A Q&A with Sam Mendes

Notes from a Q&A with Sam Mendes held on 14th February, 2013 at the Corpus Room in Cambridge, UK

There is no real logic to these notes but they are rather just my attempt to capture what I could. It goes without saying, nothing here should be used as direct quote from Mendes.

- I was a student at Peterhouse, Cambridge, not living in college, and in 1987 a friend of mine mentioned that he wanted to direct a play he had seen called ‘Gotcha!’. I told him that he was too shy to direct. and that I should do it instead, so I did. That was the first of 3 plays that I directed in quick succession and it was after that experience that I was left with a burning desire for more. But there was no Damascus moment. Continue reading

Music Review: First Aid Kit – ‘The Lion’s Roar’

First Aid Kit, a Swedish folk duo, have recently released their second album, ‘The Lion’s Roar’. Johanna and Klara are sisters whose influences include Fleet Foxes, Joni Mitchell and Bon Ivor. Their first album, ‘The Big Black and the Blue’, was wonderful and, like the other two bands I mentioned previously, their music captures the wanderings of a solitary traveler crunching their way through the cool moss and autumnal leaves. They are in a word, ‘woodsy’. Their second album has been produced by Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes, another of my favourite bands, and so you can imagine my anticipation. Luckily, last Thursday I was also able to see them play live at Scala in London. This is a review of both the album and their performance.

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Mormons at the Movies

Brad returns with thoughts on Mormons and Movies.


With Mitt Romney becoming a likely candidate for this year’s presidential election, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is in the public psyche now more than ever. One can expect that the more publicity the Republican candidate receives, the more LDS beliefs or Mormonism will become themes explored in popular entertainment. Shows such as Big Love have already made waves exploring splinter groups, and Mormon characters have appeared in programmes such as House M.D. – But what of cinema?

The LDS church, like many religions, has a growing market of niche cinema made by Mormons for Mormons. And these films are, generally speaking, awful. What is really intriguing is how popular opinion of Mormonism has crept into major Hollywood productions over the years. Below is a list of 10 Hollywood feature films which received nationwide and often international release. I look at the LDS characters within these films, and how their membership to the Mormon Church affects their portrayal onscreen. Are they seen as the blood thirsty devil worshipers which were made popular in early 20th Century literature, or are they painted as genuinely righteous and kind hearted folk? Let’s have a look…

Oscar Snubs

Brad Williams returns with another guest post

With doodies like Moneyball and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close managing to bag a few Oscar nominations, it seems appalling that so many other great films missed out on any real award recognition for the Oscars 2012. What follows are some films which I feel lost out in some way this Oscar season, with suggestions where they could have got a nomination or two. Continue reading