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101 Must See Films

  Take 6: The World at War The main reason I watch war films at all is because of my dad. It started with films such as The Guns of Navarone and The Day of the Jackal . The older I got the more I realised I'm more interested in films detailing Resistance action or those which have a psychological component to them. In all honesty, war will never be one of my favourite genres but there are some undeniably brilliant films in this category which simply cannot be ignored. So here goes with the ones I declare as absolutely standout. Escape to Victory - My dad loved this one too. It contains a cast of favourites, including the fabulous football skills of Pele. It's dated I grant you but not to be missed. Avoid the remake if at all possible. Good Morning Vietnam - a Robin Williams classic dealing with a war the US would rather the world forgot. The fallout from their involvement is still very much with us today. The main thing which drew me to this film was that is reminded me of
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101 Must See Films

Take 5: Feisty Females Who can resist a feisty female? Not me. Amongst my acquaintance it’s rumoured I may well be one. I don’t have the killer skills of the women in these fine films so have no idea why this rumour surfaced. But I can promise that you’ll find your very own favourite in this little lot. Kill Bill 1 – A classic come back film featuring a bucket load of grit, fortitude & great martial arts action scenes. Kill Bill 2 – you just know you’re onto a good thing when there’s a tribute to Bruce Lee in the action sequence Working Girl – Melanie Griffiths vacuuming in her underwear. Do I really need to say much more than that? Million Dollar Baby – Heart-breaking & fabulous Thelma and Louise – The film that defines the letters BFF The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – a pint sized heroine, brilliant investigative journalism & beautiful Swedish scenery. Please take my advice and watch the original Swedish version.  The Girl who Played with Fire - seq

Easter Wishes

On Good Friday I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to share a traditional family meal (Pickled Fish) with a guest. This dish is usually consumed with much relish by myself and my cousins. When it's not been possible to do so I've pushed this meal onto resistant friends who have become like family to me. Luckily they now savour it as much as I do. Sharing this meal reminded me how important the sharing of food is in many cultures and I sincerely hope you have the chance to share your Easter meal with your loved and dear ones. Cherish each other and give thanks for time spent together. I'm certainly making the most of those around me at present. Wishing you all a rejuvenating Easter. May your projects bear fruit, your dreams become reality and your family & friends share in all your joys. Happy Easter

Confessions of a sporadic serial writer

Writer’s Block is not something I’ve ever been familiar with. When other writers talked about it I felt rather ashamed I’d not experienced it. My Muse is rarely silent. In fact there are times I cannot shut her up. She is a very vocal mini-me. She’s accomplished at all the things I’m not – sings in tune, imitates a plethora of accents, understands a wide range of foreign languages and customs, fits in anywhere, anytime. What a talent she is. What I find most difficult - is voicing my thoughts in the company of strangers. I’m a silent social stutterer, if you will. Instead, I listen. I watch. I record. Yes. I’m one of those writers. The result is that for many years my Muse has provided a range of characters rabbiting away, demanding I scribble down their every word.   I’m rarely alone. A veritable inner ear city of Babel. This has meant that on a day to day basis, I rise early and write, without fail, for a minimum of 2 hours. This has never been a chore. Since I left full-time teach

101 Must See Films

Take 4: The Foreign Collection I’ve never been averse to a bit of subtitle. For those of you who shy away from it, you’re missing out on some seriously top drawer films. So to ease you into what can sometimes be a difficult adjustment, here are my top 10 foreign favourites. Amelie – quirky, romantic & humourous Romauld et Juliette – You’ll never think of yogurt & caramel in the same way again Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdow n – Gazpacho can be deadly Volver – a truly brilliant performance by Penelope Cruz The Lives of Others – cemented my belief that European cinema totally rocks Jean de Florette – Gerard Depardieu is brilliant Manon des Sources – the sequel to the above and equally mesmerising Delicatessen – fabulously funny Cinema Paradiso – just beautiful Whale Rider – made me want to visit New Zealand way before Peter Jackson did the LOR trilogy Vive la Cinema

Reading Revelations

For several years I’ve set myself the challenge of reading a certain amount of books per year. The idea first came to me when I joined Goodreads as an author in 2016 and noticed they had a facility for logging reads and reviews as well as calculating your reads annually. I initially thought of using it as a teaching aid since I had a great deal of reluctant readers in my tutoring rota. How great it would be for them to chart their reading progress and also instil the practice of writing reviews as it was a required part of KS3 learning. Kill 2 things with wings and all that. I decided to follow the maxim: do as I do. Besides, I feel that children need role models for the good things in life as well as the bad.   Following the success of this first calculated reading venture , the Goodreads challenge became an annual thing and nothing difficult for me to accomplish since I read voraciously and had always done so. After my dad died it did however become a serious challenge. His death b

101 Must See Films

Take 3: The Birthday Collection It’s February, my birthday month. As such, my selection of films consists of the ones I consider to be all time favourites I’m happy to rewatch over and over again; even when it’s not my birthday. It’s an eclectic list so keep equal amounts of tissues, thirst quenching drinks and suitable snacks close at hand. Once Upon a Time in the West - it's a western. No, don't tut or raise your eyes to heaven. Just trust me. Dune - the original 1984 film starring the likes of Kyle Maclachlan, Sean Young & Sting. Yes, you read that right. Chalet Girl - because I can't resist a bit of snow, romance & a comeback The Bourne Identity - it features an anti-hero so there's no more to be said Eastern Promises - Set in London & starring Viggo Mortensen - serious story with the bonus of eye candy for the ladies or anyone else in need of a bit of something to look at. Baby Driver - a very stylish film about car chases with a kill