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Tamara Drewe me in

Tamara Drewe, a new film by Stephen Frears, who directed one of my all-time favourite movies, Prick Up Your Ears, feels like an instant feel-good Brit classic, from a happier time - and it is sadly ironic to see this well-reviewed pic open with thanks to the UK Film Council, now axed.  The movie, based on a series of cartoons from The Guardian, which I followed when in Budapest and Paris about ten years ago, manages to retain almost all the key story-boarding beats from the drawings of Posy Simmonds (the title is of course an anagram of Me Draw Art).  We are invited in to an idyllic pastoral, disrupted as in the best English farce, by middle-class poseurs and love-rats.

What makes the film so deliciously ripe - the cinematography is sun-burnished and hyper-idealised, so Dorset becomes a new Eden - is how it enjoys satirising a variety of familiar British types from other films and TV shows - the pompous crime novelist; the lesbian creative writer; the suffering plain wife; the self-obsessed rock drummer; the visiting American academic; the hunky local boy; the Australian bar slattern; the sex-crazed teenage girls; and the sexy Independent columnist.  Tamara Drewe is as cosy as a cuppa, but thrums with a low note of doom and malice, as betrayals, lies, and crimes of passion mount.  The denouement, in a cow-crowded field, with several gunshots, feels as dramatic as something from Howard's End, or indeed, Hardy.

The lead actress Gemma Arterton reveals herself to be wildly attractive - a sort of British Bardot - and could be set for stardom after this.  Perhaps the funniest, most charming English comedy since Notting Hill, it will be fun to see if Americans fall under the spell, or if this proves to be a confection that spoils on shipment.  Four specs out of five!
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Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:

HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!