April 2012



Nick Carraway (Sam Waterston) a graduate from Yale and a World War I veteran, has returned home to begin a career in the bond business early in the summer of 1922. He is restless and has decided to move to New York and he ends up in West Egg, Long Island, where Nick rents a house next to the mysterious and nouveau riche Jay Gatsbys (Robert Redford) massive mansion. Tom (Bruce Dern) and Daisy Buchanan (Mia Farrow) live across the bay in the more fashionable East Egg. Daisy is Nick’s cousin and Tom had been in the same senior society at Yale College. They eventually invite Nick to their mansion where he meets a young woman named Jordan Baker (Lois Chiles), whom Daisy wants Nick to date. Nick, not being very wealthy himself, is fascinated by the lavish lifestyle of the Buchanans and he is drawn into Gatsby’s circle, becoming a witness to obsession and true tragedy…

The roaring 20s is such a fascinating timeperiod and I can not really get enough of seeing movies about that time and age. The clothes, the cars, the dance routines, the attitude, the music. The package. Red F. Scott Fitzgeralds novel “The Great Gatsby” several years ago, but I liked it. A great insight in the lifeless and yet emotional life of the rich prior to the great depression. I reckon the 1974 movieversion is a pretty ok version of the novel and I enjoyed it. Redford is always good, and that goes for the rest of the ensemble in this movie (even if Mia Farrow is testing your nerves throughout the movie as Daisy..). And I was glad to see Lois Chiles in the role of Jordan. Stunning actress and woman.. However, I am looking forward to Baz Luhrmanns version. Will be good for sure. (3 and a half out of 5)

The sorcerer Merlin (Nicol Williamson) retrieves Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake for Uther Pendragon (Gabriel Byrne). Uther uses it to secure an alliance with Gorlois, the Duke of Cornwall. Uther soon ruins the truce with his lust for Cornwall’s wife Igrayne (Katrine Boorman) and Uther forces Merlin to help him seduce Igrayne. On the condition that Uther relinquishes to Merlin whatever results from his lust, Merlin transforms Uther into Cornwall’s likeness with the Charm of Making. Cornwall dies while leading an assault on Uther’s camp, and his daughter Morgana awakes upon sensing Cornwall’s death. Igrayne, fooled by the disguise, submits to Uther, who impregnates her. The devastated Morgana is the only one who can see past his disguise. Nine months later, Merlin arrives and takes Uther’s son Arthur. Uther pursues but is mortally wounded by Gorlois’s knights. Uther thrusts Excalibur into a stone, and Merlin proclaims that “he who draws the sword from the stone, he shall be king.”  Years later Arthur draws Excalibur from the stone and becomes king. Guided by Merlin, Arthur marries Guenivere and gathers the Knights of the Round Table. Then Arthur’s evil half-sister Morgana sires a son with him, who may prove his downfall…

I remember loving this movie back in the early 80s and I have not seen it for quite some time now. I reckon my first reaction when reseeing it again, was it felt extremely theatrical in the setup and specifically the dialogue. I do love the story about King Arthur, Knights of the Round Table and the quest for the holy Grail and “Excalibur” is not a bad interpretation of the story, but yet it does feel slightly outdated in its general structure. Specifically the theatrical dialogue and acting plus the poor fx. And it feels like they have dubbed the actors?! What is on the upside, it is an ok knights movie (we need more cool knights movies!), nice armours and ok battle scenes. Plus the music of Richard Wagner and Carl Orff. I would however not mind seeing a remake. There was one in the pipeline with Bryan Singer behind the camera, but it has apparently been put on the shelf for an undefinate future. Shame. Bring it out again! (3 out of 5)



A farewell to Pep Guardiola and his massive achievement with 13 titles for Barcelona the past years. Enjoy a well deserved sabbatical.


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