Saoirse MacDermott-Cox

Hail Caesar!

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The Coen Brothers’ latest movie tells the story of a day in the life of Eddie Mannix, the real life MGM studio executive and “fixer”. He covered up scandals and dealt with the press, as the movie shows. He also beat his partners and helped business contacts escape rape charges.

This side of him is missing from Hail, Caesar!, which both fictionalises and sanitises the man. Instead, Mannix (Josh Brolin) is an unresting force of organisation and quick thinking, absurdly good at his job.

Alasdair Gray: From the Personal to the Universal

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Alasdair Gray

Alasdair Gray is under-appreciated outside Scotland, although his novels, especially Lanark and Poor Things, have been deservedly and broadly praised. Even in Scotland no one loves Alasdair Gray like Glaswegians. After visiting this retrospective of his art it is easy to imagine that no one loves Glasgow like Alasdair Gray.

Much Ado About Nothing

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Joss Whedon, best known for the naturalistic banter and strong female characters of his TV shows, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "Angel" and "Firefly", would perhaps not seem the perfect partner to William Shakespeare, who is often seen inaccessible. Shakespeare's archaic, poetic language is a sharp contrast to the teenage slang influenced "whedonspeak".

Much Ado is filled with banter, particularly that resulting from the collision of the witty and strong-headed Beatrice and Benedick, who fight a "merry war". Perhaps it is not surprising that, under Whedon's direction, this lighter, funnier plotline shines. The physical comedy of it is orchestrated brilliantly with the house the movie is shot in - Whedon's own - giving up its spaces to become a sort of playground as well as a stage.

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