Apt Pupil Outruns Mentor

DATELINE: Crypto Nazis in Suburbia

Bryan Singer, director of Apt Pupil,first ran into hot water, not because of the subject matter that indicated Nazi youth were living in American suburbs, but because he filmed teenage boys in the high school shower after gym class.

This 1998 film should not be forgotten for more important reasons.

High crimes differ in every culture. Singer’s point made Stephen King’s novella more horrific than the original story where the FBI could identify your garden variety mass killer with a profile. In this film version an All-American boy on a bicycle discovers the old man in his neighborhood is no innocent immigrant, but a fugitive Nazi killer from Auschwitz.

It was an era when immigrants were welcomed into the United States at the border, no matter how dubious their credentials. After all, safe haven is often de rigueur for evil-doers.

Instead of turning the reprobate into authorities, the kid wants to be tutored in the fine art of Nazi supremacy. It was a wild idea twenty years ago, but today with neo and crypto Nazi supporters all over the landscape, we might discover this budding monster wins some sympathy. How many shooters in recent years were teenagers with MAGA caps?

Performances make this essential two-character drama into something special. Ian McKellan plays an older Nazi and Brad Refro is the innocent-looking teen. The sophistication of Refro’s work makes his early death a far greater loss to acting. Each star is brilliant as we watch their subtle sexually charged father-son jamboree.

At one point, Refro as Todd buys a Nazi uniform for his pal to see him march around. McKellan dryly announces, “I see I have been promoted.”

The revelation that Refro’s youth may be worse than the Master comes at different points for some audience members. You could think that the kid is a victim of a powerful influence, but his treatment of his high school teacher Mr. French who discovers the ugly secret is far more stinging than the headlines of today’s child abuse cases.

Who can you trust in this world? Everyone uses a façade to shield their hideous criminal intentsions.

Up to the ending, McKellan’s Nazi thinks he can outsmart the American Nazi, but the freedom of choice in the United States makes for a far more dangerous brand of Fascism, as we now know from Trump’s campaign for a second term.

This is a chilling look at Nazis, homegrown and imported.

Franchise Detectives: Blanc and Poirot

 

DATELINE: TV or Not TV

As if one fiasco performance was not enough in Murder on the Orient Express,Kenneth Branagh has pasted on his giant fake mustache for a second Poirot adventure based on Agatha Christie.

Yes, he is sailing down and down: Death on the Nile. will render another horrible remake of the murder mystery. Put aside the diminutive expert work of David Suchet a few years ago, Branagh is a behemoth in the role (too big for his tiny mincing steps).

Why would Branagh chose to do a franchise murder mystery series on the bigger screen after doing every Shakespearean play that fit his mood on film?

Likely it is the same reason that Daniel Craig has given up James Bond’s franchise to play a cornpone detective named Benoit Blanc from New Orleans. As one character noted, it was CSI by ways of KFC. Knives Out  will be followed by Knives In and Out.

Craig’s character is not even clever, except as the writer lets him solve the crime. Bombast seems to highlight these new detectives who’d never cut it on TV weekly in the old heyday of McCloud and  Rockford.

All-star supporting casts seem to be a draw for these films now: you find faces (some old TV stars) that yearn to be back in the public favor, and you have a cast of suspects that is often highly amusing. Their biggest crime is wanting a comeback role.

So, we will have more of these franchise detectives. The roles are not exactly Prince Hamlet, but great roles often have been reprised by different actors. For almost a century Basil Rathbone was considered the be-all, end-all Sherlock until Jeremy Brett gave him a run.

Now we have new actors (well, very old actors) in new versions of old wine. We toast their hubris.

GOP Racist Taunts

DATELINE: Pinocchio & OJ 

 

If you think Trump Republican senators are fair and without prejudice, we submit for your consideration: two examples of racism from Senators Lindsay Graham and David Perdue.

The two senators claim their offensive ads were created without their knowledge or approval. That alone should be enough for voters to dismiss these two nitwits for incompetence.

Perdue went after his Jewish opponent with a media image that distorted him in an anti-Semitic vein, and Graham went after his black opponent in similar fashion.

The trickery is subtle: image enhancement or distortion.

They gave the Jewish opponent a long nose (considered a stereotypic feature) and they made the black candidate look darker and more foreboding.

You can count on the fact that these ad agencies do not create images lightly: they are paid well to meet demographic ideas to win votes. It is a million-dollar operation.

