Tag Archives: historical

THE POST: riveting thriller and revelatory personal portrait

The Post may be a docudrama, but it plays as a thriller and an astonishingly insightful portrait of Katharine Graham by Meryl Streep. It’s one of the best movies of the year – and one of the most important. Essentially, … Continue reading

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historical musings on THE POST

Watching The Post kindled some thoughts on the historical figures depicted in the movie. Fritz Beebe, played by Tracy Letts in the movie, was a valued business advisor to Katharine Graham. Decades later Katharine Graham told Terry Gross on NPR’s … Continue reading

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DARKEST HOUR: certainty in a moment of uncertainty

A less-remembered moment in human history makes for a great story in Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour, which takes place entirely in May 1940, the period after the German blitzkrieg through the Low Countries on the way to Paris and just … Continue reading

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LBJ: a Cliff Notes portrait of LBJ, traced through three relationships

Woody Harrelson captures the essence of Lyndon B. Johnson in Rob Reiner’s LBJ.  The best thing about this movie is the main character – probably the most complex and self-contradictory in American history. LBJ was amazingly talented, aspirational, mean, charming, … Continue reading

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MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE: American history’s greatest mystery with the excitement sucked out

In the sagging docudrama Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, Liam Neeson plays the title character – the man at the center of modern American history’s most compelling mystery. The Washington Post source known as Deep … Continue reading

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DVD/Stream of the Week: THE LOST CITY OF Z – the historical adventure epic revived

In auteur James Gray’s sweeping turn of the 20th Century epic The Lost City of Z, a stiff-upper-lip type British military officer becomes the first European to probe into the deepest heart of unmapped Amazonia. Finding his way through the … Continue reading

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DUNKIRK: personal, spectacular and thrilling

In Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan has written and directed a gripping historical thriller, somehow both personal and vast.  It’s a remarkable achievement of both storytelling and filmmaking.  Nolan chooses to tell us the story through the lenses of a few minor … Continue reading

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BEN-GURION, EPILOGUE: in his own words, Israel’s founding leader reflects

In Ben-Gurion, Epilogue, footage from a recently discovered video interview allows us to hear from Israel’s founding leader in his own words. In 1968, David Ben-Gurion was 82 years old and had been retired from public office for five years. … Continue reading

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DVD/Stream of the Week: HACKSAW RIDGE – unimaginable bravery disconnected from acts of violence

My video pick for Memorial Day Week is Mel Gibson’s powerful Hacksaw Ridge.  Just before the 2017 Oscars, The Wife and I finally got around to watching Hacksaw Ridge, which had been nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Before you … Continue reading

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DVD/Stream of the Week: HIDDEN FIGURES – Woman Power, Black Power, Brain Power

Hidden Figures tells the hitherto generally unknown story of some African-American women whose math wizardry was key to the success of the US space program in the early 1960s. It’s pretty rare that someone can make a historical movie about … Continue reading

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