Patrick Magee

Patrick Magee

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Séance On A Wet Afternoon Review


Good
Here's a good scam: Woman, trying to prove her ability as a psychic, kidnaps the child of a wealthy couple so she can use "her powers" to later find the child. She's not really in it for the money, alas. She's a raving lunatic.

Kim Stanley earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of a woman on the edge -- reminiscent of Angela Lansbury's turn in The Manchurian Candidate -- but it's Richard Attenborough who steals the show as her husband, who goes along with the affair but is torn between pleasing his wife and doing the right thing.

Continue reading: Séance On A Wet Afternoon Review

Marat/Sade Review


Good
Whether it's based on reality or not, Marat/Sade is an ambitious idea. The Marquis de Sade (Patrick Magee), often wrote and produced plays during his incarceration. Whether he made one about Jean-Paul Marat is debatable and this is certainly not based on anything Sade wrote.

Marat/Sade is actually a filmed version of a play written in the early 1960s (and fully titled The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat As Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of The Marquis de Sade) by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Ian Richardson plays the bathtub-bound Marat, and Glenda Jackson plays his assassin. The only problem, of course, is that in the world of the film, Richardson is a lunatic paranoid and Jackson is a narcoleptic depressive. This makes for some strange interpretations of history, mental illness, heroism, and politics -- and where we draw the lines among all these things.

Continue reading: Marat/Sade Review

Barry Lyndon Review


Extraordinary
Stanley Kubrick's minor masterpiece is often overlooked -- even scorned -- by those who claim it to be pretentious and slow. Well, it is pretentious and slow, but it's still an exceptional film. In fact, it's probably my favorite period piece ever. Kubrick paints this film to look like an Old Master, with nary a hair out of place to take us from its early 1800s setting. It's gorgeous to look at, even if you don't dig Barry's story. But Ryan O'Neal turns in his best performance ever, bar none, as the title anti-hero, a middle-class Irish lad who joins the British army, finds success as a gambler, marries into money (and a heady title), and ends up duelling his stepson to the death. Barry -- over the course of decades -- ends up far worse than he began. His tragedy is a cautionary tale that speaks volumes even today. Hell, set it in New York in the 1990s-2000s, and you could make the exact same movie about Martha Stewart.

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.

Continue reading: A Clockwork Orange Review

Patrick Magee

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