If you think these candidates did not see the images beforehand, you are an idiot.

Now, we could note that the long nose on Perdue’s opponent may be reminiscent of Pinocchio, and calling politicians liars is no surprise, but the image is coupled with money references and another Jewish senator’s image (Chuck Schumer of New York).  Not exactly innocent.

As for Graham’s nasty racist baiting, he resorts to the old-fashioned trick we haven’t seen since Time magazine did it years ago:  you may not recall how they darkened the skin of O.J. Simpson to make him appear more sinister.

 Well, folks, the trick is back, and Jamie Harrison’s photo is blacker than a racist heart, and he is leering over the shoulder of a distressed white woman!  Yikes, indeed.

Trump Republican senators are Nazis in these two cases we have uncovered, but likely in many others too.

 

 

 

 

 

Trump’s New Doctor Expert

DATELINE: Demons & Dr. Stella

Dr. Stella Immanuel.

Before you can say that it proves he isn’t misogynist, you should look more deeply at the female pediatrician that holds a  license for medicine—and is now the expert Trump most trusts.

It seems that Dr. Stella Immanuel is going along with the hare-brained ideas of Trump. That’s enough for him. You know, he likes women if they are insane or child molesters. Just ask Ghislaine Maxwell, buddy and crony of Jeffrey Epstein.

When pressed at a news conference about her claims that there is a secret cure for COVID-19 and not to wear masks, Trump said he knew nothing about her personally, but she is an important voice.

He then walked away from the media, refusing to answer any more questions. It sounded a great deal like his support for Ghislaine, a woman he met hundreds of times, but of whom he knew nothing about her crimes.

In case you missed it, Dr. Immanuel has been re-tweeted by the Tweeter Bird in Chief without much concern for her other medical ideas. That’s demon sperm you must avoid. The incubus is among us.

Quackery is not merely consigned to the White House. Dr. Immanuel believes that warts are caused by dreams of having sex with the devil or demons.

More to the point, Trump’s expert on cornonavirus thinks that space aliens are directly responsible for many of the ills that are besetting humans. All this from a man who appeared on Ancient Aliens and Unidentified to dismiss the idea of UFOs invading our world.

There appears to be a disconnect in Trump’s world. Well, there is a disconnect in Trump’s brain. So, we should not be surprised that the stable genius is having stability problems.

Next time you hear a voice crying out, “Stella! Stella!,” it will not be Marlon Brando in Streetcar Named Desire, but a president in an Election named Catastrophe.

 

 

The Jinx: Rich Killer Robert Durst

DATELINE: Another Trump Croney

 Mr. Bob!

When we decided to binge watch the entire six-part documentary called The Jinxfrom HBO back in 2015 about the shenanigans and crimes of Robert Durst, we thought we had tuned into Monsterquest.

How can it be that another super-rich privileged fool can be, like Jeffrey Epstein, guilty of numerous murders? We think that the term socio-path is not quite correct: socio-privileged would be more accurate.

How many people did this arrogant twit kill? His wife went missing in 1982, and her friends knew he did it (she told them to follow up if something happened to her).

The New York police detectives make Lestrade look like Sherlock Holmes. Are they paid off? And, the Texas detectives were just bemused by their own cynicism. Durst was so confident that he could escape justice ($2M for one trial lawyers who helped him escape the death penalty), that he called a film director whom he thought sympathetic to give an interview.

All is Good was Andrew Jadecki’s fictionalized version of Durst—and charmed the killer enough to cooperate with a six-part doc for TV, directed by Jadecki. If you haven’t found it to be worthy of “Believe it or Not,” you don’t know Ripley.

Did he kill his wife Kathie? His old friend Susan Berman? A blackmailing roomer in Galveston named Morris Black?  How many others? He jokes about it.

His rotten with bucks family ignored it all and protected their personal reputations. Douglas Durst even won awards for family values.

Director Andrew Jadecki ultimately turns the screw on a most unpleasant crew.

In Durst’s hideous world, he is a Jonah or Jinx to everyone around him, and that’s how he explains what happened. But you cannot excuse a jury in Texas that blames a man for causing his own murder and dismembering his own body to be put in garbage bags.

Perhaps you should not try to binge this nauseating brew.

 

 

 

Killer Kop Doppleganger?

