Reconsidering Vanilla Sky

Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky

Some thoughts on rewatching Vanilla Sky twenty years after its release

Normally I disapprove of Hollywood remakes, especially when the original film was (a) not a direct adaptation of a novel, (b) released only a few years earlier, and (c) a well-regarded foreign language movie. However, having never seen Alejandro Amenábar’s 1997 Spanish film Abre los ojos (Open Your Eyes), I feel entitled to review Cameron Crowe’s 2001 version starring Tom Cruise (who also produced) on its own terms. In fact I had seen it before, around the time of its release, but had only the vaguest recollections of the movie, and not wholly positive ones. Continue reading

Censorship and authoritarianism

Book censorship in Fahrenheit 451

Ideas for a class about censorship and authoritarianism based around clips from Fahrenheit 451 and Cinema Paradiso

I am on a bit of a Truffaut tip at the moment having also recently seen and enjoyed his historical dramas Jules et Jim (1962) and The Last Metro (1981). Fahrenheit 451 (1966) is altogether a different beast, and I have included my Letterboxd review here below. I have also sketched a few ideas about how the clip might inspire discussion about censorship and authoritarianism in the ELT classroom. Continue reading