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"Reel History" - Alex von Tunzelmann


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Going to post articles in this thread written by historian Alex von Tunzelmann for "The Guardian" newspaper.

Her articles review films from an historian's perspective.

The series is called "Reel History."


Her latest is titled "Can historically inaccurate movies still win Oscars?":



And the article above does include her ratings of some of this year's Oscar nominees...


FYI for those interested... Especially "history assassins"...


Edited by: RMeingast on Feb 2, 2014 3:01 PM

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Thanks RMeingast....very interesting read, from what I could see.


Page disappeared after 2 minutes and would not come back. I have a lot of firewalls on my computer (I can't view Facebook or google either, but no great loss there)


I would have liked reading these Reel History columns, though.

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I'm sorry to hear that, Tiki...


Don't know what to suggest?


Try accessing the articles through the link at her website:



Or at her "Guardian" page:



The reviews are listed there...


She's reviewed 263 films from an historian's angle.

And that includes classics such as "Lawrence of Arabia,"

"Paths of Glory," "The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser," "Land of the Pharaohs," "Bonnie Prince Charlie," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Norseman," etc....

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Alex von Tunzelmann wrote a review for "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (1968):




FYI in light of events in the Ukraine.


I've seen the 1968 film a few times on TVO's "Saturday Night at the Movies" in the past... Can't remember the 1936 film?

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The full plot synopsis on the TCM site is a fairly accurate summary of the 1936 film. A good chunk of the film takes place in Calcutta and parts of India (perhaps capitalizing on the success of Lives of a Bengal Lancer?). Somehow, an oriental (Indian, Arab, who knows) potentate Surat Kahn is at the center, and he and his forces are involved in a massacre at Lohara of the English and civilians there. Kahn then joins forces with the Russians. Flynn falsifies the orders and leads the charge in revenge. Somehow, the movie eludes even my weak grasp of geography and late 19th century history and international relations. But since I already have trouble believing that Olivia would prefer Patrick Knowles to Flynn in this one, I dispense with credibility.


However, Flynn looks fantastic in uniform, is great at being noble, and leads one of the greatest actions scenes ever filmed if you can tolerate the abuse of horses as collateral damage for superb action filming (which most modern viewers understandably can't)..


Edited by: rosebette on Mar 2, 2014 2:17 PM

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Yes, I understand historical accuracy was not the most important consideration to the makers of the 1936 film:



The 1936 film has a disclaimer:


"This production has its basis in history. The historical basis, however, has been fictionized for the purposes of this picture, and the names of many characters, many characters themselves, the story, incidents, and institutions, are fictitious. With the exception of known historical characters, whose actual names are herein used, no identification with actual persons, living or dead, is intended or should be inferred."


But the charge sequence was certainly done well (despite what happened to the horses used)...

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Latest review is of the French bio-pic "Yves Saint Laurent":




Think this film will be released in the North America this summer...


There's also another French film coming out this year titled "Saint Laurent":



The film above covers the years 1965 to 1976...

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