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Often – perhaps too often – we are wont to romanticize the past. We look back at the events of history through rose-colored lenses that focus on the grandiose and filter out many of the more unsavory elements.

The age of chivalry, for instance. We tend to celebrate the heroic and heraldic whilst utterly ignoring the bleak realities of that time for anyone who lived outside the sphere of knights and noblemen. The crushing poverty, the endless warfare, the lack of agency for anyone outside the elite – these truths are absent from the familiar tales of derring-do.

“The Last Duel” – directed by Ridley Scott and based on the 2004 book of the same name by Eric Jager – attempts to delve deeper and address that time and place with a little more honesty. Jager’s book, which is based on a true story, is adapted for the screen by some rather notable writers: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who wrote the script alongside Nicole Holofcener.

Damon and Affleck star, as do Adam Driver and Jodie Comer, in this multi-faceted tale of what happens when a woman of this era accuses a man of rape. Told from multiple perspectives, it’s an effort to deconstruct the uneven power dynamics of the time, its historicity inviting comparisons and contrasts to present-day circumstances. The film sprawls across the screen, asking the audience to view the proceedings through the eyes of three different narrators, each of whom with their own beliefs regarding how the story played out.

Published in Movies
Friday, 19 May 2017 09:34

The arc of ‘Alien: Covenant’

Latest franchise installment a worthwhile addition

Published in Movies
Thursday, 14 June 2012 07:52

Prometheus' rises

Ridley Scott prequel lives up to the hype

Ridley Scott is a master of creating atmosphere. His films always have a lush visual aesthetic that elevates them. He's also got some wonderful horror sensibilities; the first 'Alien' mined epic scares with cardboard cutouts and lighting tricks. His bromance with Russell Crowe has gotten to be a bit much as of late, so it was probably time for Ridley get some alone time.

So we get 'Prometheus.' Scott is returning to the near-future universe of 'Alien' only this time with a multimillion studio budget. Would the money enhance what Scott already brings to the table? Or would he get bogged down by the budget's temptations and expectations?

Turns out it's the former.

Published in Movies

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