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Politics on Screen: The Trial of Christine Keeler

When I read in the Radio Times that the Profumo Affair was to be televised into a six-part BBC drama I must admit that I was underwhelmed. Although British screenwriters work wonders with recreating events of the past, with series such as The Crown and A Very English Scandal enthralling their audiences, it all seems to be a tad overdone. However, when The Trial of Christine Keeler came to its conclusion last week, the series brought to light the timelessness of political scandal, and its prevalence in the 2020 contemporary media. Continue reading Politics on Screen: The Trial of Christine Keeler

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Politics on Screen: 1917

War has always been a popular subject on screen, with the First and Second World Wars finding themselves the focus of countless movies over the years. Dunkirk, War Horse, Schindler’s List, All Quiet on the Western Front, Saving Private Ryan … the list goes on. Now1917 joins the club, a thoughtful and immersive film that director Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty) co-wrote, inspired by his grandfather’s stories of the First World War. It follows two young lance corporals in the British army, Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman, aka Tommen from Game of Thrones), who are given the impossible task of delivering a message across no man’s land to call off an impending attack. If they fail, thousands of soldiers, including Blake’s older brother, will die. Continue reading Politics on Screen: 1917

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The Life Chronicles: The Night Train

You board several trains a night, fraught with lilac mist. Blood oranges suspended above the walkway illuminate the path. Machines that blink white churn out Morse conversations. This language, the backdrop of the otherwise blank soundscape of the night. The sky is a milky pool, dizzying to look upwards when you feel you are looking down. The platform: angular and shrouded in geometry, as the silver body of the snake arrives upon the tracks and slows to a halt. It doesn’t chug, but glides silent and serpentine. Continue reading The Life Chronicles: The Night Train

The Life Chronicles: Charge and Control

Build it. Break it. Build it, break it.

I exercise control in the small mannerisms I have adopted over the years. The minor, domestic cogs of my life, turning in perfect succession. Succinct, and ritually executed. These are the private domains of my psyche, the charts and the crosses, the changing of bed linen and the calculated hoovering of square spaces. Each chart is built of boxes, and each room possesses borders. The hoover head stops at skirting boards. Continue reading The Life Chronicles: Charge and Control

The Bar Review: Pig & Pickle

Pig & Pickle is an odd pub to be reviewing. Although I loved my visit there, it is too far from normal student areas to be worth mentioning to all but the most dedicated drinkers, but to humour those and anyone who happens to live out that way, let me say it ranks in my top 3 Exeter pubs. I ended up there because one night I was in another pub and got chatting to people including a very kind Swedish academic, who was buying beers for us all to share, and the owner of Pig & Pickle, Steve. And so, plans were made to meet again at that pub in the centre of town and get a taxi out to Pig & Pickle to see just how good it was. Continue reading The Bar Review: Pig & Pickle