AT Eternity’s Gate 2018

Something from Venice Film Festival today, the first trailer and poster for Willem Dafoe’s AT ETERNITY’S GATE which first hits Mostra and then cinemas in USA in November with him playing famous painter Vincent van Gogh at the time he was in Arles, directed by Julian Schnabel. The cast also includes Mads Mikkelsen, Rupert Friend and Oscar Isaac. It is not an ordinary biopic, but a film that takes a journey into the mind of the artist who, despite scepticism, ridicule, and illness, created some of the world’s most beloved and stunning works of art. It is a collection of scenes based on van Gogh’s letters, common agreement about events in his life that present as facts, hearsay, and moments that are invented.
The movie has premiered at Italian Mostra



Eastbound and Down – Remembering Smoky and the Bandit with Burt Reynolds


For those not from the US, a member of Law Enforcement was affectionally called “Smokey” during the late part of the last century.

Burt Reynold’s will always be remembered for his “Smokey and the Bandit” trilogy of films.  Here are some hi-lights.

Crash scenes of smokey after the Bandit, either in his black car, his truck, or sometimes as a stolen police car. Burt was one of those famous actors who liked to do his own stunts. I can’t acknowledge that he was in every one of these, but do know these are REAL stunts with REAL stuntmen.  No CGI here.  This was a fun movie if you can rent it somewhere.

Most of the premise of this first film was that the Bandit drove a “chase car” to keep the cops after him while his buddy drove the truck of beer without much trouble.



East bound and down, loaded up and truckin’,
We’re gonna do what they say can’t be done.
We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there.
I’m east bound, just watch ol’ “Bandit” run.
Keep your foot hard on the pedal. Son, never mind them brakes.
Let it all hang out ’cause we got a run to make.
The boys are thirsty in Atlanta and there’s beer in Texarcana.
And we’ll bring it back no matter what it takes.
East bound and down, loaded up and truckin’,
We’re gonna do what they say can’t be done.
We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there.
I’m east bound, just watch ol’ “Bandit” run.
East bound and down, loaded up and truckin’,
We’re gonna do what they say can’t be done.
We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there.
I’m east bound, just watch ol’ “Bandit” run.
Ol’ Smokey’s got them ears on and he’s hot on your trail.
He aint gonna rest ’til you’re in jail.
So you got to dodge ‘im and you got to duck ‘im,
You got to keep that diesel truckin’.
Just put that hammer down and give it hell.
East bound and down, loaded up and truckin’,
We’re gonna do what they say can’t be done.
We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there.
I’m east bound, just watch ol’ “Bandit” run.


The Reclusive Aristocrat – Part Sixty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Six (completed)

Richard Orme rose from the chair next to Roderick’s bed when they entered. “No change, I am afraid. His pulse is getting weaker and his breathing grows more ragged by the minute. I am so sorry, Rowena, but I will not be able to save him.”

“Has he regained consciousness during the past hours, Richard?” With an effort, Rowena endeavoured to keep her tears at bay.

“No, my dear, not even a flicker of awareness was seen. I did not expect him to, the pain must be excruciating. His body simply shuts down as to not have to endure it.”

“Rowie, come away,” Alex asked, to which she readily obliged. There was nothing for her to do here. Yet it astonished her that Alex led her back to their rooms.

“Please, take a seat, my dear. We have to talk.”

She grew concerned when he took both of her hands in his. “Carlisle is helping us with recuperating your inheritance, Rowie. He is the magistrate in this area and will help us search the rooms of the solicitor employed by Daveston. We will be looking for your father’s will which was never presented to the court in Carlisle. Yet we fear it might have been destroyed and replaced by a new one after your father’s death.”

“Oh, but Alex, that would be impossible! They would have to forge my father’s signature and two other signatures for the necessary witnesses.”

“There are ways and means to do just that, my dear. Have you ever seen your father’s will before he died?”

“Yes! Papa showed it to me when I turned eighteen. He told me I was to have a third of his money and a small property he owned near Thursby, a small town to the south-west of Carlisle. It belonged to my paternal grandmother and came with her dowry.”

“Do you have any inkling where he kept the will?”

“No, I am sorry, Alex. I would think he kept it in his library which was also his study, but I was appalled when I saw the state it was in. Many items were missing, rare books and works of art must have been sold by Roderick. Was he in dire financial circumstances?”

