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Lovelace (Bilingual)
Lovelace (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Amanda Seyfried
Price: CDN$ 21.98
10 used & new from CDN$ 12.95

4.0 out of 5 stars The true story of a woman with an infamous alter ego., April 6 2014
This review is from: Lovelace (Bilingual) (DVD)
Years ago I watched an interview with the person better known as Linda Lovelace who starred in a porn movie named Deep Throat 1972 for which she became very famous.

The name Deep Throat would take on a new life in 1974 when journalists Woodward and Bernstein used it as a name for their informant in the 1974 Watergate scandal, as described in their book All the President's Men, which in turn led to an Academy Award winning movie.

In the interview Linda Boreman claimed that she was an unwilling participant in the movie, and that she was beaten and abused by her husband who forced her at gunpoint to perform all the acts in the movie. When I leafed through her bestselling book in a bookstore several days later, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that she was supposedly hypnotized by her husband who somehow made her do all these things for which she became famous. She had some harsh things to say about Sammy Davis Jr, as I recall, and was quite explicit about her dreadful experiences.

Not that I have given this much thought over the years, but I know that every story has more than one side, and I did occasionally wonder what the truth was. She eventually became an activist against the pornographic industry that made her famous. Thus this character presents something of a paradox, on the one hand a seemingly willing participant who became famous through her work, who dressed up for premieres and smiled for the cameras, on the other an unwilling participant beaten, threatened at gunpoint, forced into really bad situations unawares and supposedly hypnotized and mind controlled by her husband Chuck Traynor, who went on to marry porn star Marilyn Chambers.

I think you will enjoy the movie. The director seemed to share my sense of dichotomy about who Linda Lovelace was, and does a masterful thing in terms of telling the story in two ways, the way it appears to be from the fame, legend point of view, and then from the Linda POV.

I cannot tell you too much about the movie except that it is thought provoking. She came from a rather extremely conservative Christian family with a harsh unforgiving mother played by Sharon Stone, and only for meeting the wrong guy got taken on a completely different track than otherwise.

Her route to fame and legend was quick and she partied at the Playboy Mansion with Hugh Hefner, and met with Sammy Davis Jr and others. In the movie she claims she spent 17 days in the porn industry, achieving more fame in that short span than actresses who spend 17 years in the business.

What I discovered from watching this movie is that I now believe Linda Boreman aka Lovelace. There is redemption for Linda. It's the story of a good girl gone bad who gets good again, who finds her real self, and despite these experiences gets some good out of life.

My research indicates that Linda has shuffled off this mortal coil. If she were alive and went to see this movie, I think she would be appalled by the first half, but by the end would consider that the movie represented her fairly. I think the movie allows you to decide for yourself what to believe, and I don't think we can ask for any more than that.

Amanda Seyfried does an excellent job in a role which many other mainstream actresses would not touch with a barge pole. Movies such as Chloe display her sexual nature, and I really enjoyed her performance in In Time, and the thriller Gone, yet she also has a great singing voice which she displayed in Mamma Mia and Les Miserables, and she acted the pants off the beautiful Megan Fox in Jennifer's Body.

And if you are like me you may come away from this movie with a different point of view.

Blue Jasmine (Bilingual) - DVD + UltraViolet
Blue Jasmine (Bilingual) - DVD + UltraViolet
DVD ~ Bobby Cannavale
Price: CDN$ 19.99
2 used & new from CDN$ 19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars One of Woody's best. Theatrical release review., April 6 2014
I bought a ticket to this movie knowing absolutely nothing about it, and almost immediately as it began I knew I was watching a Woody Allen movie.

I cannot say exactly why this is so. Perhaps it was the richness of the character study, and the fact that Allen writes so excellently for female characters. In any event, Cate Blanchett's character, and her brilliant performance of this down on her luck former socialite married to a conman husband played by Alec Baldwin, may be the best female character performance you will see on a movie screen this year, and Blanchett's performance is probably the most Oscar worthy I have seen so far.

Set in San Francisco in the present day it unfolds the complex relationship of two sisters, one upper class but fallen on hard times, and her working class sister who makes working class choices. Because it unfolds in a non linear fashion it appears to dip randomly into different events over a period of about 15 years or so, and we understand why the sister is working class.

One of the themes of the movie is honesty, and facing reality, and Jasmine makes choices that seem oblivious to it. She fibs and tells little lies, at one level self deceptive, and at another deceptive of others. We may not like her for this, but if you're like me, I felt tremendous compassion for her, even loved her in spite of everything, which is not often I feel that way about a character. She suffers from severe anxiety, and the events she has to undergo take a toll on her. One particular choice she makes has particularly severe repercussions, yet in the moment we fully understand it.

I think it is fair to say moving to Europe and making films there has been wonderful for Woody Allen. In an interview he said that his previous movies were critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful. Now he has made a series of outstanding movies, and written brilliant roles particularly for women.