DATELINE: America is Tanking, Thanks to Trump

Trump now wants to shoot protestors.

With Minneapolis in turmoil over the killing of a black man by an overzealous police officer, Trump has thrown fuel on the fire.  He wants to order military troops into the city and shoot citizens under the guise of executing looters.

Forget trials, arrests, or formal crimes charged. You are to be executed by order of a man without a shred of decency, legal sense, or compassion.

In fact, this type of action has precedence in America of recent vintage. Police and military started shooting American students at Kent State College in 1970. It was the unwinding of an era.

It will be the end of Trump and his pro-Nazi cronies in the United States Senate, including Moscow McConnell and Closet Queen Lindsay.

When a cop puts a knee on your neck for eight minutes, he might as well be the Boston Strangler. Even the poor victim realized it was his death knell. You cannot cut off oxygen for eight minutes and expect someone to live. Derek Chauvin, the killer kop, has a double, a Doppleganger who attends Trump rallies and takes orders via dog whistle.

There are no police strategies that recommend that subduing officers kill their suspects for forgery, let alone a violent crime.

Derek Chauvin (or his photoshopping double) appeared at the Trump rally, standing with Trump. The president refuses to acknowledge that he has given dog whistles to his K-9 cops to kill black people, seemingly part of the genocide that the COVID-19 is creating with its disproportionate deaths of people of color.

This neo-Nazi president is likely not done yet. He has yet to destroy the Constitution and demolish the presidential election, next goal on his mad agenda.

One Last Trip to Greece

DATELINE: Literary Road Trips

 Steve Coogan with Rob Brydon.

With great sadness we are saying goodbye to the highly intelligent, witty, charming series of movies with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. Their last is The Trip to Greece,all four civilized comedies were directed by Michael Winterbottom.

These have been four rarities of the modern age: witty as Noel Coward, beautifully locations, with amusing company. And they aren’t even gay. Two performers whose competition extends to out-imitating the other are sent on a fictional outing. Their job as journalists is to visit fine restaurants and write reviews.

The actors sort of play themselves in Brydon and Coogan (notable Oscar nominee for Stan and Ollie, as he was Stan). You often cannot tell where the fiction starts, as they play versions of themselves blending over into plot contrivance. Their litany of impersonations (Brando, Hoffman, Olivier, Caine, Pacino, Jagger) makes for a variety of dinner companions.

Four films feature hilarious riffs and impersonations over dinner and while driving around luscious countryside in Greece. Brydon sings the tune from Grease, and he crunches it to fit the country. Coogan is dutifully appalled.

They transform imitations of Laurel and Hardy over lunch into breath-taking jokes: Oliver Hardy morphs into Tom Hardy.

These little forays to gourmet restaurants have a price in this film (350 Euros).

The bittersweet last entry in the series showcases the performers to their greatest wish: Brydon becomes the epitome of the light comedian—and Coogan, as he likes, becomes the tragic actor of Shakespearean levels.

Their frictions and battles are nothing short of delightful wordplay. You don’t see that much anywhere in movies nowadays.

After visits to England, Italy, and Spain, this lap around the Aegean ends with a whimper. Brilliantly done, and hopefully there will be one more trip.

 

 

Spy Went Out Into the Cold

DATELINE: Not Sean Connery, or even Daniel Craig!

  Kim Philby in Moscow grave.

One of the most notorious real spies was a man named Kim Philby. He was a Cambridge, class-oriented Brit upper-crustaceon. Put James Bond out of your mind. This was a slimey limey traitor with charm and sociopathic standards. Spy Who Went Out into the Cold  is a nasty person

Back in the 1930s all his friends were in the spy business. It was a social means of fulfilling one’s communist principles. He was recruited by the Soviets and became an ultimate hypocrite. His friends became the right-wing aristocratic class. He fit in, and they all loved his wit and debonair attitude. He was a spy out of the Noel Coward school of blithe spirits.

Some claimed he was two people; how else could he betray his family, friends, and country? His attitude was that Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and other high rankers were simply idiots.

Kim Philby recruited his gay friends Burgess and McLean to be the bottom line of spy workers.

After World War II, it became bad business when the Soviets became cold war opponents. Burgess and McLean could not take the heat and defected, leaving J. Edgar Hoover to look for a “third man,” their enabler. It was Kim Philby, but his charm and friends helped him skate off in the coverup.

