Tony Benn: Will and Testament

In his latest piece for Hollywood Hegemony, writer Adam Hofmeister reviews ‘Will and Testament’, Skip Kite’s “fitting tribute for a socialist hero”, and pays his own respects to the life and ideas of the late Tony Benn.

Gone, but not forgotten.

Gone, but not forgotten.

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A Most Tedious Man

The late Philip Seymour Hoffman’s outing as ‘German’ terror detective Gunther Bachmann is hamstrung by the same defect that up-ends the protagonist. It is so concerned with having a ‘grown up’ dialogue on terrorism, that it becomes the personification of a grey area. It is bereft of warmth, colour and interest. Of course, it’s not without it’s redeeming features – but they come too little too late for an audience fast losing interest.

Rachel McAdams dozes off, as do most of the audience.

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You’re only given a little spark of madness, don’t lose it

Actor and comedian Robin Williams, who died at the age of 63 yesterday, lived first and foremost for happiness. No doubt he derived a great deal of joy from bringing it out in other people.

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”

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Check Out “The World Turned Upside Down” on Norwich Film Festival

UPDATE: After a long hiatus, I have written a new article for the Norwich Film Festival – which you can check out by clicking the link below at the end of the sample text. Just in case you were wondering – there will be new articles written for this very page in the next few weeks, as well as updates regarding the next Hollywood Hegemony documentary we’re producing, Witches and Bitches – for which filming begins next week – so watch this space… -JB

Malcolm was distracted at a pivotal moment by an irresistible Hollywood Hegemony update.

Rupert Wyatt (Rise of The Planet of The Apes) and Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class) are similar in a number of ways. The British film-makers both directed fine films in 2011. Both used clever threads of social commentary to grant two of Hollywood’s biggest sagas a new lease of life – after poor cinematic outings seemed to have driven the franchises to the brink of oblivion. Both were unceremoniously binned by 20th Century Fox for their efforts… [Read more here...]

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The True Little Tramp Shortlisted at Tolpuddle!

Exciting news, comrades! Hollywood Hegemony’s film produced in co-operation with Norwich Stop the War Coalition, The True Little Tramp, has been nominated for Best Activist Film at the Small Axe Film Festival 2014.  Full listings are available in the linked text.

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‘Of Gove and Gramsci’ now on The Norwich Radical

The Norwich Radical is a new web-based media project established for “the purpose of providing progressive analysis of politics and the arts.”  It’s a “broad coalition of activists, writers, students and workers coming from an array of political backgrounds,” something that has been lacking on the left in Norwich for some time – and promises to finally provide a platform for the wide range of interests and talents of activists and ‘ordinary’ people – which more often than not goes to waste. I’m very excited to have contributed my article “Of Gove and Gramsci”, which you can now check out along with a host of other great content on their page via the linked teaser-text below. 

This is a battle of ideas and ideology, and the Education Secretary knows it. Culture connects on a human level and draws out debates on supposed common sense; it carries the potential to lay bare the hegemonic drip of dominant capitalist ideas into perceived ‘nature’. That brings with it the potential to challenge the ideology of the status-quo.

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Of Gramsci and Gove: Hegemony for Hearts and Minds

When Michael Gove came out as a fan of Antonio Gramsci – the thinker known in certain sections of academia as “the last acceptable Marxist” – there was of course outrage from the left. “Michael,” they cried, “you have, if you ever read him, missed the point.” But clearly, so did they. Gove, it has become clear over the course of his dismembering of the education system, very much understands Gramsci. Because we, who stand against this government’s wanton destruction of the welfare state, are not fighting a war of facts. As Chavs… author Owen Jones rightly points out on a regular basis; were that the case, after four years of calamitous cuts and pig-headed privatisation, we would surely have won by now.

Gove understands and fears Gramsci.

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We Are All ‘Sick’: The True Genius of “Frank”

Everyone who participates in creativity knows the brief spark of fury ignited by somebody else suggesting ‘slightly’ changing how you do things, in order to get ‘big’. It’s not an entirely irrational evolutionary self-defence mechanism, a flinch in preparation for an assault on your very sense of self – because by ‘big’ they mean profitable, and by ‘slightly’ they mean irrevocably. But at the heart of any creation is a communication of the creator’s world-view – and through modifying it for the sake of profit, we often run the risk of silencing that communication; of murdering that world-view and destroying the creator’s connection to the world in the process. That terrible possibility is what really makes director Lenny Abrahamson’s pitch-black psycho-satire Frank the most compelling viewing the year 2014 has (or, I’d venture, ever will) offer up.

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BAFTA Tour Night at the Norwich Film Festival!

So I was lucky enough to attend the BAFTA tour night of the Norwich Film Festival on Thursday – check out my thoughts through the linked text below. 

Cinema goers welcomed the BAFTA tour to the Norwich Film Festival on a wet and windy Thursday night. But even amidst the gloom of some textbook British summer weather, those in attendance at the Odeon on Riverside were still cheered by a plethora of UK-based talent on show, followed by a Q&A withKeeping Up with the Joneses director Michael Pearce. The British Film and Television Arts compiled eight shorts nominated for a prestigious BAFTA award into a feature length package, which also featured two films (Island Queen and I am Tom Moody) which wowed at last year’s NFF.

Intriguingly, the films synchronised brilliantly as a coherent package, despite being produced entirely separately by up-and-coming film-makers from all over the country. Each short featured in this cinematic scrapbook commented on some aspect of claustrophobia, isolation or social alienation – and the (often unsuccessful) struggle to overcome or escape them – giving a pointillistic portrait of the hopes and fears of modern British society in the process.

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The True Little Tramp

Well here it is, the film that took over 3 months to finish is finally here, and not too shabby even if we say so. 

In February 1914, amongst economic turmoil and international conflict, Charlie Chaplin first tumbled onto screens as the Little Tramp. 100 years later, with homelessness rising, massive cuts to social security, and another government on the war-path, Jack Brindelli and friends consider what the Tramp’s legacy tells us about modern times. Enjoy – and please share as widely as possible.

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