“I do not know, but it is an issue we should examine thoroughly.”

He was still holding her hands, she suddenly realized when his thumbs were gently rubbing them. If she even looked up, she would betray herself. She loved him so dearly, but she could not show him. The compassion he would surely give her would be too hard to bear. She gently retrieved her hands and forced herself back to the matter at hand.

“Maybe we should ask Philby if my father had other storage for his documents. He has been in the family service from before I was born.”

“Splendid!” Alex rose and extended his arm. “Why not go there now?”


They chose to ride to Daveston Hall, the weather being mild. An invigorating breeze stirred the chocolate curls escaping from under Rowena’s riding hat, and his wife was smiling, Alex saw. She seemed to enjoy their ride then? He knew he certainly did, so why had he not done that more frequently? Or maybe she did not object to his company as long as they were on horseback whatever the reason? He had not been very good company in the past. His blasted eye affliction and the nightmares that had haunted him did not favour pleasant companionship. His nightmares … he suddenly realized they had stayed away for weeks if not months. How had that come about? Ah, but he knew why. Sharing a bed with his beautiful, gentle wife and engaging in vigorous lovemaking, followed by a deep, restoring sleep was what had cured him. He so loved waking up next to Rowena, be it while she was still lost in sleep or when she was nursing Emma. He preferred the latter even more, the image of her as a mother, feeding the baby with her hair still in disarray and her exquisite breasts bared. Damn, he had to stop thinking of her like that now or he would face some serious discomfort getting aroused while in the saddle!

All this made it perfectly clear that he loved Rowena. He was hers, completely and forever, although he had no inkling when and how it came about. Love caught one unawares. That were the words his brother Reggie had used in his last letter, talking about the man he had loved without ever having been permitted to say them aloud.

Would he, Alex, be able to say them to Rowena one day? He could only hope and pray.


Rowena rode down the driveway of Daveston Hall beside Alex, vowing to herself that their being together had never been more pleasant than it was at this moment. Of course, she was sad because of Roderick’s imminent death, and because of her failure in trying to befriend him. She could not end his animosity towards her, this feeling of envy and loathing he must always have had. Yet she had a small consolation in the fact that she had tried, and that must be enough. From now on she would be able to concentrate on her life at Alex’ side. She would love him, make his life happy, and give him the home he had forever lacked. She so longed for a child sired by her husband, a sister or brother for Emma. All this to do with her inheritance was of no consequence when it came to her family’s happiness. She only wanted to be sure of one more matter; did her father truly tell her lies about what she would receive after his death or had it been Roderick’s doing all along? Should the former prevail, she would have to grieve over her father yet again, and it would be even more excruciating than ever. Then she would know that her father never truly loved her and she could not envisage this horrible possibility, never.

Dear old Philby listened to what they asked him with stoicism and a little incredibility.

“My lady, I am astonished that you have no notion about my late lord’s favourite storage place. Did he never tell you about it?”

“Not that I recall, Philby, so you will have to show me.”

“Very well, my lady, my lord. If you will follow me?”

Philby led them to the large attics where a considerable amount of furniture was stored. As they walked through the bulk of cupboards and closets, chairs and sofas, beds and chaise-longues, Rowena recognized some of it. She realized it was the furniture her mother had brought to Daveston Hall when she married her father. Philby saw her surprise.

“Yes, my lady, the master ordered all of this to be burned because he wanted all of it gone. It was your mother’s, as you can see. We, that is all the servants, conspired to have it stored here. We lied to the master and spun him the tale of it been given away. Now, if you please, this is what you are looking for. I am sure you recognize it?”


Ruin 2019

After Macbeth and Assassins Creed, director Justin Kurzel is moving to another historical period: this time he will helm World War 2 thriller RUIN and he has already signed Matthias Schoenaerts and Margot Robbie for the lead roles.


Set in the ruins of post WWII Germany, the story follows a Holocaust survivor (Margot Robbie takes the role originally meant for Gal Gadot) who is forced to make an unlikely alliance with an ex-SS captain (Matthias Schoenaerts)  in her quest to exact revenge. Together, they hunt down the surviving members of the captain’s former Nazi death squad.
Matthias Schoenaerts takes the male lead

Margot Robbie replaces Gal Gadot in the lead female role







Rejoice! Our boy is finally returning to the telly! After he so memorably appeared for the first time in The Tudors more than a decade ago, Henry Cavill will star in another epic series THE WITCHER at Netflix!