The film does a wonderful job in digging up old compatriots, finding photos and newsreels to depict Philby’s life of indolent drinking and fake journalism in Beirut for few years.

The truth was he was a despicable drunkard who had no scruples. When the authorities offered him a deal to continue to coverup and placate Hoover, he defected on a Soviet trawler. He lived his final years in Moscow, apparently unfazed by his low-life.

In the late 1980s with the Soviet Union crumbling, they dusted him off before burying him. He did not receive the justice he deserved: a firing squad.

 

 

 

Failed Memory Blows Over Ancient Aliens

DATELINE: Fox News & Ancient Aliens Fail Us! 

 Fake Interview?

As the latest series arc comes to its covenant with space darlings, we return to the U.S. Navy and a government coverup. “Countdown to Disclosure” featured Fox News Tucker Carlson interviewing Trump who dismissed the idea, claiming he never heard about it.

Nick Pope did not do his homework, nor did Tucker Carlson: Donald Trump’s uncle was one of the driving forces behind government secrecy, having confiscated the Tesla papers after the great scientist died.

Tucker Carlson is a believer. Nick Pope interviews him about his Trump interview. It is peeling an onion. Carlson, one of Trump’s biggest defenders, claimed he did not think Trump was telling the truth on this!

According to the famous series, this line of questioning proves that the ridicule associated with the topic is fading.

The public wants serious answers.

Now we hear that the US government is prepping the public to ready the truth. This will undercut shock and panic.The new reality is that pilots can report unknown aircraft with impunity.

We hear again that the movie industry and TV has been exposing the viewers to extra-terrestrials and their reality. Again, Ancient Aliens contends there is a shadow government—and it seems to be coming undone. The counter-intelligence started years ago, creating a massive denial policy.

Continued discredit programs seemed to be developed to stop whistleblowers like Bob Lazar. This policy is traced back to a 1960 Brookings Institute report, which may be out of date, but still stands as the foundation of government policy.

So, what is the reason for secrecy? The government does not want to transform the economic systems of Earth if UFOs gve the world new technology. Billionaires would suffer, and owners of the planet would lose their fortunes.

Several nations, like Chile and Belgium, are moving toward disclosure—but they are under tremendous influence from the United States to withhold aid and permission. Ancient Aliens believes that privatization of the space explorers like Musk and Branson makes disclosure inevitable.

They seem to forget Trump’s uncle John of the CIA was one of the architects of keeping big secrets to protect money interests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joan Crawford as Faye Dunaway as Mommie Dearest

 DATELINE: More Like Twin Peaks?

 

Is it Joan or is it Memorex?

 

Where does one begin? Where does one end up? You could put this movie on the end of Joan’s long career—or did that happen when Feud hit the miniseries on TV forty years later? Mommie Dearest is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Mommie Dearest is child abuse taken to levels not seen until Jeffrey Epstein chose to play the role in a Manhattan playhouse.

The twisted tale of Christina Crawford and her adoptive mother is one for the cautionary ages.

You may half expect the dead Joan Crawford to jump out of her coffin and continue to terrify the world. Was she a monster?

Bring us the axe but leave the wire hangers. We want to be objective.

Suffering the strains and stresses of aging would destroy any movie queen but being fired by Metro and re-inventing herself as a tough, savvy career woman, Joan Crawfish seems to deserve all rotten tomatoes that are tossed at her.

Our dear friend Jim Kirkwood, actor and writer of novels like Good Times/Bad Timesand There Must be a Pony, took a role in the movie as the MC who gives Crawford an award: he later had nightmares that his movie star parents would come back to haunt him for participating in this hallucinogenic version of Sunset Boulevard.

The film cannot be viewed on any normal level today, nor could it back then! It had transmuted and altered itself into a zombie of movie history.

Norma Desmond and Joan Crawford were the same height. It was the movies that got small.

Truer than Truth: Shakespeare

DATELINE: Who is the Bard?

Shake-Vere?

Once again, a list of notable Shakespearean actors (Derek Jacobi among them) takes on the question of whether William Shakespeare was the man he claimed to be.

The film is called Nothing is Truer than Truth.

One theory continues to be pushed: Shakespeare was a pseudonym for Edward de Vere, a foppish bisexual Elizabethan favorite.

How could a country bumpkin who never left England write 40 plays about royal courts in Venice, Rome, and Greece? How could a man who did not have access to the greatest libraries of English nobility have done his research? As usual, the likelihood of genius never enters the equation. Even a genius needs a little knowledge (unless he is psychic).

