Film Friday: The Long Ships

We can all agree: some film adaptations of novels are fiercely true to their source material. Jack Cardiff’s 1964 adaptation of Frans G. Bengtsson’s beloved Viking tale The Long Ships is—infamously—not such a film. The term “loosely based on the novel” seems an overstatement when it comes to this flick, which starred Richard Widmark (above) as the Norseman Rolfe and Sidney Poitier (below) as the Moorish king Aly Mansuh. Poitier once said of the film: “To say it was disastrous is a compliment.”

That’s Rosanna Schiaffino in the Princess-Leia-in-Jabba’s-Palace getup as Queen Aminah, wife of Mansuh. Russ Tamblyn was tapped to play Orm, seen below in prime Viking fight form (”Once you’re a Jet…”).

We can’t promise it will make you want to watch the movie, but the trailer (below) suggests high hopes that the film would be as popular as Bengtsson’s novel was at the time:

Hannibal Episode 308: “The Great Red Dragon”


“Mr. Reitzell’s cacophonous musical creation, layered with dozens upon dozens of unique percussive sounds, coupled with Richard Armitage’s physically powerful depiction of Francis Dolarhyde, result in an arresting pre-credits scene that illustrates the making of a monster in way that words could never suffice.” (x)


“…please don’t think for a second that there’s nothing more to Hannibal than style, spectacle, and blood spatter. It always has been, and remains, a supremely well-acted show […] More impressive still is Richard Armitage’s instant-classic work as Francis Dolarhyde — aka the Tooth Fairy, aka the Great Red Dragon — whom he doesn’t so much play as inhabit.” (x)


“The role of The Red Dragon‘s primary antagonist, “The Tooth Fairy,” or Francis Dolarhyde, was previously played by masterclass actors. […] But if Armitage’s chilling but charismatic first appearance is any indication, then like the rest of Fuller’s brilliant series, Armitage plans to take The Tooth Fairy’s primary attributes from the book and spin them in a way that is unique to the series.” (x)


“what an entrance Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage) makes! […] It’s only 10 minutes in, and he hasn’t spoken a word yet, but it’s hard not to be already loving this character and performance […] EVERYONE ELSE IS BORING!” (x)


“Witnessing [Armitage’s] transformation was nothing short of stunning and fans loved it. […] there is no doubt Fuller got his money’s worth when he signed on Richard Armitage.” (x)


“Armitage does not have a single line of dialogue in the entire episode, making our introduction to Francis Dolarhyde totally visceral. It’s a wholly physical and impressive performance, and a striking way to communicate his psychology to the audience.” (x)


“The opening five minutes of Hannibal‘s “The Great Red Dragon” featuring Richard Armitage’s introduction set the tone for the remaining stretch of the series. It was dark, twisted, and torturous, a new beginning, the becoming of the Dragon, […] This recap cannot do justice to the performance that Richard Armitage gave to the role of Francis Dolarhyde.” (x)


“Richard Armitage transformed into “The Great Red Dragon” in Saturday night’s episode of Hannibal, and it was visually stunning. What viewers saw on their television sets last night is unlike anything we have seen before and showed why Armitage is considered one of Britain’s jewels. The 43-year-old certainly lived up to the expectations and then some. […] What is even more outstanding about Richard Armitage’s transformation into “The Great Red Dragon” is that he did not utter one single word, and we could already feel the power of Dolarhyde’s complex persona.” (x)


“Richard Armitage made a memorable introduction in the opening as he prepared for his first set of kills. […] Armitage is sure to be a standout of the series once all is said and done.” (x)


“[…] to say [Richard Armitage] blew me away in the role is an understatement. He doesn’t even do much in this episode really. […] Even with all these seemingly unimportant things happening, it’s fascinating to watch. […] Armitage is great so far, a strong addition to the cast.” (x)


“We meet Dolarhyde in the first five minutes of the episode, and it was a fantastic five minutes. […] It was mesmerizing and disturbing all at once, and Armitage was positively captivating without saying a word […] One of the first scenes we saw was Dolarhyde working out in his attic. […] Dolarhyde is an attractive, physically appealing man. He is strong, ripped, and I swear they made him flex his right pectoralis major on purpose in one scene.” (x)


“Francis Dolarhyde, played with menace and fragility by Richard Armitage […] Richard Armitage working out in tiny shorts. I have nothing to add to that, really.” (x)


“In less than five minutes, veteran horror director Neil Marshall has established the character, tone, and motifs that will make up the next (and final) six episodes of Hannibal. It’s a spectacular bit of filmmaking, a dialogue-free introduction to a character before whom we will inevitably tremble.” (x)


“In just five minutes, Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller and his many collaborators, including this episode’s director, Neil Marshall, capture an element of Thomas Harris’s novel Red Dragon that has mostly eluded its two prior film adaptations: Francis’s pitifulness and operatic self-loathing.” (x)

The True Cost

“Fast-fashion” is ever popular in the modern, “first” world. Forever 21, H&M, Zara, Gap, ETC. never fail to supply us with new, stylish clothing for cheap(er) prices… but where are our clothes really coming from?

I recently watched the documentary The True Cost. As far as I’m concerned, it’s fairly new to Netflix, and I figured I’d give it a watch. I’m glad I did.

After watching this documentary, I began to think twice about the t-shirt, bra, underwear, socks, shoes, and yoga pants I sport at home, and the clothing I wear to school — where do my clothes come from?

The answer is simple, but the situation is complex. All you have to do is read the tags — MADE IN CHINA, INDONESIA, MALAYSIA, CAMBODIA, VIETNAM, INDIA, THAILAND, BANGLADESH… The list goes on.

Human beings are single-handedly being exploited by these huge fast-fashion corporations, not ensuring that these individuals, over 75% of whom are women, are earning a living wage. The system of capitalism has failed them. These corporations only seek to make money, therefore the well-being of their “employees” is simply ignored and neglected.

What’s extremely unfortunate is the fact that it’s difficult to escape the reality of the world we live in. Wholesale clothing, flash sales, Black Friday and the like are attractive to us consumers, as we seek to save our money. However, the clothes are cheap at the expense of another individual’s ability to simply live and possibly support a family.

Here in the U.S. (or in any other “first-world” country, for that matter), we wouldn’t even THINK of allowing citizens to work in such conditions, assumably earning less than $150 USD a month. Sadly, this is the reality of MILLIONS of children, women, and men in developing countries. They usually do not have a say in their working conditions, wages, etc. Many who attempt to form unions and submit demands are often met with wage cuts, and even violence.

Hell, I’m 17 (almost 18) years old. It pains me to see people desperate for work being subjected to such neglect and exploitation at the hands of greedy CEOs and corporate executives. If I had the power, the money, and the support to advocate for these individuals, to advocate for systemic change, I 100% would… but there’s only so much I can do.

There’s only so much we can do.

But so long as attention is being drawn to this issue (for it has been largely ignored for the better part of 50+ years), I believe that’s where change starts.
Finally, no prescription for success in the Chinese market can be complete without a plan for managing the true source of political power: the Chinese government. As protests by taxi drivers erupted in multiple cities across China, Uber recently acknowledged its commitment to “maintain social order” by using its GPS data to track drivers and their locations near protests and canceling their Uber contracts if they were near such protests – a strong signal to the government that its cache of data could be used for the “social order maintaining” objectives of the state.