Visual ReviewEverything you need toknow aboutAMAZING GRACE…and how it relates to youand the world around you.Includes info on theactors, director, with news,reviews, and photos.visual review bydavid brucevisualhollywood.com
SHORT SYNOPSISMovies Contain theEssence of Being HumanAmazing Grace is a 2006 film directed by Michael Aptedabout the campaign against the slave trade in 19thcentury Britain, led by famous abolitionist WilliamWilberforce, who was responsible for steering anti-slavetrade legislation through the British parliament. The titleis a reference to the hymn "Amazing Grace" and the filmalso recounts John Newton's writing of the hymn.
KEY ACTORSThe Cinematic Arts Havethe Power to TransformIoan Gruffudd(William Wilberforce)starred in 102Dalmatians, BlackHawk Down, KingArthur (as Lancelot)and most recentlyFantastic Four.Romola Garai(Barbara Wilberforce)she was nominatedOutstandingNewcomer by theEvening StandardTheatre Awards.Albert Finney(John Newton)is a five-time AcademyAward-nominatedEnglish actor.
KEY TALENTOur Artists AreOur LiberatorsMichael Apted(Director)is also the presidentof the Directors Guildof America.Patricia Heaton(Producer)For her role in"Everybody LovesRaymond" (1996),Heaton won an Emmyfor Leading Actress ina Comedy Series.Terrence Malick(Producer)was one of the mostmeticulous andoriginal Americanfilmmakers to emergein the 1970s.
ARTIST HIGHLIGHTIoan GruffuddWilliam WilberforceIoan Gruffudd started his acting careerat the age of 12 in a Welsh televisionfilm named Austin and then later movedonto the Welsh language soap opera. Atthe age of 18, he attended the RoyalAcademy of Dramatic Art . He won hisfirst major English language role a fewyears later in the 1996 TV remake ofPoldark.After playing Oscar Wilde's lover JohnGray in Wilde in 1997, he took his firstinternational role as Fifth Officer HaroldLowe in the blockbuster film Titanic. Helater got his best-known role as HoratioHornblower in the Meridian. Next, heplayed Pip in Charles Dickens' GreatExpectations (BBC). He has also starredin 102 Dalmatians, Black Hawk Down,King Arthur (as Lancelot) and mostrecently Fantastic Four.Actors are Liberatorsin Masquerade
ARTIST HIGHLIGHTRomola GaraiBarbara WilberforceRomola Garai grew up in Singapore andHong Kong until she was eight when herfamily returned to lay roots in Wiltshire,England. She got her beginnings as aprofessional actress when she wasspotted in a school production by acasting director looking for girls to playJudi Dench in the ITV drama The Last ofthe Blonde Bombshells (2000) (TV). Afterthat role offers for other roles began tocome in. Romola went on to film DanielDeronda (2002) (TV), I Capture the Castle(2003), Nicholas Nickleby (2002), DirtyDancing: Havana Nights (2004) and VanityFair (2004) with Reese Witherspoon. Notto mention her role in the West Endadaptation of George Eliot's novel, Calicoas Lucia Joyce for which she is currentlynominated Outstanding Newcomer by theEvening Standard Theatre Awards.Actors help us: laugh, be happy, cry, getangry, and even think. Can there be anybetter gifts?
ARTIST HIGHLIGHTMichael AptedDirectorFilmmakers areRevolutionaries UnawareMichael Apted (born 10 February 1941 inAylesbury, Buckinghamshire) is an Englishdirector, producer, writer and actor. He is oneof the most prolific British film directors of hisgeneration but is best known for his work onthe Up! series of documentaries. He is also thepresident of the Directors Guild of America.In addition to feature films, Apted hascontinued to direct a number ofdocumentaries, including Bring on the Night,a feature-length concert film about the makingof Sting's first solo album.Apted directed the 1999 James Bond film TheWorld Is Not Enough, the first Bond film inwhich the main villain is a woman. Apted alsogave considerably more screen time thanusual to the character of M, as played by JudiDench.On June 29, 2003 he was elected President ofthe Directors Guild of America.
EXTENDED SYNOPSISStories areTransformingOverview: Amazing Grace is based on the true story of WilliamWilberforce, a British statesman and reformer from the early part of the19th century. This feature film chronicles his extraordinary contributionsto the world, primarily his 20-year fight to abolish the British slave trade,which he won in 1807. Wilberforce was also instrumental in passinglegislation to abolish slavery in the British colonies, a victory he won justthree days before his death in 1833.
EXTENDED SYNOPSISAll Kids are Born ArtisticWhat is Natural is EssentialHistorical note: William Wilberforce was first elected to the House ofCommons at the age of 21 and dedicated the rest of his life to leadingthe fight to abolish slavery. Though he was chronically ill and his anti-slavery bills were repeatedly rejected by Parliament, his courage andpassion to abolish injustice led him to be referred to as the “conscienceof Parliament.”
EXTENDED SYNOPSISStories Embody theEssence of Being HumanHistorical note: He also worked to collect evidence of the crimes of the slavetrade, collected 390,000 signatures to support his cause, and relentlesslycrafted anti-slavery bills. After almost 20 years of leading the Britishabolitionist movement, Wilberforce wept tears of victory when the slavetrade throughout the British Empire was finally abolished in 1807.
