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Entries in Sam Claflin (4)


The Riot Club: or, a brief history of posh British cinema

David takes a look at the British cultural legacy of poshness as The Riot Club now out on DVD...

Before The Riot Club was a movie, it was a West End play called Posh. Laura Wade’s simple, cutting title gets right to the heart of the social crisis at the centre of her work, which presents a fictionalised version of Oxford’s infamous Bullingdon Club, whose members have included both the current British Prime Minister and Mayor of London. While the traumatic events of the play and film are invented, the social privilege they demonstrate is a British legacy that has lingered throughout history. It continues to be a talking point today, with British soap opera actor Danny Dyer memorably taking pot shots at ‘posh boy’ Benedict Cumberbatch and the social elitism of the British cultural industries. (Dyer’s complaints of elitism are perhaps reflected in some of The Riot Club’s casting – Max Irons (son of Jeremy) and Freddie Fox (son of Edward) both come from British acting dynasties.)

Britain’s exports and image abroad have been shaped by the likes of Merchant Ivory, Jane Austen and Downton Abbey as one steeped in this kind of privilege and elitism. Occasionally British films of a different kind will have a big enough cultural impact to surface in the timeline of world cinema, with the kitchen-sink dramas of the late 1950s and ‘60s perhaps the most notable instance. But it is the posh boys that have really dominated British cinema’s worldwide reputation, from Leslie Howard (the first cinematic Henry Higgins) through Hugh Grant to the current crop led by Eddie Redmayne and Cumberbatch. 

But why is this model of Britishness so favoured internationally? [More...]

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Review: Hunger Games Catches Wispy Fire

This review originally appeared in my column at Towleroad

Their clothes ignite but does the movie?

The Hunger Games is not without its charms. Which is a very strange thing to say about a beloved bloody genre franchise about children murdering each other... but then *I'm* not the one suggesting it become a family theme park or inspire a cosmetics line. (Both very sensible and in no way inappropriate spinoffs!) At the very least, as these things go, it is infinitely preferrable to the Twilight Saga. They're the immensely popular twin (non-identical) poster girls for the increasingly crowded subgenre of YA dystopian fantasies in which a mopey teen passively navigates treacherous waters (and woods) and love triangles with death looming all around her. Both series trade on grand suicidal gestures ('I'll die of depression/eat the poison berries, if I can't have my man... I swear!') but at least The Hunger Games is self aware. It performs these defiant adolescent gestures with a sly and stately sense of morbid theatricality instead of self-pitying angst and is generally smart enough to express ambivalence about its content beyond the binaries of Team This Boyfriend vs Team That Boyfriend.

Miley's guards capture Liam on the lamBut, yes, when we return to the deadly adventures of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) for HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE she is flip-flopping between Boyfriends.

If you need a refresher it's like this: Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) were co-victors of the last Hunger Games, a futuristic take on gladiator battles of ancient history. [more]

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Isn't it Bromantic? Gossbender & Hutcherflin

I am, like all sane citizens of the interwebs, living for the Michael Fassbender & Ryan Gosling PDA photos surfacing as they hang out on the set of Terrence Malick's latest. Gosling's cup runneth over: ever growing stardom, unique charisma, versatile talent, ... and now a backrub from Fassy!

In bromantic news 20something division... Jennifer Lawrence  is telling MTV News that Josh Hutcherson and Sam Claflin, her co-stars in 2013's Hunger Games: Catching Fire are totes in love. Video after the jump....

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Pirates the Fourth

Blockbuster franchises are not unlike waves in the ocean. That's true even for the ones that don't take place on the high seas. The marketing rhythmically churns them up and up until they break oh-so-formidably on opening weekend and then they're just foam. Which is to say that Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides evaporates instantly after you watch it, leaving you with precious little to remember it by that you didn't already remember from The Curse of the Black Pearl back in 2003.

Ian McShane as Blackbeard

I saw Pirates 4 only a week ago. The only things I remember are as follows...

Read the full review at Towleroad

(I'd say it's better than the other sequels but that doesn't mean I can help out its dismal rotten tomatoes score and call it "fresh". And it's quite possible that I have blocked out all memories of the 2nd and 3rd movies for self preservation purposes. Oh Johnny...)