I cannot claim to love all of them, but Vicky Cristina Barcelona was excellent and Penelope Cruz won an Oscar for her performance. Match Point is probably my personal favorite starring Scarlet Johansson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, about an upwardly mobile ambitious tennis coach, and what may be a perfect murder. Midnight in Paris was dreamy and sentimental, and won an Oscar for best screenplay. Woody Allen has been nominated a staggering 23 times for an Academy Award winning four times, three times for Best Original Screenplay, and once for Best Director of Annie Hall.

Actors who worked with him have also won Oscars. Remember Mira Sorvino for Mighty Aphrodite, and Michael Caine for Hannah and Sisters.

As someone who lives in San Francisco, I can say that he makes it look almost better than the reality, and a beige BMW can do wonders to enliven the surroundings.

It seems to me that like a good wine, Woody just gets better with age, and easily maintains his excellence with this movie.

I originally posted this review on Amazon USA back in September last year, and as was widely expected Cate Blanchett won her second Academy Award for this performance.

I think most people will enjoy this movie, and I hope this was helpful.

Shakespeare beyond Doubt: Evidence, Argument, Controversy
Shakespeare beyond Doubt: Evidence, Argument, Controversy
by Paul Edmondson
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 25.66
32 used & new from CDN$ 22.87

2.0 out of 5 stars Flying reindeer ahead, April 3 2014
If an ability to examine evidence objectively is a prerequisite for dealing with the authorship of Shakespeare and whether Shakespeare was an author or a name used by someone else, then you could not look for a less qualified group of people to write on the subject.

All the people involved in writing this book are only capable of thinking from a single perspective, and incapable of processing or even comprehending why people are skeptical about the idea that Shakespeare was an author, do not know what a fact is, and display child-like reasoning on the subject. It's like asking seven year old children to write a book Santa Beyond Doubt.

Most of us accepted what our parents told us about Santa Claus, and it is a worldwide conspiracy engaged in by authority figures knowingly engaging in an act of deception. If you're like me, at around the age of 8, other kids would come up to me and say, 'you don't still believe in Santa Claus do you?' I called them spoil sports because I loved my little fantasy.

At some point we may start asking questions like, 'how does does he fit his 50 inch waist down a 7 inch flue?', or 'how come Santa never gets his red coat or white beard dirty?,' or 'how is it possible for one man to visit over a billion houses in one night?, or can reindeer really fly? In my case the moment of realization came when I saw a neighbor packing wrapped presents in the trunk of his car, as the family was going on a trip for Christmas. I saw the presents and the guilty caught in the act look on his face, and instantly knew.

Most of us outgrow our childish beliefs, and replace them with something more practical. And people for whom this critical reasoning ability never kicks might be referred to as suffering from the Santa Claus Syndrome.

The characteristic response to anyone who dares to question the paradigm is they are mentally ill to even ask such questions, and usually they will then insult the person calling them stupid or ignorant or not a scholar. Don't believe me? Go to any discussion thread on Shakespeare authorship. There you may even find those who admit they have been paid by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to go on such threads and drive other people off by insulting them. I have found at least three people on these threads who admitted having Stanley Wells email address.

In the case of Shakespeare, our inquiry process may begin with a question like 'how is it possible for someone who never went to University to write these staggering works of literature? How come I had to to go to University to learn Shakespeare, when he only potentially has a grammar school education? The claim presented by Stanley Wells is that Shakespeare could have learned everything he needed to learn in grammar school.

Often they will cite that Ben Jonson did not go to University. Jonson though did show exceptional development and was privately tutored and educated by William Camden the famous historian for a while. Likewise Thomas Kyd is cited. But Thomas Kyd was not born of illiterate parents. His father was a scrivener, and they write in Latin, and so he could have received much education from his father. I was in Stratford years ago and ushered into a replica of Shakespeare's classroom, and shown his actual desk, with the name Shakespeare hacked into it, correctly spelt. Imagine my surprise at discovering years later that there is no record of Shakespeare even being educated. It was my introduction to Stratfordian deception.

In order to make the genius plays fit the man Shakespeare they have to diminish the vast level of knowledge displayed in the plays to a Stratford grammar school level, and vastly elevate the value of a basic education in a country town during this era to match the brilliance of the literature.

Wells claims elsewhere that the name Shakespeare appears on the title pages 39 first editions and reprints during his lifetime, and this is good evidence, a claim contradicted by the evidence supplied in this book. This number 39 happens to correspond to about the same number of plays currently published as Shakespeare, and is a vastly distorted and exaggerated number which requires multiple counting of single editions which by even the most generous of accounting comes to no more than 24.

The actual number of times the name Shakespeare appears on the title page of the first edition of a play during his lifetime which also was published in the First Folio is nine. Quite a distance from 39, isn't it?

Here are the actual numbers:

Eight plays were first published anonymously during Shakespeare's lifetime. These are:

1. Titus Andronicus Q1 1594
2. First Part of the Contention Q1 1594
3. True Tragedy of Richard Duke of York Q1 1595
4. Romeo and Juliet Q1 1597
5. Henry V Q1 1600
6. Richard the Second Q1 1597
7. Richard the Third Q1 1597
8. Henry IV, Part 1 1598.

