In the vault

The Film Year Book 1983 by Al Clark

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A year’s worth of short film reviews from films released in Great Britain between July 1 1981 and June 30 1982. If one is expecting films from 1983, the 1983 in the book’s title is misleading, but convenient for publishing purposes as the 1983 coincides more or less with its publishing date.
The first of a series of books critiquing films during the 1980’s, there are a number of contributors who offer in the way of cutting-edge criticism which can be helpful in assessing the film’s worth. Entertaining bites of criticism that do well in summoning the film to accountability and should provide guidance for the reader. Not so much on the informative side although in each review there are the usual credits and technical details.
Now that the book is forty years old, it is more useful for film buffs interested in that time or want to discover what films were made then. I discovered that the films then were pretty much a Hollywood Babylon with sex, violence, and unsavory subjects, but with the more interesting ones among the mix such as Mephisto, the generally more palatable ones such as Raiders of the Lost Ark and the suitable ones (The Mouse and his Child).
Comes with extended and very well-written reviews of the best films of the year as well as the turkeys and articles about film industry issues then, including pirating of films, the making of the doomed Heaven’s Gate, and a trivia-style article on what the credits in a film mean, among others.
A worthy book of distinguished critical voice that plies out a film’s undercurrents in the longer articles making for a more than interesting read while the shorter reviews are gems. Plentiful mainly black and white photos, some color, and articles of interest to film buffs, which include “faces of the year” and obituaries in warm tributes.




View all my reviews

Afterwards

The Road to Hell: Everlasting Torment or Annihilation? by David Pawson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Road to Hell ends with the words, “on which sober note we conclude our study”, referring to the author’s statement that those whose names are not in the Lamb’s book of life will suffer torment with the fallen angels in hell, quoting the book of Revelation from the Bible. David Pawson’s The Road to Hell does have that kind of tone at times: a shot to the heart. Yet, The Road to Hell is other things as well. Challenging one out of complacent thinking and living so to avoid the dangers of hell as well as comforting one with thoughts of heaven and grace. Pawson is adamant, however. Getting to heaven is not by ‘cheap grace’ where one can do as they please while still being under God’s grace, but by continuing in the faith in Jesus, not disowning him, and renouncing one’s sins. Hell is a step away with complacency, but Pawson in his gentle manner encourages due diligence in the faith, although a small few of his statements may seem blunt if not preachy, however, one gets the impression in that there are not as many words to always deliver eloquently such an urgent message to Christians and non-believers.

Continue reading

Motive

What happens when a character has two motives? One innocent and the other deceitful? And towards the same person? Or different persons? If a double motive is directed towards one other character, I think this gives the writer a difficulty. Such as, who is this character? The writer will have to explain somehow why their character is ‘double-minded’ or complex or at least make it intriguing or interestingly mysterious.

If, from the same character, an innocent motive is directed towards one other and a deceitful motive is directed towards another, this is easier to write. It may mean that the character loves one and dislikes the other, as simple as that, or was complimented by one and offended by the other and drew a reaction to that.

But the character could only have a motive that is plain and simple evil, whose behavior depends on the situation, is outwardly innocent towards one, and aggressive towards another, but both times wants to hurt the others. Enough of evil. What of good motives? Yes, we need those; integrity.

Setting is very much important to what happens within the above parameters. If the setting is an office, the actions of the characters are more subtle rather than overt, for example. If the setting were a desert, a jungle, a village, and so on, all have different expectations. But if the story is a fantasy, more other worldly things are accepted.

Translation

Wisecracker: So you read those Indian romance poems in English. They’re English romances, then.

Writer: It was a translation into English. Translation. Get it?

Humbled wisecracker: Pretty accurate, then. I mean, extremely accurate.

Writer: You got it. You better take a class, though.

Humbled wisecracker: Yes, I should.

Writer: On translation.

A curious world

My dear boy, we never know what might happen to us. This is a curious world.

– Geppetto says to the young and unknowing Pinocchio, in the book “Pinocchio” (Chapter seven)