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Non-Review Review: Music by Prudence

The first annual International Disability Film Festival is being hosted from the 20th through to the 23rd October, organised by Arts & Disability Ireland, in Dublin and Galway. I was honoured to be invited to the gala screening of the Oscar-winning HBO documentary Music by Prudence. You can read more information on the festival here.

Music by Prudence is an absolutely fascinating documentary from director Roger Ross Williams, looking at the band Liyana, fronted by Prudence Mabhena. The thirty-three minute documentary does a wonderfully effective job giving us a snapshot into the Zimbabwean band, composed of faculty and students from the King George VI Centre and School for Children with Physical Disabilities. The runtime is remarkably short, but Williams compensates by giving us a whirlwind introduction to the band’s lead singer, who has enough charm and wit to carry a far longer documentary. The band themselves provide a beautiful soundtrack, and there’s talk of them releasing two albums off the back of the film’s success.

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Long Live the King: The Appeal of the King’s Speech…

The King’s Speech was available to rent this weekend, and will go on sale next weekend. Indeed, it seems like perfect timing to release the DVD, what with all the press buzz about the monarchy this past week. It seems you can’t turn a corner without bumping into a newspaper vendor who is stocked up on tabloid promising exclusive looks at various aspects of the ceremony, or turn on the television without being subjected to a five-hour marathon of How to Marry a Prince. I’m not making that one up either, it’s actually a show running on Living HD. Yep. And I live in Ireland, a country that spent a significant amount of time trying to distance ourselves from the monarchy… imagine how overwhelming it might be if I was based in Britain. Still, it seems royalty has a very special appeal, at least based on the box office success of The King’s Speech and the viewing figures from the ceremony… so why, when most of the globe struggled to be free of this particular monarchy, are they so fascinating?

Colin all film fans!

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Non-Review Review: The King’s Speech

The King’s Speech seems like the perfect storm of awards buzz. Released as we enter the year of a big royal wedding, featuring a lead actor who was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar last year, it seems to have an edge. In fact, my inner cynic went into the cinema listing off all the standard stereotypical Oscar bait criteria that the movie met: person overcoming adversity; unlikely friendship across social class; beautiful period costumes; hint of class; historical true story; tied in some way to the Second World War; a cast of respected and veteran character actors. I don’t think it would have been possible to plan a movie that so perfectly designed to win prestigious awards. I guess we should be thankful that it’s really very good.

Heavy is the head that wears the crown... but it does have great hair, though...

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