The first five above were only published anonymously during Shakespeare's lifetime. Numbers 2 and 3 were falsely published under the name Shakespeare for the first time in 1619 as part of the False Folio. The Troublesome Raigne of King John was published in 1611 under the name W. Sh, and in 1622 as William Shakespeare. Both have been declared forgeries.

Likewise the Passionate Pilgrim 1612 has Shakespeare's name removed from the title page following a complaint by Thomas Heywood.

The name Shakespeare appears on the title page of London Prodigal and Yorkshire Tragedy during his lifetime, yet both determined not to be Shakespeare.

This proves that someone other than Shakespeare extensively used the name Shakespeare on publications while he was alive and thereafter. Yet these people cannot understand why people are skeptical of the authorship of Shakespeare.

Say you lived in a country where half the currency in circulation was false? How long before you would question the authenticity of every piece of currency, and the overall currency is devalued. What would think of someone who passes you a bill and tells you not to look at it, and repeatedly fails to mention all the false currency?

The 1609 Shakes-speare Sonnets, were pulled from publication and considered to be an unauthorized publication. While purporting to relate personal experiences no scholars have been able to relate any of the experiences in the Sonnets to the personal life of Shakespeare.

The name Shakespeare does not appear on the title page of either of the two narrative poems Rape of Lucrece or Venus and Adonis during his lifetime (although the name does appear on internal dedications, one being very ambiguously worded where V and A is presented as the first 'heire' of my invention). These two poems running to almost 3,000 lines account for half the poetry attributed to Shakespeare.

Many of the 1640 poems published as Shakespeare were apparently written by other authors such as Heywood, who this time does not complain.

The Two Noble Kinsmen 1634 despite Shakespeare's name on the title page was excluded from the canon till the twentieth century. The Birth of Merlin 1662 with his name has not been acknowledged as Shakespeare.

The nine plays published as first editions under the name Shakespeare during his lifetime, and also appearing in the First Folio:

Love's Labors Lost (newly corrected and augmented by W Shakespere)
Midsummer Nights Dream
Merchant of Venice
Henry IV, part 2
Much Ado About nothing
Merry Wives of Windsor
Hamlet
King Lear
Troilus and Cressida

The first quartos of Lear and hamlet are often cited as unauthorized or bad quartos, for which the memorial reconstruction theory was developed as an explanation, although scholars cannot explain why Hamlet Q1 is a play with a mostly different cast of characters. If one is going to recall the plays, would, wouldn't you recall the actual cast of characters to make it as close as possible to what the buyer of the play would have experienced at the theatre?

The Third folio of 1664 added seven never before published plays to the canon. Of these only one, Pericles is still in the canon.

You will not be reading about any of these publications in this book, the reindeer who cannot fly are excluded.

SBD fails to address the issues of authorship. In addition it fails to address the Diana Price book which shows comparative evidence available for all the authors of the period. You cannot make a problem disappear by denying it exists, because what you resist persists.

I have read as much of this book as I could. One contributor argues that Shakespeare tells lies. Is she arguing for or against Shakespeare? Jackson talks about stylometrics which has fallen out of favor, and claims that Shakespeare was a better writer, a matter of opinion not of fact. Many great writers existed in this era. The only chapter I liked was the somewhat sympathetic chapter on Delia Bacon which for once avoided the tiresome habit of dealing with alternate views through ad hominems.

I found Nicholl's essay particularly objectionable. He manages to insult, scoff at and dismiss most Marlowe scholarship, even Calvin Hoffman, which is surprising since he won the Hoffman Prize, a prize designed to prove Hoffman's belief that Marlowe wrote Shakespeare. Unfortunately, the King's school Canterbury sees no irony in appointing as a judge someone who believes the exact opposite, and awarding the prize 21 out of 25 times to someone who believes the exact opposite.

Scholarship, once populated with respectable and credible scholars such as Malone and Brooke, capable of openly discussing authorship of individual plays, now excludes anyone who is an authorship candidate from being discussed. That is why why may one hear of Greene, Kyd or Peele being proposed as authors of the anonymous plays adopted into Shakespeare plays, but the name of Marlowe, the most influential and most likely candidate is not mentioned any more, even though his name was commonly proposed by Malone, Brooke and others.

Is the authorship of Shakespeare beyond doubt? Not even close. And asserting with 100% certainty that you are right with so much evidence of counterfeiting, and unauthorized publication, and someone else using the name of Shakespeare without his permission without even bothering to acknowledge this could be interpreted as being dishonest at worst or at best not having a grasp of the subject.

Failure to even mention all the unauthorized publications and misrepresenting evidence does nothing to gain public confidence in Shakespeare scholarship, and everything to undermine its credibility. This book is propaganda, not what real scholarship is about.

You can suppress and deny the truth all you like, you can gull the public for so long, and the reaction this book is getting is a major clue that the public cannot be fooled indefinitely.

Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography: New Evidence of an Authorship Problem
Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography: New Evidence of an Authorship Problem
by Diana Price
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 94.49
13 used & new from CDN$ 65.68

4.0 out of 5 stars If you were to read three books abut Shakespeare, this is one, April 3 2014
If you want to know about a Shakespeare play, your options are mostly limited to reading editions edited by scholars which unquestioningly, and for the most part uncritically accept that Shakespeare was a writer because his name appears on plays. If your experience is anything like mine you will rarely even find a mention of the authorship question in such books, even though the authorship controversy has raged for about 178 years at this point.

The three pieces of evidence cited by Shakespeare scholars, such as Stanley Wells who have engaged in debates on the subject are as follows:

1. The name Shakespeare appears on numerous title pages of plays published during his lifetime and thereafter.
2. The name Shakespeare appears on the 1623 First Folio bearing his name, and he is acknowledged by Ben Jonson as my beloved, the author, and it refers to the monument bearing Shakespeare's name.
3. Contemporary evidence by other authors.

If for example, someone writes under a pseudonym but his name appears on a title page, it certainly does not prove the pseudonym is the writer. Mark Twain is not Mark Twain. Woody Allen is not Woody Allen yet Woody Allen has won three Oscars. Dalton Trumbo won Oscars under two different names after he was blacklisted during the McCarthy era communist witch-hunt. Lewis Carroll is Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Richard Bachman is Stephen King, Robert Galbraith you may better know as J K Rowling. Several publications from the Elizabethan era reveal that many authors published under different names for reasons of social acceptability and other reasons.

If you want to know about Shakespeare authorship, your best bet for a critical examination is reading a book by a skeptic. This is neither the first nor the best such book on the subject, but it may be the most influential, and the most cited, and therefore deserves a read if one has a legitimate interest in the truth of the subject, and it's one for which scholarship seems to have no answers, and which it seems unable to properly address. A major criticism of Shakespeare Beyond Doubt is that it fails to adequately address Price's book.

Unfortunately, if there is one lesson Shakespeare scholarship has not learned, it's that sweeping skepticism under the carpet does not make it go away, what you resist persists, and you ignore these books at your peril. So usually, the response to a skeptic is that one must have some sort of mental illness or pathology to doubt Shakespeare is an author.

The common response from scholarship is an ad hominem, or an argument which itself shows the weakness of their position.

However, major philosophers do propose questioning a paradigm as a means of arriving at the truth. Aristotle would begin an inquiry by asking: "Is the premise true?" It's a question Shakespeare scholars never ask or dwell on.

Descartes proposes a method called rational doubt as a means of of sorting true from false claims, by using doubt as a tool.

Unfortunately, in the arena of Shakespeare authorship those who argue against the existing paradigm do not themselves have a good understanding of evidence or facts, and often present coincidences and fantasies as evidence. Fortunately, Price's book does not have this weakness.

Price does what as far as I know no author has attempted before, a comparative analysis of evidence for Shakespeare compared with other writers. She uses evidence such as testimonials recognition from other writers. What is so bizarre in the case of Shakespeare, is that not a single poet publishes a poem to Shakespeare acknowledging his death for seven years, apart from a passing line in one poem which does not acknowledge his death, and also mentions another poet. For someone like Marlowe we have numerous references to his death in 1593, even though Marlowe had never had a single work published under his name at the time, and Shakespeare had an additional 23 years of fame, reputation and publication upon his death in 1616.

Marlowe's death is referred to by Peele, Kyd, Beard, Harvey, Meres, Nashe, Vaughan, Covell, and even Shakespeare's publishers Blount and Thorpe. Nobody who Shakespeare scholarship claims was a Shakespeare co writer ever acknowledged him in any way. Not Nashe, who acknowledged everybody of any note, who scholars claim was involved in two Shakespeare plays. Not Peele, Kyd, Middleton, Fletcher, Wilkins, all of whom are now claimed as co writers by renowned scholars. Yet Wilkins, Middleton and Fletcher were still alive after Shakespeare's death yet could not muster a few words for the greatest writer of the time who would become the most famous writer in history. Parallels in plays can be accounted for by plagiarism, yet no scholar will admit such a possibility.

In setting out her method Price comes up with some interesting yet entirely arbitrary methods of analysis such as disregarding posthumous evidence. However, this did succeed in wrestling an unusual admission from Stanley Wells, who conceded the evidence identifying the William Shakespeare of Stratford as the Shakespeare of the plays does not occur until 1623.

I do not agree with everything she does. It's interesting to know there is no documented connection between Shakespeare and the Earl of Southampton, yet in the case of Marlowe she overlooks evidence such as he was arrested at his patron Walsingham's house, and that Blount his publisher addresses the dedication of Hero and Leander to his patron, and that two of Walsingham's employees were present at Marlowe's murder, one of them being the reputed murderer acting in self defense.

Blount who registered the First Folio in 1623 and was the main publisher, and Thomas Thorpe the publisher of Shakespeare's sonnets refer to Marlowe in glowing and personal terms, yet neither ever refer to Shakespeare. Why would they not, if Shakespeare was a writer not also refer to him?

If you are a true believer that Shakespeare was a writer, and that anyone who suggests otherwise is a nuisance, a nutcase,or a heretic this book may not be for you. If, on the other hand you are interested in a different perspective on the subject, I think you will find this book interesting, and thought provoking.