One man fits the bill Shake-speare quite well. Edward de Vere.

With the use of mostly American experts, the documentary takes on a decidedly different tone than most of the British interpretations of the Shakespeare controversy.

Indeed, this approach takes De Vere on his travels to Venice, Palermo, Cyprus, and Milan, all spots with highly personal character references in the Shakespeare plays. De Vere met with Cervantes and Titian, and details about these men were not in libraries or generally known in England: but they appear in Shakespeare’s wortks.

So, the ultimate connection is whether Shakespeare and De Vere knew each other—had a literary and personal relationship that might account for the authorship being joint.

So many incidents are based on problems in De Vere’s life: from an unfaithful wife—to his odd bisexual hints in characters. His travels gave him insights into poison poured into a king’s ear and a noble with a younger male whispering in his ear.

De Vere had the attention of Queen Elizabeth (whom some hint) was a man in drag. He had married badly into the Lord Cecil family, but it didn’t stop him from burning through the equivalent of a million dollars in a year.

This excellent film ends asking us whether we have praised the wrong man for 400 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stonewall Uprising, 50 Years Later!

DATELINE: American Experience’s Documentary

stonewall Pioneer Gay Fighters!

Was it ten years ago that American Experience produced its historical film, Stonewall Uprising, on the fortieth anniversary of the so-called gay riots in that gay mecca of the 60s, Greenwich Village?

This year some said five or six million marched in those streets for twelve hours of parading. Forty years ago, three drag queens walking down the street would constitute a riot.

Ten years ago some witnesses were aging, both as cops and gay patrons of one of those blue-collar, sleazy, unpleasant gay bars of the times. Yes, folks, those places were dubious if you had more professionalism and dignity.

Yet, it was those people who first stood up to undue harassment. The first 45 minutes of the PBS documentary recounts the hideous conditions of the 1960s when homosexuals were considered one step short of psychopathia.

Perhaps the interviews with “experts” trying to terrorize children that gay predators lurked on every street corner were the worst dregs of the era, yet these were the cornerstones of civilization. It is infuriating to see these people treat gay men and women with such cruelty. On the plus side, most of those creeps are now dead.

They were about to be shocked by the three days of rioting against a half-dozen belligerent cops who started a movement. They were barricaded in the bar in abject terror when thousands attacked in return.

The gay bars were the purview of the Mafia who ran them to rake profits off the benighted gay men and women on the outskirts of society. They gave gays a place to congregate but would soon lose their upper-hand to political awareness.

This documentary shows how the anti-war and civil rights movement simply transferred to gay rights overnight. Fifty years later, it is intriguing to see the roots of this powerhouse of politics. Millions of young marchers were not even born when the uprising started.

Those who still decry it may be better advised to watch out and watch this little film.

 

Khartoum: Muslim Conundrum

DATELINE:  Not Much Has Changed Since 1880 or 1966

Stars Apart

Be warned: this movie starts its streaming with a four-minute overture over black screen, as if to prove its pedigree as an epic.

Then, it contains a four minute entr’acte from the old Cinerama days when they had reserved seat showings of the feature—and needed a popcorn break to make more money from the viewers.

Laurence Olivier in 1966 darkened his face and played the Mahdi, the Muslim leader who nearly conquered Europe. He took on General Charles Gordon, as his match, along the banks of the Nile, much to his doomsday fate.

His nemesis in this film is Charlton Heston, playing a stalwart hero with barely a sign of being British. The film was a Cinerama extravaganza called Khartoum, about a British version of the Alamo.

Or, perhaps Lawrence of Arabia: several scenes of camels riding in the desert are echoes of the greater film of 1962.

You might wonder how the greatest English actor wound up playing a leader relying on the Koran for inspiration and how an American wound up playing a British general. So do we.

They could have switched roles. Both the Mahdi and Gordon were religious fanatics: they never met, but in this movie there is one scene in which the stars spend a few moments in banter.

The film has another question: do you portray the Muslim warriors as fanatics and proto-typical terrorists?

Olivier is utterly overwhelming in black/brown face. It was the second role in which he smeared greasepaint on his pale skin. Today this activity wins him condemnation, for tackling roles like Othello and the Mahdi as a white man playing color. His accent is nearly as over-the-top as Heston’s chopped Brit accent.

