Band of Brothers at 20: Revisiting Dick Winters

Here it is the twentieth year anniversary of Band of Brothers, and the interest in this great series has, surprisingly, gotten only greater. Such a complete portrait of a rag-tag bunch of newbie soldiers out on the mission of a lifetime, told thru the halcyon Spielbergian lens, seen never before and never since. Quipped today to my blog mates that the series demands a rewatch soon. Perhaps a project for the sixteen year anniversary? Until then, let’s revisit Dick Winters once again. Enjoy!

Damian Lewis’ first role as an American was in the role of Dick Winters in Spielberg/Hanks’ Band of Brothers. (Fun fact: the title Band of Brothers is taken from Shakespeare, from Henry V’s speech to his troops: “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother”)

Source: HBO
Source: HBO

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Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis as Oedipus Rex: Archetype of a King

Wow, this pandemic, amirite? Depending on where you live you may be still hunkered down, resisting social gatherings, wearing masks whenever you go out. Maybe you’re somewhere where things are fully open and things are back to normal. For most of us, though, it’s certainly a new way of life. And, it may be with us much longer than anyone hoped it’d be.

Some of us are fortunate enough to have jobs that weren’t too affected, or actually took off, due to the nationwide lock down. (once folks can no longer mill around the water cooler in the office, they seem very keen to get stuff done. I sense in some industries, like tech, for example, productivity is at a record high) Too many of us haven’t been so lucky. And what about our artists, the stories that we need to watch, the performances that entertain and sustain us? Obviously they have been affected in a major way. Those in Damian’s profession are still learning how to get their work running again.

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Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis on The Moment with
Brian Koppelman

Note: This post was originally published on March 26, 2019.

Photo Credits: Brian Koppelman

When he’s not running a show, co-creator of Billions, Brian Koppelman hosts a podcast called The Moment. Each hour-long session is a conversation about the creative process and pivotal moments in creative careers. Koppelman talks to people in various forms and stages of their creative lives about inflection points, the moments they sensed something shifted for them in their careers. Having listened to several of these conversations in his archive, its always a treat to hear how people get to live their professional dreams, be they restaurateurs, musicians, writers or actors. Back when he first publicized the podcast, I had this twee Twitter exchange with him. Continue reading “Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis on The Moment with Brian Koppelman”

A Lesson in Rhetoric: Damian Lewis as Antony

To be filed in the category of “This is a guy who makes you want to go back to school”, we learned and reported (on our lovely sister site damian-lewis.com) that Damian’s version of Antony’s funeral speech from Julius Caesar, for The Guardian’s video series Shakespeare Solos, was featured in a seminar on rhetoric. This wasn’t an avenue for literary criticism or drama theory, but a newsletter on effective public speaking.

How is speaking any different from writing and reading, you may wonder? Well, there are components to classical rhetoric, when dissected, can show you what makes one speech different from another. Such an analysis would reach your brain (or at least attempt to). Alternatively, we can talk about how a speech makes you feel. Granted we’re not seeing much great oratory from our current elder statesmen, so examples are few and far between. But, there was a time, wasn’t there? In our not too distant history, when a leader spoke, it did a heart good to hear, didn’t it?

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Fan Fun Movie of the Month: Much Ado About Nothing

Ah, the romantic comedy: A genre when presented as an evening’s viewing option has sent many an otherwise lovey-dovey couple to opposite ends of the couch. I have to say the romantic comedy has never been my first stop when Netflix surfing. Actually, it’s rarely my choice at all, unless When Harry Met Sally is on (the last great romantic comedy, IMO) or the least appreciated but my personal favorite of the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks vehicles: Joe vs. the Volcano. [The guy falls for different versions of the SAME woman; how much more romantic (and comedic) can you get?]

William Shakespeare knew a thing or two about romantic comedies. In fact, he invented the genre! The formula of boy meets girl, they run up against some obstacles, surmount said obstacles with the help of a jocular coterie of friends, and live happily ever after: That’s Shakespeare! And perhaps the most seminal of his romantic comedies is Much Ado About Nothing. The plot and characters gave rise to many adaptations and permutations. There was the beautifully hilarious big-screen adaptation in 1993 with real-life couple-at-the-time Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson. More recently, in 2012, there was another lovely big-screen adaptation, this time by Joss Whedon, set in modern times but true to Shakespearean language. And between those two, in 2005, our very own Damian Lewis starred as Benedick in a BBC adaptation of the story, set in modern times with modern language, for their series Shakespeare ReTold. Continue reading “Fan Fun Movie of the Month: Much Ado About Nothing”