One particular thing she does which annoys Shakespeare scholars is denying posthumous evidence. I can see though why she does this, by way of removing the questionable evidence, ie the 18 plays which appear for the first time posthumously in the First Folio, also highlighting the non dedication of poetry to him following his death.

The name Shakespeare appearing on a publication has often times been shown by Shakespeare scholarship not to be Shakespeare, and this is accounted for by various theories, some of which have no supporting evidence than an opinion, such as forgery, unauthorized publication, memorial reconstruction, and piracy/rogue printers.

During his lifetime the name Shakespeare appears on London Prodigal, and Yorkshire Tragedy, and Pericles. Of these only Pericles is in the canon today. An additional four plays denoted by the initials W.S. were published in the Third Folio and some even in early scholarship editions, but are not in the canon today. Twelve anonymous plays were adapted into Shakespeare plays without attribution. The First and Second Parts of the Contention first appear under the name Shakespeare as part of the False Folio of 10 plays in 1619 having previously been published anonymously. Troublesome Raigne of King John 1611 published as by W. Sh and and 1622 quarto of the same name with name Shakespeare have been dismissed as forgeries.

Several early scholars acknowledge the influence of Marlowe on Shakespeare, even claiming certain plays were written by Marlowe. Malone attributed Titus Andronicus and the three Henry VI plays to Marlowe. He also declared that 13 of the 15 quartos of plays available during his lifetime , were stolen from the playhouse and printed without authority.

What I have found is that many pieces of evidence are open to numerous interpretations. Scholars cite references from contemporaries but many of these are not real. One claimed by Wells is for Henry Willobie, 1594. Henry is the name of the piece not of the purported author of the piece Hadrian Dorrell, considered to be a pseudonym, and who later retracts the piece, claiming that WIllobie the subject died forty years earlier, thus negating the Shakespeare reference entirely. Similarly Heywood never mentions Shakespeare by name in print during his lifetime yet manages to challenge Shakespeare's authorship of the 1612 edition of Passionate Pilgrim, and gets the name Shakespeare removed from the title page, yet this is cited as a contemporary reference often without a qualifying statement.

Heywood also does not mention Shakespeare in the seven years after his death. People like Chettle never mention Shakespeare, yet scholars take it as a fact that he does in two different pieces. Some references are to the plays not to the person, and John Davies a well known writer of the era depicts Shakespeare as an actor, neglecting to mention he was a writer.

There are several other books on the subject, eg The The murder of the man who was "Shakespeare." by Calvin Hoffman, sadly out of print, Marlowe's Ghost by Pinksen, and Hamlet by Alex Jack. Another book I enjoyed was Shakespeare Suppressed: The Uncensored Truth About Shakespeare and His Works, written by someone who also has a good understanding of facts, and shows parallels between Shakespeare and other works.

The man who was Shakespeare
The man who was Shakespeare
by Calvin Hoffman
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars An important book about Christopher Marlowe, March 30 2014
I don't know where you are on the whole Shakespeare authorship question, but in 1955 after about 19 years of study Calvin Hoffman Hoffman published this book, which explores the idea that playwright Christopher Marlowe did not die in 1593 as reported but lived and continued to write plays under the pseudonym of Shakespeare. Shakespeare first emerges as a writer within days of Marlowe's death with a poem called Venus and Adonis, a poem that refers to the poem Hero and Leander by Marlowe which would not appear for another five years.

How could a new author's poem contain parallels to an unpublished poem, and how could the yet to be published piece also contain links and common references to this new poem. Many scholars through the centuries have commented on the influence of Marlowe upon Shakespeare, and some Shakespeare scholars have even claimed that some Shakespeare plays were written by Marlowe.

Edmond Malone, an early Shakespeare editor assigned Titus Andronicus to Marlowe, and he and others such as Tucker Brooke attributed the Henry VI plays to Marlowe.

How important is this book? Well it is the cornerstone upon which Marlovian theory is built. He is not the first person to propose this theory and certainly not the last, but this book is probably the leading book which has converted people to the Marlovian camp, and you will find information in here that you will not find in orthodox Shakespeare books.

He posts over 200 parallel quotes that run between Marlowe and Shakespeare plays. Some of the themes Hoffman writes about have been developed since then. What I found intriguing was his work on as You Like It, and his exploration of all the Anonymous plays that were issued during Shakespeare's lifetime. Only 17 of the 36 plays which appeared in the 1623 First Folio were published during Shakespeare's lifetime, and eight of these were first published anonymously.

One point of interest is that the name Shakespeare appears on several plays that have been discounted as being Shakespeare such as London Prodigal, and Yorkshire Tragedy. Shakespeare's name was removed as author of Passionate Pilgrim in 1612 after a complaint by Thomas Heywood to the printer about making so bold with his name. The 1609 Sonnets were considered to be unauthorized, and there is a False Folio of 10 Shakespeare plays published in 1619 three years after Shakespeare's death where quartos are backdated, and the name Shakespeare added to previously unattributed plays. The name Shakespeare has been discounted as the author of Sir John Old-Castle, and The First and Second Parts of the Contention. In addition two versions of The Troublesome Raigne of King John 1611 by W. Sh, and 1622 by William Shakespeare have also been declared forgeries. The heavily revised King John appears in the First Folio a year later.

