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Review: The Last Impresario

14th October 2013 | Films

4 STARS -Gracie Otto pays a vibrant, engaging and intriguing insight into the life of a modest playboy, gambler and producer.



Every now and again, somebody really special comes into the world to shake things up a bit. To the delight of the – at the time – failing London theatre industry, in 1936 Michael White was born. The most famous person you’ve never heard of.

The Last Impresario is a documentary style film about notorious London theatre and film impresario, Michael White. Having produced over 300 shows (including the edgy productions of “Oh! Calcutta!”, The Rocky Horror Show and “Annie”) and movies over the last 50 years, White was seen as London’s playboy to his celebrity friends – who include Kate Moss, John Cleese, Barry Humphries among many others.

As time as progressed and the years gone, White’s lavish life has, somewhat, been reduced due to health issues. However, whilst White’s immediate presence in the West End has been fading; the way he shaped London lifestyle has never been more prominent.

Gracie Otto pays a vibrant, engaging and intriguing insight into the life of a modest playboy, gambler and producer who has shows such as A Chorus Line and films such as Monty Python and the Holy Grail under his belt. Through the use of professionally shot interviews and car rides the viewer truly sees White at work and reflecting his past times.

Despite the fact that White used to live a very lavish, party-centralised life the documentary is not without its emotional twists and turns constantly keeping the viewer on the edge of their seat. Otto does an excellent job at displaying White’s regret at some of the things he used to do – teaching viewers that sometimes living…

Review: Milius

13th October 2013 | Films

4 STARS - The clear-cut story of the Hollywood legend you'll fall in love with instantly.

 

There are few Hollywood directors who can truly and undeniably suggest that they have made a mark on the film industry globally. John Milius is one who can safely say he has.

Milius is a documentary about celebrated America screenwriter, director and producer John Milius who notably co-wrote the first two Dirty Harry films, receive an Academy Award nomination as screenwriter of Apocalypse Now and wrote and directed The Wind and the Lion, Conan the Barbarian and Red Dawn.

The film tells the story of Milius’ dream of joining the Marine Corps (of which he was denied entry to due to his chronic case of asthma) and how he fuelled a passion and desire for film making from those heart breaking events. It respectably narrates John Milius’ tragic life which is still continuing.

The journey through Milius’ years as a barbaric, anti-hippie-yet-still-anti-politics teen right through to his life now are told though interviews with some of Hollywood’s best known: George Lucas, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charlie Sheen and more – as well as Milius’ family.

Whilst staying respectful when it comes to Milius’ downfall (such as his financial struggles and multiple strokes) the film never treats itself too seriously – perfectly reflecting Milius’ personality. Even when Milius’ like takes turns for the worse, it’s rare for two minutes to pass without somebody laughing or smiling. This turns what could be, at times, a rather dark documentary into quality entertainment in it’s best form.

The one downfall of the film would be its production value. It doesn’t come off as a top-class Hollywood production you would expect to see with the names featuring in it…