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Randy Newman at 75: Part Two – Film composer

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Randy Newman, who turned 75 on Nov. 28, has Academy Awards, Grammy Awards and Emmy Awards and he is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s also a very funny man. He told … Continue reading

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Randy Newman at 75: Part One – songwriter

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Randy Newman, who turns 75 today, has Academy Awards, Grammy Awards and Emmy Awards and he is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s also a very funny man. He told me that … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: Yorkos Lanthimos’s ‘The Favourite’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Fasten your corsets, it’s going to be a bumpy night. Yorkos Lanthimos’s costume romp ‘The Favourite’ is a cartoonish depiction of the fiery relationships between 18th century Queen Anne, her best friend and senior courtier … Continue reading

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TV REVIEW: The Coen Bros’ ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – The Coen Brothers have taken Netflix for a ride with their anthology production ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’. It’s a western ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ in which they have dusted off some mostly hoary old … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: Billy Wilder’s ‘Some Like It Hot’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Billy Wilder’s 1959 comedy ‘Some Like It Hot’, which is running in selected theatres in the United Kingdom ahead of its 60th anniversary, is the funniest comedy you’ll see this year, or any year. Restored in 4K … Continue reading

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Recalling … giggling over lunch with the great Cleo Laine

By Ray Bennett LONDON – It was lunchtime at the Hotel Pontchartrain  in Detroit and things were getting a bit silly. Cleo Laine was talking about Kurt Weill and the Berliner Ensemble when someone mentioned Monty Python and soon she … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: Drew Goddard’s ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’

By Raymond Bennett  LONDON – A priest, a traveling salesman, and two young women walk separately into a hotel-casino on the California/Nevada border and all hell breaks loose. They aren’t who they seem to be and neither is the exotic … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Roma’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Directors often claim full authorship of their movies in the credits but if ever someone merited that it is Alfonso Cuarón who is the writer, co-editor, cinematographer, producer and director of his dramatic masterpiece titled … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: David Mackenzie’s ‘Outlaw/King’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Chris Pine keeps his Scots burr soft and believable in ‘Outlaw/King’, the saga of Robert the Bruce, the 14th century leader who succeeded where William (Braveheart) Wallace failed in uniting the Scottish clans to fight … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Steve McQueen’s ‘Widows’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Forget the shallow glitz of ‘Ocean’s 8’, the women in Steve McQueen’s full-of-surprises caper movie ‘Widow’ really mean business. The British filmmaker (‘Hunger’, ‘2 Years a Slave’) brings his serious view of the world to … Continue reading

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