Shakespeare's name does not appear on any play until 1598, five years after Marlowe's death, which means that every quote in Shakespeare which parallels that in a Marlowe was first made by Marlowe.

Certainly, if one is going to explore Marlovian theory then this is a must read book. I would also recommend the documentary Much Ado About Something which led me to this book.

I think most people will find the story of Marlowe quite engrossing, as he is a very interesting character. Recently a movie was released by Jim Jarmusch called Only Lovers Left Alive, in which John Hurt plays a vampire named Christopher Marlowe.

Approximately 80 people have been proposed as the author of Shakespeare, the leading candidate currently being Edward DeVere the Earl of Oxford.

Did Marlowe fake his death? He was arrested ten days before his death, and was likely to be charged with both heresy and atheism if he lived, and at least two people who were at the murder in Deptford were spies, and Marlowe had intelligence connections particularly to Thomas Walsingham and Lord Burghley, so it would appear that we do have the circumstances under which a person might fake their death, and the resources to do so, and being a writer then be free to continue to write under an assumed name.

Hoffman's book is by means without flaws, the lack of an index being one, and the assertion that Marlowe had a homosexual relationship with Thomas Walsingham has no supporting evidence whatsoever, yet he claims they had such a relationship while Marlowe was still in University, again without any evidence. Many authors of Marlowe though have treated Hoffman's speculations as fact.

If the subject of Shakespeare authorship interests you, this is highly recommended. If you are a true believer that Shakespeare was an author, you might want to give this one a miss.

Non-Stop [Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet]
Non-Stop [Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet]
Price: CDN$ 24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The wrong choice could end your life. The right choice could end your career., March 29 2014
Sometimes a movie comes along whose theme is topical and coincidental, and if the topic the movie coincides with is negative or of great public concern, the movie may be withheld, indefinitely withdrawn or postponed.

Thus Joel Schumacher's movie Phone Booth about a sniper who terrorises a phone booth was withdrawn for a while because it coincided with the reign of terror of the Washington sniper. Premieres of Reacher starring Tom Cruise were reportedly cancelled, and some of the opening scenes reportedly edited in light of the Sandy Hook massacre, yet it was released about a month later as the rhetoric about gun control and school massacres escalated in Washington and elsewhere.

The NRA's famous slogan: "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

Non Stop eerily coincides with the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370. In the absence of facts surrounding the flight's disappearance, theories abounded, two passengers with stolen passports possibly terrorists, a deliberately disconnected communications system, the flight continuing for hours in a different direction from its last known flight path and location, speculation about the pilot's mental health, the flight spirited to an unknown destination by terrorists.

As the world watched and waited, this movie came along, and as I watched it I realized how little the people on the ground know about what is really happening in the air, how they developed theories which seemed plausible to the people on the ground and to the waiting public, yet to us as the viewing audience it is entirely different.

The premise of this movie is that an air Marshal played by Liam Neeson, the only person on the plane allowed to carry a gun suddenly goes rogue. Paradoxically, although our Air Marshal flies everywhere all the time, yet he is afraid of flying, and after this flight he has good reason to be. Although we don't know the Air Marshal or his character, somehow, perhaps because he is Liam Neeson we implicitly trust him, and the image conveyed to air traffic control is that he is seeking a ransom for the safe delivery of the plane, yet we see an entirely different scenario unfold on the plane, as our hero or villain, takes on an unknown adversary.

Like an Agatha Christie mystery there are a series of false trails and red herrings, as the Air Marshal endeavours to solve the mystery of who is using his identity to get clean away with a ransom. Is the person even on the plane, one wonders?

For instance a woman played by Julianne Moore somehow manages to swap seats to get the seat next to the Air Marshal just before takeoff. HIs own behavior seems erratic to other passengers as he violates their privacy, and provokes their ire. Even the pilots have to make decisions about who to trust. Should they trust the Air Marshal they know well, or someone on the other end of the radio. One choice could end their lives. The other could end their careers.

This movie truly provokes great storytelling dilemmas.

Non Stop did continually surprise me and the story did develop in surprising ways. One thing that particularly surprised me was the 'bomb protocol.' I quite enjoyed this movie, and Liam Neeson I thought did an excellent job in the leading role.

If you like Neeson and you like action, you will most likely enjoy this movie.

Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2014 (Writers' and Artists')
Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2014 (Writers' and Artists')
Price: CDN$ 15.39

5.0 out of 5 stars How to make your writing dream a reality, March 29 2014
If you are like most people. you have a dream, and it seems that one of the most prevalent almost universal dreams is to write a book. For many, this remains exactly that, a dream not a reality.

