All posts tagged 'Lincoln'

Lincoln and Django Unchained: two very different approaches to a thorny subject

by The Kent film blog, by Lewis Dyson Tuesday, February 5 2013


This year's Oscars features two nominees in the best picture category that are about slavery: Lincoln and Django Unchained

The one that probably stands a better chance of winning the judges' votes is Lincoln, not because it is a better film but because it ticks all of the requisite boxes. World-class actor, check. Worthy subject matter, check. Steven Spielberg, check.

I thought it was really well made and it was reverential to Abe Lincoln without being patronising, which is to its credit.

The best thing about it is without a doubt Daniel Day-Lewis' performance that is utterly convincing. I have never seen the man put a foot wrong, but then I have never seen Nine.

Overall the film is just what you would expect from arguably the best director of the past four decades teaming up with someone who is widely acknowledged as the greatest living screen actor. By that I mean it is near perfect and it is difficult to find fault but at the same time, it doesn't re-invent cinema. 

It looks beautiful, the sets are brilliant, and there are good performances all round. It is a team of people who are at the top of their craft making a film. It is like watching a master baker making a really nice cake, using all of the ingredients you expect. It comes out really tasty as you would expect but someone else might have added something completely different, like chili flakes but it's not that type of film.

Other directors might have been tempted to spice it up - anyone expecting Saving Private Ryan in the American Civil War will be disappointed. Instead it focuses on the politics. The script will either draw you in or bore the hell out of you. Luckily I think it's absorbing enough to hold your attention for the two-and-a-half hour length.

In summary you can't criticise it because it is near faultless, but you could argue it is only that way because it steers so close to the mark.

And then there's Django Unchained...


Quentin Tarantino's latest offering takes the same approach to historical accuracy as Inglourious Basterds and they are both incredibly similar to each other. They are both revenge fantasies of ethnic groups who have suffered great atrocities. But Tarantino handles this subject matter with the sensitivity of a Frankie Boyle.

Rather than making something preachy dealing with slavery head-on, the issue is used as a tool to make the audience feel all the more intensely. No one is going to go into this film thinking slavery is a good thing so it's an effective way of turning feeling you get rooting for the good guy Django (Jamie Foxx) and hating the bad guy (Leonardo DiCaprio) all the way to 11. Plus no one does violence like Tarantino and this doesn't disappoint with bucket loads of blood flying across the screen. 

The casual use of the N-bomb and the general way slavery is depicted is enough to incense anyone but, if a film can make you feel anything then it is doing its job.

Two very good films but in two very different ways.

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Categories: Film

A foot in both camps

by The Gills Blog, with Luke Cawdell Monday, August 23 2010

I only get to see my club Lincoln very rarely, due to work commitments meaning I get to follow the Gills up and down the country, but I seem to have been very fortunate over recent years.

Twice during the 08/09 season the Imps beat Gillingham and once more they came to Priestfield and walked away with maximum points.

Anyone that was there on Saturday will know what a shocker that first half was. Poor passing, poor distribution and very little threat on the Lincoln goal. And when Albert Jarrett took a punt and Cian Hughton followed up with the goal early on it was an up-hill battle for the Gills.

Lincoln sat deep and did what any team would do - time waste! There were injuries and substitutions to run down the clock and in the end it worked.

If you want a reminder of the Imps win, click here for the report and here for Barry Goodwin's pics.

That leaves the Gills without a win from their opening four games of the season (three in the league) but at least they have the benefit of some quality players coming back from injury. The team that have sat out in recent weeks could have comfortably dealt with League 2.

I’m most looking forward to seeing Cody McDonald. Apparently he’s good mates with X-Factor man Ollie Murs and if you click this link HERE you can see him being interviewed on GMTV as he backed his mate for success.

Talking of singing Adebayo Akinfenwa revealed how he sang a “medley” of tunes to his new team-mates before the Hereford game but strangely there was no heckling. Bayo’s said: “Nobody booed. If they did they would have to see me one to one.” As he said that I had visions of Mr T from the A-team. I certainly wouldn’t have questioned his singing ability.

And will we ever see that former Ajax player Stanley Aborah? Injuries seem to have plagued him throughout his career. It stopped him getting a contract with Middlesborough a couple of seasons ago and it could deny him the chance to show his skills with the Gills. I hope he gets another contract as from what I have seen in pre-season he has bags of quality and it would be a shame if he never got the chance to prove what he could do.

Mark McCammon was out with the squad on Saturday after apparently being “beasted” by Nicky Southall in the gym pre-match! (according to Hess) Sounds like an interesting work-out. At the end of my last blog I said that I couldn’t envisage the Gills trooping off to a chorus of boos on Saturday. How wrong I was.

I wasn’t surprised to hear them on Saturday after that first half performance but now everyone has just got to keep their fingers crossed and hope things improve, and I’m sure they will.

Morecambe are up next as the Gills head to the rather grandly named Globe Stadium. If ever I attended a place called the Globe Stadium I wouldn’t expect to be seeing Morecambe entertaining Gillingham in a League 2 match - no disrespect.

