“The targeted outrage at this one particular person and her one particular £15,000, at its wastefulness or its pointlessness or its unfairness, is underpinned by a logic of austerity that isn’t good for artists or workers. It takes the anger generated by exploitation and alienation, and redirects it into anger at the undeserving, the frauds.”
“The thing about a film like Into the Wild is that it doesn’t even really notice it’s a film about a man, about maleness, about the kind of self-mythologising adventures men have always written about; it regards itself, to an extent, as a universal story about timeless struggles between Man and Nature and Society. A film like Wild, though, cannot evade its own specificity.”
Space, time and the haunting of modernity in Don DeLillo’s The Body Artist and Ali Smith’s Hotel World.
A short story and author interview published at The Queen’s Head.
Features and reviews of some of this year’s events, exploring gender, dance, imprisonment, and darkly comic surrealism.
“Inside Out and Song of the Sea are both films that handle human emotions deftly and approach mental health with tact and intelligence, but taken together they’re also a reminder that, from the shores of old Irish mythology to the kitchens of contemporary San Francisco, family relationships (at least those of the traditional heterosexual marriage-and-kids variety) remain constrained by old assumptions about what women’s and men’s minds look like.”
“Ex Machina isn’t just your standard cautionary tale about the dangers of playing god, but specifically a story about the toxicity of male power. It pointedly literalises the meaning of ‘objectification’ in the physical construction of female bodies; all its women are artificial things built by Nathan, and the film is harshly critical of their exploitation. But as a film in which two men talk and act while the feminine mainly exists as a visual feast, it walks a tightrope between critiquing misogyny and enacting it.”