As someone who has read and reviewed books by many first time writers, I am quite amazed at how talented these writers are, and only time and other pursuits prevent me from more extensively reading and by reviewing extolling the virtues of these first timers. I tend not to read many novels, but I do love the personal stories informed by personal experience, and many of them made it into print with or without the help of a literary agent, or a well known publisher and simply by the dint of their own passion and determination.

In the pursuit of my own dream, which as I write is as yet unrealized I have discovered that the path to publication is strewn with rejection, and so far although I consider my idea brilliant and based upon highly successful models while managing to be original
I have come to realize that being picked up by a big publisher is not that likely, as the bigger publishers will only accept submissions through a literary agent.

The challenge then becomes how do I find the right literary agent, one who can recognize the opportunity I present, and then sell that opportunity, and most of all what do I have to do to present myself effectively, without making one of those boo boos, that could be accidentally self excluding.

A well known literary agent not looking for further submissions recommended this book to me, which is a how to in terms of how to find a literary agent, and a who's who in terms of locating who may be the correct one for you. As I live in the USA I am not necessarily looking for a UK literary agent, although in these times location is not a bar to get published.

I find this book to be an excellent resource, and at almost 800 pages in addition to literary agents contains brilliant articles, some by quite well known authors, and some very well written. I was particularly impressed by the linguistic brilliance an article written by a satirical writer, and made a mental note to read some of her books. Some of these articles are contained on single pages, and some are mini chapters. All in all you can seek and drop into what is germane to you in a particular moment, and it's also easy to find precisely what you are looking for.

I liked J.K Rowling's short piece about how she borrowed this book from a library, and used it as a resource to find a literary agent and get published, and 450 million books later she is still going strong, and writing bestsellers under assumed names, showing there is life after Harry Potter.

Most importantly I discovered amply resources about presenting my work to a literary agent.

I decided to get the 2013 version, because it's only a year older yet significantly cheaper, and likely to be sufficiently up to date for my purpose.

I wondered it there was a similar American resource, and so today I have bought the 2014 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino which appears to be well regarded.

If you are serious about getting published you will probably want to read more than one book about negotiating the publishing labyrinth and I can highly recommend this one. May the road rise up to meet you.

The Wolf of Wall Street / Le loup de Wall Street [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
The Wolf of Wall Street / Le loup de Wall Street [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Leonardo DiCaprio
Price: CDN$ 19.99
7 used & new from CDN$ 17.95

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true story of an alpha wolf, Feb. 16 2014
I have to admit the premise of this movie did not appeal to me, about a dubious stockbroker. However, when I learned that this was another Martin Scorsese reunited with Di Caprio movie, I decided to go see it.

I have to admit this is a movie that draws you in and takes you on a roller coaster ride. For sheer absurdity and entertainment and based on a true story this is hard to beat. Based on the book by Jordan Belfort I was surprised at time how closely the movie narrative followed the story in the book. Particularly in the opening scenes where Matthew McConaughey acquaints our young rising star with the realities of Wall Street life and gives him some what I would absurd and counter intuitive advice which Jordan lives to the full.

As I think about it now it was three hours that passed in a blur of excitement, perhaps the most entertaining three hours I had at a movie all last year. I liked it even better than American Hustle, with which it shares some thematic similarities, and I think both movies well deserved their Oscar recognition, the other had some brilliant scenes I liked with Jennifer Lawrence., and Amy Adams, very well written roles for women.

You expect Di Caprio to be brilliant and take it for granted he will be, but the revelatory performances in this movie are the stunning blonde actress who plays Belfort's wife, the upgrade. Her name is Margot Robbie, and this movie is a major opportunity for her, and what she makes of it remains to be seen.

The real revelation though is Jonah Hill's performance, which has earned him a second well deserved Oscar nomination two years in a row, as the obnoxious friend and partner of Belfort. His comic timing and sense of humor is impeccable and he displays a tremendous range of comedic talent and giftedness. Hard to believe he is the same guy from Superbad and the babysitting gone wrong movie, as he displays lights years of growth and development from those roles. Last time I saw such a radical transformation as this was Tom Hanks.

Two years ago I thought Scorsese was unlucky not to get the Best Director and Best Picture Oscars for Hugo, losing out narrowly to The Artist. Coincidentally, Jean DuJardin, who won the Academy Award for The Artist plays an obnoxious Swiss Banker who helps Belfort with his financial activities. If you want to see a movie full of nice mannered people this is not it.

One of the accomplishments of both the director and actor in the movie is making Belfort likable in spite of everything, and one of the things that is so brilliantly done is to show the brilliance of Belfort as a salesman. Here is a guy who could sell coal in Kentucky. We know he is conning someone on the other end of the phone, and yet weirdly I found myself thinking the other guy should know better.

There are so many great scenes in the movie. I liked the cat and mouse game with the FBI, and the similar game between he and his friend with treachery over the napkin. I also liked the storm scene.

Jordan Belfort appears briefly in the movie late on introducing his namesake in a seminar. One of the things people point out is the swearing in the movie. I must admit I was so wrapped up in the movie I did not notice it first time. Maybe it's because I grew up in a culture with a lot of swearing. I did sneak back in for a peek while waiting for another movie, and I found it all to be consistent with the context. There are also numerous examples of female nudity, so this is no movie for prudes. They won't be showing it at your church social.