What is impressive is that a team of Morecambe’s standards have managed to build a stadium for £12 million. If they can do it, anyone can do it, so let’s hope the Gills can have a new venue one day.

I’m sure a few of you might have seen how Stimmo’s Barnet team got a thrashing at the weekend - 7-0 at Crewe. Never afraid to speak his mind, Stimmo said afterwards: “I apologise to our fans. I’ve told the players they have to put some cash back in their pockets. That was not acceptable.”

I wonder if that could take off. Players regularly dipping in their wallets to pay for the fans if they put in a bad performance. But should the manager take some of the blame as well?? After all, he signed these players. If players had to start paying for bad shifts then surely it would only be fair if it happened in all forms of work. Would that mean I would have to give our newspaper readers a refund if I make a spelling mistake!? It could prove very costly.

Not only were there problems on the pitch on Saturday, there were also issues in the press box. We used to have proper plastic cups for half-time bovril etc, but now are resigned to thin ones, which need stacking four deep to avoid burning your hands. And, as the chap next to me found out, they are clearly not wind resistant.

Luckily the table was level and it remained in a puddle. Testament to the builder of that Medway Stand (one of whom worked the PA system during the pre-season friendly at Concord Rangers. He was quite chuffed by that “claim-to-fame” and I was quite chuffed at his levelling skills). But anyway, I expect that same puddle to have turned to mould by the time Gills are next at home. I look forward to seeing if Martin (press officer) has been out with a cloth - which I doubt.

If you are not going to Morecambe then you can follow all the action via our text service and get involved in a bit of light-hearted banter at the same time. It starts from 2.30pm on Saturday via the website.
Cheers for now, Luke.

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Categories: Gills

Welcome to League 2

by The Gills Blog, with Luke Cawdell Thursday, August 12 2010

Gillingham got a rude and a little belated welcome to life in League 2 by Hereford on Saturday.

Hereford’s Edgar Street is one of those football grounds that probably hasn’t changed since the days when they used to parade a bull around the pitch before kick-off.

I’m not sure whether it was health and safety or the animal’s toiletry habits that finally ended that little tradition.

The old cattle market outside (I think that’s what it was) has been turned into a car park and at just £1 to park even I could afford it and even the strange smell of urine wafting around the place didn’t put me off.

I don’t know what the changing rooms were like but the press facilities were a little cramped.

Apparently the press-box was “reserved” for others and so it meant squeezing in between the Hereford fans. It was a little cramped.

On the field the Gills were getting much the same kind of welcome as Hereford’s giant-sized team put their weight around whenever possible.

It must take some doing to put Adebayo Akinfenwa on the deck, but big Hungarian brute Janos Kovacs managed it just before half-time.

Mark Bentley also got a whack and Andy Barcham spent much of the first half hobbling around after a crude challenge.

“Bayo” got to his feet in time for a rant at whoever was in his vicinity as the teams left for half-time. Hessy had the job of guiding him back to the changing rooms.

The Gills should have won the game. Chris Palmer spanked the post in the first half and Danny Spiller was unlucky in injury time not to have finally ended that away run without a win. It’s been 27 games now, but I’m sure it won’t be long now.

Because I have the pleasure of following Gillingham home and away every weekend it means I don’t get to see my own team very often, and so the visit of the mighty Imps this weekend is a rare “treat”.

Ever since my Dad took me to Sincil Bank for the first time I have been stuck supporting one of the worst teams in the league. Unfortunately when you live in Lincolnshire there isn’t a lot of choice when it comes to football teams, so you can either play it or head down to Lincoln and watch it. The City had a thriving Saturday and Sunday League set-up.

I got drunk once as well and as a bet got a Lincoln Imp tattoo. So that’s me stuck with them!

Lincoln took six points off the Gills last time the sides were in the same division, much to my surprise, and Chris Sutton’s team need some points desperately this time around.

The Imps are currently holding up the rest of the league following defeats to Rotherham and Torquay.

I think I was destined to have some connection with the Gills as I still own a Gillingham FC hat which I found at Sincil Bank when I was a kid. I don’t remember the score, but no doubt Lincoln lost, we’re good at that, but I did win a new hat that day so if anyone dropped their Gillingham hat in Lincoln, thanks.

Gills fans may get to see Delroy Facey in action again on Saturday as he was one of Sutton’s summer signings, along with Albert Jarrett. Needless to say I wasn’t going down the bookies to put money on Lincoln getting promoted, or indeed getting back involved in the play-offs.

The only good thing about supporting Lincoln is that we know we’re rubbish and so anything is a bonus. Just a goal would be nice on Saturday and I’m not expecting much more as Hess seems to have put together a decent side.
Last time Lincoln were in town the Gills were beaten and trudged off to a chorus of boos, with the manager insisting that he would “never win the fans over.”

I can’t see that happening this weekend.

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Categories: Gills | Sport

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