January 26th, 2012

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Stop the War

Photo credit: http://mycatbirdseat.com/2010/08/why-america-must-have-an-anti-war-uprising/

Cut and pasted from an email from Stop the War:


Email office@stopwar.org.uk
Tel: 020 7801 2768
Web: http://stopwar.org.uk
Twitter: http://twitter.com/STWuk
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stopthewarcoalition




Hands off Iran and Syria
2 - 4pm, US Embassy
Grosvenor Square
London W1K 2

Called by Stop the War Coalition.
Supported by UNITE the Union, War on Want, Palestine Solidarity Campaign,
Campaign against Sanctions and Military Intervention on Iran, Friends of
Al-Aqsa, Goldsmiths Student Union and SOAS Student Union.

This is the most dangerous moment in the world since 2003. The sanctions on
Iranian oil imposed by the EU on Monday are a provocation that could spark a
war at any time. Iran's threats to retaliate by closing the Straits of Hormuz
were answered on the weekend by US Defence Secretary Panetta saying the US
would 'respond' if there was a closure and by US, British and French navy
ships sailing through the Straits.

The new sanctions mark a sharp escalation in an ongoing campaign of cyber
attacks, assassinations and US troop deployments in the area all designed to
destabilise the Iranian regime. Such a strategy of tension isn't just deeply
irresponsible. It shows the argument for war is gaining ground in the west. An
article by influential US hawk Mattew Kroenig in the current edition of
Foreign Affairs is headlined 'Time to Attack Iran'. His basic argument is
summed up in a single subheading: 'Strike Now or Suffer Later'.

As yesterdays Financial Times pointed out, this approach is making headway.
Both US Republican presidential contenders Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich
favour an attack. Sections of the British establishment are now talking up
confrontation. Meanwhile calls for intervention against Iran's ally Syria are
also growing.

The echoes of the build up to war on Iraq are loud and clear.

If you oppose the terrible prospect of a war on Iran or Syria please join the
protest this Saturday. Speakers will include Tony Benn, Lindsey German, Roger
Lloyd Pack, Abbas Edalat, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Sabah Jawad, Shirin Shafie.



Please help publicise the protest by joining our tweet-out and facebook surge
today, starting at 12 noon.

Tweet with hashtag #DontAttackIran, retweet our tweets, share links, share
photos and anything else using this same hashtag. Copy us into your tweets if
you like using @StwUK so we know what you want us to repost. Also please do
include the Facebook event for the protest - http://on.fb.me/yR9Q3i .

If we can get #DontAttackIran trending in London it will be a big publicity
boost for the protest.

Join the Tweet-out - #DontAttackIran
Invite friends on Facebook - http://on.fb.me/yR9Q3i
Follow StoptheWar on Twitter - http://twitter.com/STWuk


Follow the link to join the movement:

Photo credit: http://defendtherighttoprotest.org/stop-the-war-on-jonnie-marbles/489/
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The Arthur Conan Doyle Weekend, Haslemere: 15-17 June 2012

Photo credit: http://www.haslemere.com/conandoyle/

Fantastic weekend in Haslemere, Surrey: June 15th - 17th 2012

Celebrating the life and works of one of our most renowned authors, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

A fun packed weekend for lovers of Conan Doyle which will include various Sherlock Holmes actors and aficionados. Those taking part include Roger Llewellyn, Andrew Lane, Alistair Duncan, Roger Johnson and more! Not to missed!

Booking is now open.

To find out all the details about the weekend and to book tickets follow the link:



Great page here on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:
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How did Sherlock survive the fall?

Photo credit: http://www.johnwatsonblog.co.uk/blog/19december

There is a great poll currently going on the Sherlock Holmes Society of London's website - How did Sherlock survive the fall?

These are the options:

A Time Lord was involved somehow
Molly Hooper arranged it
Mycroft Holmes arranged it
Holmes landed in the rubbish truck
The body was one of Moriarty's henchmen, surgically altered to look like Sherlock
The body was Moriarty
The body was a dummy
Watson hallucinated the entire thing

Cast your votes now!

I voted for what is currently the THIRD most popular option!
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Andrew Scott as the Emperor Julian, Emperor and Galilean, National Theatre

I was also reflecting on how unjust it was that Emperor and Galilean had been completely overlooked in the current awards round - especially Andrew Scott's performance - and I found this:

Photo credit: http://www.ibsen.net/index.gan?id=11201828&subid=0

My own much trailed review of Emperor and Galilean has yet to be written but it will be coming to the Umbrella Organisation soon exclusively I promise!
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We Need To Talk About Kevin, BFI Southbank

Photo credit: http://www.cinenews.be/Movies.Detail.PosterBig.cfm?MoviesID=10028&PosterID=31762&lang=en

Cut and pasted from the BFI website:

Lynne Ramsay's award-winning adaptation of Lionel Shriver's Orange Prize-winning novel.

Lynne Ramsay's much-anticipated third feature, a compelling adaptation of Lionel Shriver's bestselling novel, centres on a mesmerising performance by Tilda Swinton as Eva, a mother coming to terms with the horrific actions of her teenage son. Through a series of flashbacks, Eva reflects on her difficulty bonding with Kevin and her role in nurturing him, as she tries to understand if she is responsible in some way for his disturbing behaviour. Visually striking and superbly acted, the film grips from its opening scene to its devastating denouement.

Raks's Review

This is yet another very belated film review.

I wanted to see this film as part of the London Film Festival but it was sold out. I then meant to catch it when it was in cinemas originally, but I had a lot on at the time, and I missed it. Luckily for me, the BFI are screening it now, almost 3 months after it was originally in cinemas.

I have to say I LOVED the film. People have mixed reactions to the book, people had mixed reactions to the film. I read the book when it came out and I have now seen the film. They are two very different beasts, but both are exceptional in their own way, and I am highly recommending both.

Sticking with the film, it is very different from the book, because the book is a series of letters that Eva writes to her husband Franklin. The film ditches that framework, and also ditches the voiceover.

Tilda Swinton as Eva is, quite simply, outstanding in this film. I think it is the best performance I have ever seen her give. She conveys very powerfully the impression of a walking corpse following the "incident"; when in theory your life is ticking along as per usual, but in reality you are completely dead inside.

Eva, the walking corpse
Photo credit: http://travissaves.blogspot.com/2011/12/tiff-highlight-8-we-need-to-talk-about.html

She also captures quite brilliantly what it is like when a mother does not connect with her new baby; what post-natal depression is like; how conflicted you are when you do not feel the special mother-baby bond that everyone else is always talking about. Also how you feel, when all the learning you are imparting does not "take"; when your child disregards all the input and advice you are giving; and the horror of having to care for and bring up a child whom you see as evil personified; the devil incarnate. Like the book, it is brave because it challenges all the ideals attached to motherhood. What happens when a mother does not love her child? What happens when a mother wants to harm her child? What happens when a mother does harm her child? What can you do, and what power do you really have, as a mother, to stop your child committing evil acts, and even carrying out murder?

Finally, I have to say that I loved the fact that, true to the book, they saved the gruesome "reveal" right up to the end.

All the actors in the film are excellent, the story is powerfully told and grips from start to finish, there are moments when you can barely sit and watch the screen, and I love the moral problems and dilemmas that it poses and explores.

It is a very dark and unremitting film, full of despair and hopelessness and impending tragedy. That is just the way I like my films!

Highly highly highly recommended.

There are a few more screenings of the film at the BFI:

Buy the book here:

Pre-order the DVD here (it will be released at the end of February):