Yes this is a morally ambiguous tale, and we live in a morally ambiguous world, so it behooves us to be fully aware of all that moral ambiguity that surrounds us so we do not get taken in by it.

I don't think this year has been particularly brilliant for Academy Award worthy movies, but if it was up to me I would give it to this movie as it's a cut above the rest. I thought DiCaprio had given several performances in recent years which deserved nominations particularly for his role as Hoover, and as a racist yet charismatic plantation owner in Django Unchained, and he was unfortunately snubbed. So it's gratifying to see him recognised in this way.

I think most people will enjoy the movie.

Homeland: The Complete Third Season
Homeland: The Complete Third Season
DVD ~ Damian Lewis
Price: CDN$ 36.86

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What do you do after you kill the goose that has laid the golden egg?, Jan. 29 2014
Like many people I loved the star crossed lover relationship between our bipolar CIA agent heroine Carrie Mathison with sloppy impulse control torn between her patriotism, and her unbridled attraction for the former marine Nicolas Brody kept captive for 8 years who might have been turned into a terrorist. By now you know what happened unless you like to put carts before horses, and season 3 begins with the aftermath of the major event of 12/12. Just when it seems like our two main characters might have a shot at a viable relationship, something always happens, like 12/12 bringing a Romeo and Juliet dimension to how the story unfolds.

Now it's all change at the CIA as Saul (played by Mandy Patinkin) takes over. Carrie starts off making yet another dubious decision and Brody has now taken on the new role of most wanted fugitive. Carrie seems to be going even more downhill in dealing with her illness, and politicking at the CIA place Saul and his protege at odds.

Homeland, according to IMDB has gained 35 wins from 57 award nominations winning Golden Globes Awards for Damian Lewis and Claire Danes as Best Actor and Actress, and also for Best television series.

You are probably wondering how does season 3 compare to seasons 1 and 2. Homeland set the bar very high in seasons 1 and 2 with brilliant acting and storytelling. Can the series sustain its own high standards? I cannot say that season 3 is better only different. If the first season was the season of Carrie and the second season was the season of Brody, then the third season is the season of Saul, who shows himself to be an incredible strategist who makes extremely bold strategic moves which carry their own risks and do not necessarily sit well with people in high places, and could have dreadful repercussions if they don't work out.

The program similarly takes very brave risks, so brave that one wonders where the series can go from here. There will be a season 4 which may seem surprising after what happens in season 3 which means the series has to entirely reinvent itself, and may indeed risk losing some loyal viewers because of choices made. But the creators of Homeland have surprised us in the past and I suspect will continue to do so.

I liked season 3, and I think if you're like me and were addicted to seasons 1 and 2 then you have no choice but to watch season 3. Once you start watching it you cannot not watch it all the way through no matter what happens, and plenty happens.

I hope this was helpful.

Instructions Not Included [Import]
Instructions Not Included [Import]
Price: CDN$ 22.28
20 used & new from CDN$ 9.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful story exquisitely told, Jan. 29 2014
Instructions Not Included cost about $6 million to make and grossed over $90 million internationally at the box office which makes it a huge hit.

That astonishing statistic was enough to get me to watch this movie, and I am so glad I did because it is one of the best movies of last year, and one of the most amusing and emotionally touching movies I have seen in some time.

For one thing it's hard to believe it only cost $6 million to make because it looks as good, and is as professionally well made as movies costing several times that amount.

Set variously in Acapulco and Beverly Hills, it relates a well developed three dimensional story of a man named Valentin who leads a carefree irresponsible life in Acapulco, as a local lothario mostly occupied with seducing more than his fair share of the many beautiful women who populate and visit Acapulco. His carefree life is turned upside down when one of his former loves turns up and he is left holding a small living breathing responsibility. Like many of us he has fears and insecurities, his fears amusingly represented by a dark four legged creature. At the beginning he is selfish. If you're like me you will wonder if his heart is big enough for what it is required to do.

Circumstances sent him on a quest to Hollywood way outside his usual comfort zone, and he manages to luck into the movie business, in a job which tests his insecurities and this is where this becomes a rather beautiful story, with many unexpected twists and turns, very endearing.

The two main actresses in the movie do an amazing job. The former lover played by Jessica Lindsey has tremendous poise, presence and beauty, and the young actress Loreto Peralta plays the girl without affectation, speaks in two languages and has great chemistry with Valentin. Eugenio Derbio who plays Valentin does a rather spectacular job in this movie wearing the multiple hats of director and lead actor, and delivers a movie which one has to admit is developed from a great story, and emotionally this story is pitch perfect.

The one caveat about this movie is that it may not be suitable for young children, a matter for your personal discretion. Much of the movie is subtitled, and even though Spanish is not among my languages this did not present any obstacle to my enjoyment as the movie unfolds in such a visual conveying as much if not more with facial expressions and gestures rather than words.

I think most people will enjoy this movie, and I hope this was helpful.

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