Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Cinema Category

Through a Glass Bleakly: Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars

  • September 28, 2014
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I don’t watch many David Cronenberg movies.   This isn’t because I don’t think he’s good.   On the contrary,   it’s been obvious for many years that he is a   brilliant director with one of the most original and disturbing imaginations in world cinema.   It’s just that I don’t really do much horror, and films about homicidal women who grow penises in their armpits or feed sadomasochistic videotapes into their stomachs just aren’t this little Englishman’s particular brew, thank you very much.     And just because I once read The...

Terrorism: the Medea Syndrome

Terrorism: the Medea Syndrome

  • September 14, 2014
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Violence is a recurring theme in  Greek classical drama,  and the works of the three great tragic dramatists Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripedes.     All three were citizens of a democratic Athenian state that waged wars of conquest as well as defensive wars against foreign aggression, and some of them participated in these wars.  ...

A Terrible Beauty

  • August 21, 2014
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Yesterday I was lucky enough to see a screening of the new documentary about the 1916 Easter Rising A Terrible Beauty, at the Derby Quad cinema, in the presence of its director Keith Farrell.     The film is part of an ongoing multimedia project A Terrible Beauty 1916-2016, which sets out to look at...

The Honourable Woman

  • July 08, 2014
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I tend to be wary of Western films and dramas about the Middle East.   Too often they tend to reduce Middle Eastern politics to easily digestable and simplistic tropes whose primary purpose is entertainment.

As Jack Sheehan has pointed out in Reel Bad Arabs, Hollywood has a particularly bad record when it comes to dealing...

Generation War

  • May 11, 2014
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Last night I watched the last part of the German WWII mini-series Generation War.   For those of you that haven’t seen it, the series has provoked strong reactions in Germany and also abroad.   Some German historians have hailed it as an honest and unvarnished account of the war on the Eastern Front, in...

12 Years a Slave

  • January 13, 2014
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Having spent more than a year writing a book about the American Civil War, I had high expectations about Steve McQueen’s 12 Years   a Slave.     I saw it in Sheffield on Saturday, and it didn’t disappoint.   Southern slavery has featured in a number of films over the years, mostly in...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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