I went into the Barbican’s latest play, Obsession, with relatively low expectations. I knew it was starring Jude Law, that it was about an affair, and some how a car was involved. All relatively top line and straight forward information, which the play delivers on, but somehow I left the theatre disappointed and a bit confused.
In a new blog series, I’ll be doing a round up of some short films I’ve been loving recently. The short film is a great way of seeing some brilliant story telling, techniques, and general entertainment, all wrapped up in a quick bite size.
Undoubtedly you have seen these phrases at some point, if not out and about, but on the internet. However more recently I am willing to bet you have seen it plastered on a t-shirt or a pullover with various happy and proud wearers boldly painting their political declarations across their chests.
Over the past year or so, feminist and political declarations have been printed onto t-shirts, so much so that at the recent fashion weeks, designers such as Prabal Gurung sending models down the runway with t-shirts that read“The future is female,” “I am an immigrant,” “Our minds, our bodies, our power,” “Revolution has no borders,” plus other bite sized phrases that captures attention and garnered the designer applause online.
While such a move is bold for a designer, putting liberal words onto the stage to buyers who may not share such a sentiment is a risk, but it was done at a time where such t-shirts and such sentiments have become somewhat of a trend.
It is the wider trend, one which lends itself to easy social media slacktivism, that I am weary of. It’s a trend that leans in too deeply into white feminist tones, one which could lead to people wearing the t-shirt without any critical thought behind it.
Spring time in movies always blossoms in a beautiful way, with a morning dawning and birds singing. In real life, spring comes slowly, gently easing itself out of slumber and edging itself to our attention, from having the sun in the morning, to a slight rise in temperature, but with an April shower thrown in just in case you thought summer was coming early. With a lack of complete spring with us yet, and the April showers more regular than I’d like, there is still time to fit in some screen time activity before the sun completely glazes over the television.
Modern Romance, in a nutshell, is a sociological overview of modern romance- from woo-ing through a screen, to waning passionate love in marriages. The book is insightful, touching, and humorous- and gave me some confidence using Tinder.
Ansari, alongside sociologist Eric Klinenberg, travelled the global, examining dating as we know it. Overall he argues that dating hasn’t changed too much, only the medium through which we meet and get to know people. This argument waivers from time to time, with Ansari noting how we can only do things due to technology.
My final year of university was stressful- countless assignments to juggle, a ten thousand word dissertation to research, balancing them alongside a social life, whilst also trying to avoid the fact that I had to get a job in a couple of months. This kind of environment does not lend itself to reading Tolstoy nor James Joyce. During my hour of need I turned to authors whom many have never heard of- Kleypas, Rodale, and the much esteemed Quinn. These authors are not well known, unless you are knee deep in romance novels.
A review (of sorts) of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke is a long book.
Whilst I’d admit that I am a slow reader, who tends to dip in and out of books, this book took about a year to read. More than a year if I was brutally honest, and if the receipt I was using as a book mark hadn’t faded. However, my slow movement through the book, somehow, suits the book. It lent to my enjoyment, understanding, and eventual finishing of the book.
While I could discuss the plot or the characters (oh boy I have a lot to say about them), I think one of the reasons I stuck around for so long was its form. The format and tone of the book are definitely worthy of note.
I’m going to prefix this review with this: Marvel Studios for god sake hire some damn Asian actors if you are going to use so much Asian culture and ideas in your films, there was a disgusting lack of Asian actors, save for Benedict Wong, and a large amount of white washing in this film.
The film- aside from how mayonnaise the cast was- was actually not too bad. I went into it with a relatively open mind, hoping to be as blown away as I was with Ant-Man. However, Doctor Strange was a mere whisper in comparison to Ant-Man.
As November rolls in, we say goodbye to sunshine and lush leaves. To borrow the now common phrase; Winter is Coming. With the dark hours going on so long that sometimes you forget what sunlight is, you can turn to the next best thing- the light of the television (or for most people under 25- the light of the laptop screen). Screen time is a stable of winter activities; wrapped up in a blanket burrito with hot chocolate made with too much powder than recommended, watching a film. This is the best way to pass the dark hours.
The difference between autumn and winter screen items can vary between startlingly obvious to the tiniest of changes. Winter replaces Autumn’s Wes Anderson aesthetic of school time trees and fresh pencils with bare faced trees and cool indifference. These are not happy Christmas films filled with cheer (I’ll make a list of those later), these films look at the endless winter with pragmatism. That doesn’t mean they’re sad and freeze your tears before they fall, it just means they remind me of the sharp coldness a winter can bring.
I can remember very clearly when I started watching Doctor Who. It was 2005. I was at a friend’s house. This friend was terribly English, and thus, we were to watch Doctor Who. I had no idea what to expect, up to this point the extent of my science fiction knowledge was rare episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine with my mother. Up until this point in my life, I had never considered the stars too deeply, nor did I spend any considerable amount of time thinking about life beyond our small clump of rock and water.
I fell in love at once. My memory is never certain as to what the exact episode was, most often I think it was ‘Aliens of London’; the episode wherein the Slitheen (an evil alien species) takes over the British government. I completely adored it. Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor captivated me. I wanted to be Billie Piper’s Rose. I loved how fun it was, how dangerous it felt. It was terribly British at times, but I overlooked thatbecause it was just a pure joy to watch.