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Monday, 9 January 2017

A FREE short course in film appreciation - Lynden Barber's shout out for Sydney cinephiles

Editor's Note: Lynden Barber is a film critic who has worked for major newspapers and national magazines. He was †he Director of the Sydney Film Festival in 2004 and 2005. His proposed lecture series is a most interesting initiative and should be enthusiastically supported by the Sydney cinephile community.
Lynden writes: Last year saw the unveiling of two new adaptations of John le Carre novels.
OUR KIND OF TRAITOR, directed by Susanna White, was a movie starring Ewan McGregor. You probably haven't heard of it. 
THE NIGHT MANAGER, was a six part TV miniseries starring Tom Hiddleston and directed by Danish film veteran Susanne Bier. It became a sizeable hit in its native UK, where it screened on the free-to-air BBC1, and screened internationally on subscription TV.
I'm figuring many of my FB friends have seen it or at the very least have heard of it. 
I'm also guessing some of those who haven't seen it will now seek it out following its win of three Golden Globes today for Hiddleston, Olivia Colman and Hugh Laurie as the series' respective undercover agent hero, MI5 handler, and corporate arms dealer villain. 
Laurie's casting is, on the face if it, so out-of-left-field that it's virtually a stroke of genius. He initially made his reputation in the UK as a comedian, and then in the US starring as an unconventional physician in medical series House M.D. He's one of the last people that many casting directors, directors and producers would have thought of to play such a dark role. Yet his charismatic yet clammily shifty character was a key factor in making the series compelling. 
The same goes for Colman as the kind of unglamorous figure its hard to imagine ever being chosen by a Hollywood casting director. 
What happened to the McGregor movie? It has a loosely similar plot (while also leaning heavily towards Hitchcock's second version of THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH), but unlike THE NIGHT MANAGER, it's not especially memorable. 
Why did the teleseries outperform the movie - not only commercially but also artistically? Isn't cinema meant to be television's grown-up sibling, the more artistically fruitful medium? 
Now we come to the ad. I'll be exploring questions like these in my upcoming evening course, IS TV THE NEW CINEMA? , which makes place every Tuesday night (6-9pm) during February at Randwick TAFE in Sydney. Entry is FREE but you need to register with me first.  You can contact Lynden through his Facebook page
A fair number of you have expressed interest already, but I need to increase the numbers between now at the start of the course. So a quick request: if you have friends or relatives who may be interested, if you could please forward this post directly to them or simply hit the 'share' button, I'd be extremely grateful. 
I'll also be following up with further posts this month, so please forgive me if I get to sound repetitive. It's just for this month. Honest!
Cheers,
LB

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