We were also puzzled as to whose mellifluous tones served as narrator. It sounded like Sir Cedric Hardwicke, but rather, un-billed, the voice turns out to be Leo Genn, another of those Brits in Hollywood.

Ralph Richardson is Gladstone in several scenes, and he practically steals the movie with his wry and comic snide turn.

The film hints that the Mahdi would have preferred that Gordon escape and that death to a world-hero of myth was an unfortunate emblem of doom. He was right, and the movie is overblown at making the point.

 

Stan & Ollie: Imitation or Acting?

DATELINE: Bittersweet Docdramas

Stan & Ollie

The resemblance to Laurel and Hardy is uncanny.

Stan & Ollie has a resurrection quality to its stars.

You might credit makeup masters, but there is also the subtle posture and gesture of the two stars as they mimic the familiar comedic personalities of the great movie team of the 1930s.

You have likely seen these two stars doing star turns in popular movies with tepid reviews: this is their best work and may end up being their least viewed movie. Laurel and Hardy belong to aficionados of film. Young people (meaning anyone under 40—or even 50—may be in the dark about the great comic duo).

John C. Reilly plays Babe Hardy, Mr. Oliver Hardy to you. And Steve Coogan plays Stan Laurel. A Brit and a Southern gentleman were an unlikely partnership but were created by studio chemists. It was a team that clicked so well it became legend.

The movie starts in 1937 at their pinnacle of success, doing Way Out West and their amazing little dance routine. It is repeated several times for good measure. Badly paid, with little artistic credit, Stan Laurel feels slighted as Chaplin and even Buster Keaton received more accolades.

By 1953, on the down-slide with age and television co-opting their earlier films, they embark on a tour of the British Isles to re-kindle their magic. Alas, the movie turns bittersweet, with far more bitter than sweet. Breaking up is never easy.

Bad blood, old age, and festering antagonisms, seem to dog the two stars. The movie replays their famous routines as if it is part of their real lives. And, they are pure show busy folks: the show must go on, and they are always on. Poor, dear souls.

Fans may find this hard look harder to take than a Hal Roach (Danny Huston) cheapskate contract. As oldsters, they had to work; no fortune followed fame.

Younger viewers may well be advised to go back to movies like Way Out West, or shorts like Their First Mistake, for seeing comedy genesis. This movie, like old age itself, is anticlimactic.

 

 

 

 

Bohemian Rhapsody Unwrapped!

DATELINE: Rami as Ghost of Mercury!

Rami.jpeg Rami as Freddie.

Is it a musical tragedy, or a concert biopic?  You might say it is a hard rhapsody to the kisser. And, it is director Bryan Singer’s best picture since Apt Pupil.

We were expecting the tale of squandered talent, losing to a hailstorm of hedonism. Instead, we were given the gift of seeing Rami Malek channel the ghost of Freddy Mercury to haunt us forever. Bohemian Rhapsody is worth every moment.

With some clever re-enactments of how the hits were designed and developed by Queen, all four members, you have interwoven built-in classic reactions of the time. The panning comments on the title song by original media critics is priceless and interspersed into the music.

Nor did we expect to see such intriguing supporting actors as Alan Leech (from Downton Abbey) and Aiden Gillen (now starring as Dr. Hynek in Project Blue Book). They bring gravitas to the queenly shenanigans of Freddy.

The notion that he was gay and it was his undoing during a bad time in history strikes us as impossible to accept. You mean no one knew he was gay—not even himself? We suppose self-knowledge is always a struggle. Rock Hudson in the news may have tipped off Freddie that he was in trouble.

Mercury was titanic and hit the iceberg of rock music.

His talent emerges like instant drink—and fizzles in a wave of self-indulgence. Unlike many other rock stars and prima donnas, Freddy Mercury has the wherewithal to see the error of his ways—and tries to repent with the famous Live Aid concert.

The media is once again a vicious dog that bites artists in the throes of creativity. It is delightful to see how some tunes were formed, like “Another One Bites the Dust”, or “We Will Rock You”.

The title tune comes in and out, but the finale, with all its morbid references to death, is “We are the Champions”, saved for the big finish.

Rami Malek is the show, man-tanned or not, and convinces you he is the genuine article. Add music and you have a masterpiece, but Freddy Mercury would not be surprised at all that his life and music survive and flourish.