Genres:  Action | Adventure | Drama | Fantasy

8 Episodes

Henry Cavill will play Geralt of Rivia
Based on the fantasy saga by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowskian it is an epic tale of fate and family. Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), a solitary monster hunter (witchers are hunters who develop supernatural abilities at a young age to battle deadly monsters), struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. But when destiny hurtles him toward a powerful sorceress, and a young princess with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the increasingly volatile Continent together. Daredevil‘s Lauren Schmidt Hissrich will be the showrunner, she said Cavill was the first one she auditioned and that no other actor has managed to beat his passion for the role! Game of Thrones, Outlander and Fear the Walking Dead directors will helm the episodes of the new epic fantasy television series.

Vanity Fair 2018

Begins NOW~

Sunday, September 2, 2018  (7 episodes)


3 Sep 9, 2018 Episode 3

2 Sep 3, 2018 Episode 2

1 Sep 2, 2018 Episode 1

Vanity Fair starts tonight on British ITV!

Believe it or not, Autumn unofficially starts today and the first historical series to open the new season tonight on ITV is the latest small screen adaptation of William Thackeray‘s novel VANITY FAIR (if I got it right it will also start airing this month on HBO cable channels around the world and will air for US audience later on at Amazon). The story is set in the Napoleonic era following the destiny of resourceful Becky Sharp played by Olivia Cooke. The second episode airs as soon as Monday, and the rest of the series will air next five Sundays.

The seven part drama coming from Poldark‘s and Victoria‘s Mammoth Screen, is set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, and follows

The series will also start this month on HBO world cable channels

modern heroine Becky Sharp as she attempts to claw her way out of poverty and scale the heights of English Society. Her story of villainy, crime,

The series will air in seven hourlong episodes!

merriment, lovemaking, jilting, laughing, cheating, fighting and dancing, takes her all the way to the court of King George IV, via the Battle of Waterloo, breaking hearts and losing fortunes as she goes.

is played by Olivia Cooke. Born to a French opera dancer and a poor, drunken artist, she is orphaned as a teenager and accepted at Miss Pinkerton’s academy for young ladies to teach French in exchange for her schooling and upkeep. Once she goes out in the world, Becky is determined to rise in society – by any means necessary.
who will fall for Becky is played by Tom Bateman.  He is a heavy dragoon with strong desires and small brains, who had never controlled a passion in his life. He is the younger son of Sir Pitt and stands to inherit money from his aunt, Miss Crawley, who has always loved him best despite his love of sports, gambling and women.
to whose house Becky arrives as the governess is played by Martin Clunes. He’s a baronet and the owner of a huge estate at Queen’s Crawley, but despite his position in society he is a dirty, stingy and lecherous old man.
played by Frances de la Tour,  is rich, single and elderly and her potential heirs are at pains to impress her, even if it looks likely she’ll leave most of herfortune to favoured nephew Rawdon. Miss Crawley is dismissive and deeply unimpressed with pretty much anyone.
Becky’s friend from the academy is played by Claudia Jessie. Becky’s total opposite, she is naturally sweet, obedient, kind-hearted and naive, with blindloyalty that verges on stupidity. She is waiting to be married to her childhood sweetheart George Osborne.
George, played by Charlie Rowe, has been close to the Sedley family all his life as childhood friend and neighbour, with his and Amelia’s fathers being business partners. He does like Amelia, but he is more in love with himself and is preoccupied with drinking and gambling and his own pursuits! Johny Flynn plays his best friend Dobin, a gentleman who has risen honestly in society and exhibits qualities of kindness, loyalty and respect. He is secretly deeply in love with Amelia.
The cast also includes Surrane Jones as snobbish Miss Pinkerton who hates Becky,  Michael Palin plays Thackeray himself, the mysterious

Surrane Jones plays snobbish Miss Pinkerton

narrator, Claire Skinner is Amelia’s mother Lady Sedley, Simon Russell Beale is Mr Sedley, David Flynn is Amelia’s vain brother Jos, a figure of

David Flynn is Jos Seddley, vain and ridiculous and fat

ridicule whom Becky tries to seduce. Mathew Baynton is Sir Pitt’s uptight son Bute Crawley, Robert Pugh‘s is George’s rich father Mr Osborne.

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