Line(s) of the Day #12AngryMen

12 Angry Men

Juror #8: Let me ask you this: Do you really think the boy’d shout out a thing like that so the whole neighbourhood could hear him? I don’t think so – he’s much too bright for that.
Juror #10: Bright? He’s a common ignorant slob. He don’t even speak good English.
Juror #11: He *doesn’t* speak good English.

Henry Fonda, Ed Begley and George Voskovec in the superlative courtroom drama 12 Angry Men (1957). A truly astonishing film that has continued to inspire and provoke debate about the justice system and those chosen to help carry a verdict. I’ve included the film in my blog numerous times. As well as the recent Scorching Hot Weather Film Quiz, it’s also been in my Favourite Films and B/W Adaptions from Plays quizzes, as well as being on a guest film post.


Reviews and Other Features: Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler film poster

Just how important is it to know everything about a gory news story? How much do we want to know about the process that gets that information? And just how far would we go in the same circumstances?

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Foreign Favourites series: La Haine

Since This is Spinal Tap, the number 11 has always had a special significance, so it’s great that Zoe from The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger is such a cool blogger. She is very welcome to the Foreign Favourites series Her site is a great mixture of film and book reviews, conjunctive articles and quirky Top 10 lists guest posts. I really do recommend you head on over.

So Alex has been hosting this Foreign Favourites segment, and I keep meaning to get involved and life keeps getting in the way. But never fear, I am here now. First off, I have not seen a lot of foreign films – mostly because I don’t get many recommendations and such. I wanted to be a part of Alex’s feature, but Cara had already unceremoniously usurped the honours of The Hunt, so I had to start looking. Alex recommended this and I got onto it as soon as possible. There is a bit that can be said about the film, and I know that I cannot say more nor do it more justice than has been done over the years, but I will see what I can do.

la haine movie poster

“It’s about a society on its way down. And as it falls, it keeps telling itself: “So far so good… So far so good… So far so good.” It’s not how you fall that matters. It’s how you land.

The film follows three young men and their time spent in the French suburban “ghetto,” over a span of twenty-four hours. Vinz, a Jew, Saïd, an Arab, and Hubert, a black boxer, have grown up in these French suburbs where high levels of diversity coupled with the racist and oppressive police force have raised tensions to a critical breaking point. During the riots that took place a night before, a police officer lost his handgun in the ensuing madness, only to leave it for Vinz to find. Now, with a newfound means to gain the respect he deserves, Vinz vows to kill a cop if his friend Abdel dies in the hospital, due the beating he received while in police custody. (IMDB)

la haine friends

Who made you a preacher? You know what’s right and wrong?

I would score La Haine a 7/10. It was a good film, though I am not a fan of the French language, I was more concerned with seeing what would happen. La Haine is a slow film that progresses at a steady pace, and this feels like a flaw when you start but rapidly changes when you realise that the more the setting and pace is the way it is the more you feel as though you are experiencing the day with the three main characters, Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Hubert (Hubert Koundé) and Saïd (Saïd Taghmaoui).

There is the issue of a cop having lost a gun in one of the riots, and it soon becomes evident that Vinz is in possession of it. Vincent Cassel was fantastic in this role, and it was nice to see him in his comfort zone and his native tongue. The way that the three deal with their friend being in hospital is very different. Hubert may live in the projects and all, but he will not let it define him, and he will not slip into the ways of poverty and the projects as most people staying there will. Vinz has decided that if their friend Abdel (Abdel Ahmed Ghili) dies, he will kill a cop. Saïd does not have much to say about this, though Hubert is rather strongly opinionated as to Vinz’s plan. For the duration of the movie you follow the three young men around on their day’s mission, watching them argue, have conversations, get a good look at life in the projects, and ultimately to the realisations that all three the men will make during the day. The day seems more active and action packed than usual, though the three are to embrace it. It seems that what you see on television is very simple to picture doing but not so much so when having to implement it, as is seen later with Vinz and a skinhead.

Overall, this movie felt terribly long because it was slow paced, but was not a bad watch and gives you a very good look at how life is lived in the projects, and how people perceive things differently. I thoroughly enjoyed how the movie was shot in black and white and the camera work, though there was other stuff that annoyed me (pointless conversations and aimless dawdling – though as I said this all ties in rather well with what is being depicted).

Thanks again to Zoe for her fine review on such a provocative film. I liked it more than you did but it is always worth hearing the viewpoint of others, especially when so well thought-out and considered.

Film Quizzes: B/W Adaptations from Plays

As I’ve done a film quiz based on short stories, reviewed a film based on a French play and recently bought a book of August Strindburg, it’s about time I did a quiz based on films that were first seen on stage. There are so many great plays into impressive films that I’ve divided them into two groups. See how many of the black and white films below you can get, with the colour ones coming up soon.

Film Quizzes - Adapted from plays Black and White Film 1 (1940s)

Film Quizzes - Adapted from plays Black and White Film 2 (1940s)

Film Quizzes - Adapted from plays Black and White Film 3 (1940s)

Film Quizzes - Adapted from plays Black and White Film 4 (1950s)

Film Quizzes - Adapted from plays Black and White Film 5 (1950s)

Film Quizzes - Adapted from plays Black and White Film 6 (1950s)

Answers below

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Line(s) of the Day #DrStrangelove

Dr StrangeloveGentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!

President Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellars) in the film Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Film Quizzes: Modern Day Black and White films

All kinds of incredible films have been made since the use of colour, a device which slowly came to be understood in the 1930s. But even some modern directors have realised the inherent magic of black and white. Here are six from my lifetime. See how well you do, and as ever, feel free to offer your score or comment on the choices.

Film Quizzes - Modern Day B+W Film 1 (1990s)


Film Quizzes - Modern Day B+W Film 2 (1990s)


Film Quizzes - Modern Day B+W Film 3 (1990s)


Film Quizzes - Modern Day B+W Film 4 (2000+)


Film Quizzes - Modern Day B+W Film 5 (2000+)


Film Quizzes - Modern Day B+W Film 6 (2000+)



1. Schindler’s List  (1993)

2. Clerks  (1994)

3. Pleasantville  (1999)

4. The Man who wasn’t There  (2001)

5. Control  (2007)

6. The Artist  (2011)