Category Archives: Notes

The ruins of Detroit captured in beautiful photographs

Detroit has long been a city in trouble but living across the river in Windsor, ON, from 1969 to 1977 left me with a great fondness for the sad old place where I covered political gatherings and peace demonstrations, reviewed … Continue reading

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BERLIN: Great Cajun music in Tavernier’s ‘Electric Mist’

By Ray Bennett BERLIN – There are several reasons to like French director Bertrand Tavernier’s handsome and atmospheric feature “In the Electric Mist,” which had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival tonight, not least the sumptuous cinematography … Continue reading

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Director Robert Mulligan dies at 83

By Ray Bennett LONDON – American director Robert Mulligan, who has died aged 83, never matched his 1962 classic “To Kill a Mockingbird” but he was always able to draw out fine performances from his actors. Not only that, but … Continue reading

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Oscar winners and wannabes in February film releases

By Ray Bennett Everything comes in pairs in the United Kingdom’s February film releases. Two Oscar-winning veteran filmmakers show how it’s done with Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” and Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (pictured above). Two famous characters from the … Continue reading

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Movie star Van Johnson dies at 92

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Colourful and self-deprecating American character actor Van Johnson, who has died aged 92, was never a great actor but he always gave good value when he stopped by the American TV talk shows. He gave … Continue reading

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We shall not cease from exploration …

We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.                         … Continue reading

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Ry Cooder at home in the California desert

There are nearly 100 Ry Cooder tracks on my iPod, just ahead of Randy Newman, including songs, film scores and his last three releases, the superb trilogy “Chávez Ravine” (2005), “My Name Is Buddy” (2007 ) and “I, Flathead” (2008), … Continue reading

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Recalling Renee on her birthday

‘Your sweet and shiny eyes are like the stars above Laredo, like meat and potatoes to me. In my sweet dreams we are in a bar and it’s your birthday, drinking salty margaritas … ‘  

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RIO FILM FESTIVAL: Bright spots in spite of the rain

By Ray Bennett RIO DE JANEIRO – They say that Rio de Janeiro sparkles in the sunshine but the sun has been in scarce supply this week with cloudy skies and often torrential rain and the city’s Rio’s Copacabana Beach remains impressive … Continue reading

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Christopher Walter always asked the right question

By Ray Bennett Christopher Walter sat next to me in class at Ashford Boys Grammar School in Kent. He was smart and went on to the sixth form while I went off to seek my fortune in the newspaper game. … Continue reading

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