Author Archives: Joanna Paul

Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones: The Epic World of Norma Desmond – An Alternative Guide to Watching Hollywood Epics – Part 1

At the moment I’m writing a book. It is called Designs on the Past: How Hollywood Created the Ancient World. It is all about movie-making in Hollywood and movie-watching in twentieth-century America (and Britain). All of the movies I explore … Continue reading

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Sasha-Mae Eccleston: Doing the Right Thing in Chi-Raq (2015)

Like the iconic song solicited for it, Spike Lee’s film Do The Right Thing (1989)(hereafter, DRT), highlights the competing voices and values underlying the banal term ‘community’. Using a heat-wave as metaphor, it follows the increasingly tense relationships between individuals … Continue reading

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Clytemnestra in your living room? Greek Tragedy on the Small Screen

It’s not often that the ancient Greek adulteress and murderer graces the cover of the Radio Times – still less often does she wear a costume that combines Minoan art with Doctor Who.  But Diana Rigg’s 1979 performance as Clytemnestra … Continue reading

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Amanda Potter: Putting Audience Reception Centre Stage in Classical Reception Studies

From a very young age I was fascinated by all things ancient Roman and Greek, fuelled by my consumption of films made before I was born like Ben Hur (1959) and Cleopatra (1963), which were broadcast on British television in … Continue reading

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Gideon Nisbet: On not getting round to watching the 2016 Ben-Hur

I didn’t see Timur Bekmambetov’s Ben-Hur when it was at the cinemas (not that it hung around long). Meant to; would probably have had fun; just never got around to it. Doubtless I’ll pick it up on DVD once it’s … Continue reading

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Alex McAuley: Resurrecting the War on Terror in Risen (2016)

After languishing in film and television obscurity for several decades, biblical stories have made a remarkable comeback in the past decade or so – thanks in no small part to the blockbuster success of The Passion of the Christ (2004).  … Continue reading

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Jo Paul: Was Ben-Hur Really an Epic Fail?

Last month, I kicked off our new film and TV theme with my post on why many recent ancient world films have been so disappointing. Since those musings were prompted by this summer’s blockbuster-that-wasn’t, Ben-Hur, I promised I’d follow up … Continue reading

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