Guilty until proven innocent- Objectivity and seeking ‘the truth’ in American Vandal

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American Vandal is a relatively straight forward pitch: a satirical take on true crime documentaries following a high school senior who is suspended and facing jail time for spray painting 27 dicks onto teachers’ cars and a sophomore/wannabe-documentarian who wants to undercover the truth of who actually did it.

Aside from being genuinely funny, the viewer is also taken into this microcosm of society, where biased and structures work against those who do not play within their expectations and rules. The Netflix show also gives viewers twists, turns, theories, and never ending dick jokes. However, instead of dispensing my take on whodunit (I keep changing my mind with each theory I come across), I want to look at the form itself; the nature of the documentary and how it’s easy to assume the truth is always as it is presented.

(Here’s your warning that spoilers are ahead.)

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BFI London Film Festival- My Picks

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Via Entertainment Focus

Another year rolls by, autumn shudders in, and leaves begin to fall. But who cares about all that beauty, when the BFI London Film Festival is one day closer! The London film festival has been going since 1953, showing a range of films from the big budget critical darlings, to short films you’ve never heard of. BFI LFF shows these films across London cinemas (so expect to see some harried cinephile rushing across the underground, popcorn in hand).

I managed to get my hands on an actual physical copy of this year’s programme, and have poured over it choosing what I’ll see. So after much underlining, circling, and internal debates, here’s my picks*

*some of my picks, my longlist is embarrassingly long

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Bringing the bang back to the blonde- Atomic Blonde and the Hitchcock blonde

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Via Comicbook

Instead of being attacked or sent to the sidelines, the iconic cinematic icy blonde takes centre stage with Charlize Theron’s latest role in Atomic Blonde. In the film, the actress plays Lorraine, an M15 agent sent to Berlin pre-wall-fall to recover a vital document. It’s bloody, it’s brutal, and it’s sole focus is the cool blonde head of Lorraine. This British blonde is violent and active from the get go, she is not Hitchcock’s “virgin snow” victim. This is an explosive blond bomb that will not go down without a fight.

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Dunkirk- A tale of spectacle, and nostalgia (or A return to cinematic roots with modern style)

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Via 

Dunkirk, the mere mention of this name bring forth only imaginable horrors placed in our minds from countless school lessons, echoed with yearly documentaries that only add to the horror. Christopher Nolan brings these horror to the big screen (or the really big screen, if you watch it on IMAX) with his latest epic, Dunkirk.

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Short Stuff Vol 2: Lady Love

Women’s sexuality is often the subject of cinema. From sexual repression (Belle de Jour) to sexual liberation (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), however often, as with most of cinematic history, their stories are told by men (and mostly for men). However, since the rise of feminism, and women in the arts, sexuality in back in the hands of women, and film is no exception.

Within long form cinema, women’s sexuality has been explored by Sofia Coppola in Virgin Suicides, and in Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank. The topic hasn’t been missed out in short form either. The short films below are just a tip of the iceberg for exploration of women’s sexuality; from the history of the clitorus, to the sexual exploration of an uptight woman.

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Fanfiction is no laughing matter

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Fox

One evening, you’re sat on the couch, flicking through the various channels, hoping to find something other than advertisements. And then you come across a talk show- some dude pulling his celebrity guests into admitting something, to spilling the beans on some rumour, to make a risqué comment. However, this time, he pulls out a card with an illustration on it, and you feel your stomach drop- oh no they’re going to pull out fanart and fan work. They’re going to comment on the not appropriate for me to describe artwork, or they’re going to get the poor embarrassed actors to read out some colourful fanfiction. At this point, I have to turn the TV off.

While for some it can be fun to laugh at the terrible prose of Sherlock asking John out on a date, I can’t help but think of the person behind the words, the person who poised at their keyboards with ideas whizzing about their mind as their fingers couldn’t keep up with their poetry. I understand the want to laugh- there are only so many times you can listen to terrible similes and not laugh. But the sheer fact that (usually) grown men are laughing at the work of (usually) a teenaged girl is something to pause and take note of.

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Summertime Screentime: Seasonal Views

Summer is upon us, endless days oozing an unshakeable heat. No matter how many drinks you down, how many ice creams you lick, the sun batters down and glares onto your skin. However,  sometimes, relief can be found on the living room sofa, in front of the TV, with a carefully place fan on full blast.

Summertime viewings are lush and bright, echoing the laziness you can feel some days. Other days, you want to watch something that echoes the yearning you have for feel rolling down your car windows as you rush down the motorway, feeling the wind in your hair and the sun bouncing off your sunglasses. Other times you just want to sing along to that old song you haven’t heard in years, and feel the warm embrace of a character you somehow remember.

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Cinema, but make it theatre: a review of Ivo von Hove’s ‘Obsession’

 

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© Jan Versweyveld

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.

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T-shirtfesto: the problem with ‘feminist’ t-shirts

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Via The Dolls Factory

‘This is what a feminist looks like’

‘The future is female’

‘Girls just want fun-damental rights’

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.

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