EXTENDED SYNOPSISCinematic Story Telling is aProfoundly Humanizing endeavor.Historical note: Because Wilberforce also believed in reforming the largersociety, his good works included prison reform, fair care for prisoners ofwar, improving hospitals and the lot of the poor, the prevention of cruelty toanimals, and societal reforms in India and around the world. But his passionto abolish slavery always came first.
EXTENDED SYNOPSISFilm making is aCommunity Event.In the film, Wilberforce and his friend William Pitt discuss whether theycan change England for the better. To prove that they can and soon will,Wilberforce and Pitt go into a pub visited by many important politicians.Wilberforce climbs onto a table and belts out the first verse of AmazingGrace. He dedicates his performance to the Duke of Clarence, son of theKing of England, who is in the room. It’s Wilberforce’s way of letting theDuke of Clarence—and Clarence’s father the King—know that ways ofdoing things in England concerning slavery and the “manners” of societywere about to change.
LIFE CONNECTIONS with AMAZING CHANGESArt is aLiberating ForceWilliam Wilberfoce’s work is far from finished. There are still anestimated 27 million slaves in the world today suffering under theweight of oppression. Modern day slavery takes on many formsincluding the horrific trade in women and children kept as sexslaves, and entire families working in rock quarries or brick kilns;or children working on rug looms. These are all innocent peoplerobbed of their freedom. These slaves are not free to come andgo; they are beaten or threatened with violence. They deserve thechance to be free. The Amazing Change campaign gives studentsand communities a chance to make a mark on history by speakingup—as Wilberforce and his friends did.At www.TheAmazingChange.com, , you’ll learn about the “twogreat objects” that were important to William Wilberforce:o The abolition of slaveryo The reformation of manners (society)
CRITICAL OPINIONThe Free SpeechDiscussion of the Arts is aMark of a Free SocietyPraise Apted! AbolitionistDrama Amazes--Andrew SarrisNew York ObserverCRITICS ARE 80%POSITIVEPic reflects the no-nonsensestorytelling skills-- Eddie CockrellVarietyIt is instructive even today.--David EdelsteinNew York MagazineFor those frustrated withour current state of affairs,Amazing Grace inspires usto keep hope alive.--Ed GonzalezSlant Magazine
FIlm Review:::Amazing GraceBy David BruceTHE GOLDEN RULE IS LOSTMay Amazing Grace Speak to Our Time.Abraham Lincoln once remarked, “Whenever Ihear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strongimpulse to see it tried on him personally.”The problem still exists today. Humans alwaysjustify the evil they do to others. Always.Torture is okay. Incarceration without counselis okay. Suspension of human rights (andvoice) is justifiable if we give our prisonersde-humanizing labels like Japs, niggers,terrorists. All of this is always okay. Well,unless of course the roles are switched andthen it is not okay. Which means, it never isokay. Ever.Art is the Language ofLiberationDo unto others as you would have them do toyou. This is the essence of Amazing Grace.Wilberforce was the voice of those deniedtheir full humanity. That is Amazing Grace.
FINDING TRUTHin AMAZING GRACESociety is only as free as itsarts. Art is the voice ofhuman freedom.Nobody has said it better thanSojourner Truth: “That man overthere says that women need to behelped into carriages, and lifted overditches, and to have the best placeeverywhere. Nobody ever helps meinto carriages, or over mud-puddles,or gives me any best place! And ain't Ia woman? Look at me! Look at myarm! I have ploughed and planted,and gathered into barns, and no mancould head me! And ain't I a woman? Icould work as much and eat as muchas a man - when I could get it - andbear the lash as well! And ain't I awoman? I have borne thirteenchildren, and seen most all sold off toslavery, and when I cried out with mymother's grief, none but Jesus heardme! And ain't I a woman?”
TRIVIA AND NEWSJudy Collins’ 1970 recorded versionof Amazing Grace hit the charts andbrought about the hymn’s recentpopularity.Amazing Grace was regularly playedon bagpipes at the funerals of policeofficers and firemen who perished inthe attacks on the World TradeCenter.In a speech to Harvard students in2001, singer/ songwriter Bonoechoed John Newton’s lyrics whenhe said, “I am a singer and asongwriter and I am also a father,four times over. I am a friend to dogs.I am a sworn enemy of thesaccharine, and a believer in graceover karma.”Movie Making is the Convergenceof Many Talents and Art Forms
WHY MOVIES ARE SO IMPORTANT"The meaning of life is the most urgent ofquestions" --Albert Camus (Existentialist thinker).To Restrict Creativity isto Restrict the veryNature of the CreatorIn “Movies and the Meaning of Life” author KimberlyBlessing points out that movies can help us reflecton five of life’s most important questions:1) What is reality and how can I know it?2) How can I find my true identity?3) What the significance of my interactions withothers?4) What’s the point of my life?5) How ought I to live my life?The idea behind Visual Hollywood is that Movies canand must play an essential role helping us explorethe meaning of our existence and our life together.No other quest is more necessary or important.Movies are powerful. Movies bring personalmeaning, and can contribute to a peaceful world.Cinematic story telling can be a transforming event.Visual Hollywood takesan existential approachto life. We celebratewith human freedom.We use movies and thearts as a means ofunderstanding thehuman condition andour collective relation tothe world around us.Our basic quest is:1. To know what itmeans to be human inthe world.2. The pursuit of humanfreedom.
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