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The Devil Eire Effect: Historical Films and Villains…

I wrote a little while ago about how suspicious I am concerning “true stories” that make it to the big screen. Truth be told, life doesn’t exactly fit into the three act structure or one-hundred-and-twenty minutes of screen time – I understand that changes need to be made. Real life characters are often boiled down or reduced to mere collections of quirks, the hero faces a more streamlined obstacle than they did in real life and sometimes even ends up a far better person for it. However, I was sitting down watching The King’s Speech at the weekend and I couldn’t help wondering if we really needed for Albert’s elder brother David and his American fiancée Wallis to be portrayed as nothing more than scheming villains, just because we needed to root for Albert a little more.

The Simpsons?

Note: The ever-wonderful TV Tropes describe this as a “Historical Villain Upgrade” if you’re looking for more examples of what I am talking about…

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Neil Jordan at Trinity College

I had the great pleasure to pop along to a discussion with Neil Jordan hosted by the University Philosophical Society in Trinity College last night. I didn’t have a pen and paper handy, but I did make a few notes on the conversation which at least offer an interesting perspective or two from the Irish autuer. The Phil website normally has recordings of event up fairly promptly, so I’ll add a link to them soon. In the meantime, there are a few interesting thoughts in what the man said.

Irish film legend...

Irish film legend...

Who Am I to Argue with History?

What do Hollywood film makers owe to history? I’ve had this question on my mind because I’ve been seeing quite a few historical films lately – The Reader, Chaplin, and Frost/Nixon will hopefully be arriving in my mailbox today – and I just wondered how faithful it was reasonable to expect a Hollywood film to be to real life events.

Contrary to popular belief, the missing 18 minutes from the Watergate tapes do not feature Richard Nixon practicing jazz hands...

Contrary to popular belief, the missing 18 minutes from the Watergate tapes do not feature Richard Nixon practicing jazz hands...

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