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Non-Review Review: The Look of Love

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013.

Paul Raymond (or “Paul Ray-monde!” as he introduces himself in flashback) is a pretty compelling character. The so-called “king of Soho”, Raymond was at one point the wealthiest man in Britain, owning an empire built on the back of gentlemen’s clubs, pornography and property. Michael Winterbottom’s exploration of Raymond’s life and times is a fascinating exploration of a very contradictory figure. On one hand, with his sharp suits and dignified dialogue with the press, Raymond presented himself as something approaching a gentlemen. He owned a nice house, his children partook of “all the right activities” and he was even fond of quoting Oscar Wilde. On the other hand, his empire was founded and built on an idea that was so simplistic it would be condescending if it wasn’t so successful: Raymond acquired his wealth through simple acknowledgement of the fact that people will pay to look at naked women.

All that glitters...

All that glitters…

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Non-Review Review: The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

The Manchurian Candidate is a rather wonderful piece of Cold War paranoia, with a handy bit of social commentary and a rather surrealist perspective thrown in on top. John Frankenheimer’s vision remains unnerving because of its occasionally absurd and strange imagery and subtext, much of which remains unsettling long after the end of the Cold War. While The Manchurian Candidate remains a fascinating story, and one which has seeped into pop cultural consciousness, It’s Frankenheimer’s direction that elevates the film, managing to convince the audience that there is some meaning and purpose to all the bizarre imagery and interactions.

Play your cards right…

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