Carrie Fisher, may the Force be with you

1980-carrie-fisher-david-kurtz-empire-strikes-back

Carrie Fisher on the set of The Empire Strikes Back, with producer Gary Kurtz in 1980, with that infectious laughter.

What an incredibly sad day this has been. Carrie Fisher, our very own Princess, has passed away at 60 years young. The world will be a little emptier and a little poorer without her wit, her laughter and her dark, self-degrading sense of humour. I am just so glad that she had the chance to stand once more in the lime-light, to be part of the excellent “reboot” of the Star Wars saga, where she did such a brilliant job. Without doubt her performance in the upcoming Episode VIII will be an emotional experience for the audience. Were I a religious man, I might say “God bless you”, but instead I will say “I love you”. But that you know. May the Force be with you.

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Rest in Peace, Robert Vaughn

Robert Vaughn in a publicity still for The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Robert Vaughn in a publicity still for The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

I don’t usually break out of my review-concept on the blog, but I just wanted to pay a brief homage to one of my great idols, Robert Vaughn, who passed away today. Best known for his work with David MacCallum in the superb spy series (often involving nifty sci-fi gadgets) The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-1968), and films like The Magnificent Seven (1960), Bullitt (1968) and Julius Caesar (1970), Vaughn also appeared in a number of (mostly forgotten) science fiction films. Although in my opinion he did some of his best work in the British con-man series Hustle (2004-2012) as the veteran hustler Albert Stroller, father figure and mentor to Adrian Lester’s Mickey Bricks. With his intelligent charm, which he combined with a sort of rugged working-class likeability, he came off like an American Sean Connery in his early career. TV was always his home, and his A films were few and far between. Indeed, some of the movies he did after the sixties were quite honestly rather crappy. However, Vaughn always took on any project as if it were the most important film of his life, and he shines in almost all of them. Liked and respected by his colleagues, Vaughn was also a principled man, a staunchly liberal democrat, and an outspoken peace activist, who caused an uproar with his loud opposition to the Vietnam war. Later in life it turned out he was the son of a British aristocrat and the godson of King George VI. 

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