. Incredible and powerfully symbolic, the subject of many a thesis thanks to its conflicted computer, the HAL 9000. The direction, the score, and the script (written simultaneously while Arthur C. Clarke also worked on his novel) are all fantastic ("Also Sprach Zaruthstra" will never be usable to anyone else, every again) -- only the cast would go on to do relatively little in later years.

A masterwork of cinema that never loses its haunting power even after dozens of viewings.

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A Clockwork Orange Review


Essential
Kubrick was a beatnik poet. His work was plagued with metaphors, and the disease of hidden meaning was always turned to his advantage. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, he had almost a precognisance about the worry of the future that the millennium has exhibited so well for us. In The Shining, he taught us that, to a degree, all fear came from oneself. In Full Metal Jacket, he said that war was the ultimate destructor of the psyche. In Eyes Wide Shut, his final opus, he told us that love, handled like revenge, can only have destructive consequences.

The message, for those of you people who were not able to discern it past the violence in A Clockwork Orange, was the same of the Hindu construct known as Karma: what goes around, comes around.

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I, Claudius Review


Excellent
This popular thirteen-episode BBC mini-series makes for compulsive viewing whether or not you have any interest in the early history of the Roman Empire. Based on two novels by historian Robert Graves, I, Claudius delves into conspiracies, ruthless murders and cover-ups, betrayal, seduction and madness. It's Dallas relocated to the years before Christ was born, when scheming men wore togas and struggled for power while the women got married and stayed in the background -- sometimes in the best position of all when it came to moving their chess pieces around.

Our hero is Claudius, gloriously played by D-d-d-d-derek Jacobi, who twitches his head and stammers over every other word. As a young man, he watches his friends and relations die off, one by one, poisoned by the ruthless and destructive Livia (the queen of pure evil, Sian Phillips) as she grooms her son Tiberius (George Baker) to become the second emperor of Rome.

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Margaret Tyzack

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