Category: Popular Culture

The power of independence

Her genius is that she sucks you into the narrative. It’s an over-indulgence of cinematic culture that I cannot have too much of. Following The Party, there is a royal flush of quality independent cinema to look forward to in the next week or two.

Hollywood under the cosh

His observation that it is now the domain of streamed multi-episodic drama where character development reigns supreme is compelling. In his view the decline of modern Hollywood is driven by risk-aversion, but this demise is actually something that has been going on for a very long time.

British cinema

Recently I read a very good article in the FT by Jason Solomons which starts by asking the question, ‘When was the last new movement in British Cinema… heralding a flurry of new directors and new styles?’

The good, the bad and the unspeakably awful

The debate about public opinion trumping critical analysis and what that means for popular culture will continue so long as there are films to watch and audiences to see them. But I say three cheers to all those who laugh at the emperor’s new clothing, leaving bad films to perform badly, losing their investors lots of money for letting self-indulgent, so-called talent loose on a film set.

What is it about lists?

I have to admit that I cannot find fault with the top ten comedies of all time as selected by all those critics. I’d probably put most if not all of them into my most loved comedies. Would you?

What makes a cult film

I am sure we all have our own list of favoured cult directors and films; the more obscure, the greater one’s cineaste credentials. I am not going to reveal mine, but I do wonder what credentials are needed for both the creator and the created.

Get familiar with your local gallery

There are hundreds of smaller galleries across the country showing a wide programme of work. They may feature local/regional artists or show touring exhibitions. It is well worth getting frequented with the galleries in your local area and subscribe to their mailing list to keep up to date.

Sizzling summer blockbusters – A Hollywood fantasy

What is it about the Hollywood movie marketing machine? Headlines are everywhere about the latest box-office busting summer hit. This time it’s Wonder Woman, as I type the largest ever grossing film by a female director. Actually one of the most successful movies by a director of any sex.

A very French affair

This year the festival kicked off with the all-important Cannes scandal that is meant to shock, enrage and stimulate debate. It was the inclusion of a Netflix movie that – shock, horror, was not going to have a cinema release in France.

It’s all in the soundtrack

There is one thing that exercises my ire when watching films more than anything else and that is the pointless over use of music and sound effects. Television is the main culprit, but cinema is also in the frame. I have railed against the ghastly wash of muzak as background fill with broadcaster and fellow producers and dared them to simply live without it.

Watching movies can be hard work

So much of the time most of us spend at the cinema is simply being entertained – and that’s a great thing, don’t get me wrong. But there comes a time when just being entertained really isn’t enough. As those of you who read my occasional blogs will know, I’m a bit of a fan of the double bill. It’s environmentally friendly – fewer journey times – but often such long evenings out are emotional, intellectual and sensory overload.