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Review: Da 5 Bloods

Da 5 Bloods (2020) is Spike Lee’s latest release after his critically acclaimed BlacKkKlansman (2018), which won him his first Academy award. Lee’s constant stream of provocative and profound pieces has proven time and time again that he has “his finger on the pulse of modern America” (Mark Kermode). The plot follows four ex-GIs who return to Vietnam to recover the remains of their fallen comrade, the almost mythical, Black Panther-esque Stormin’ Norman. At least that’s their cover. In reality, they return to retrieve bars of gold that the American army stole from the North Vietnamese all those years ago. Continue reading Review: Da 5 Bloods

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Flesh and Femininity: How Body Horror in Raw Externalises Female Sexual Awakening

Julia Ducournau’s directorial debut Raw follows 16-year-old Justine as she attempts to navigate the complexities of becoming a woman alongside her newfound and unconventional desires. Coming from a high-achieving family of entirely vets and vegetarians, Justine is ready to start her first year at vet school, where her older sister, Alexia, also studies. During some time-honoured and intense hazing rituals, the ‘rookies’ are drenched in pigs’ blood (Carrie, anyone?) and forced to eat raw rabbit kidneys as a form of initiation. After eating meat for the first time, unexpected consequences emerge as Justine is overcome with an all-consuming craving for human flesh. Continue reading Flesh and Femininity: How Body Horror in Raw Externalises Female Sexual Awakening

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Review: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

When it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest, I would not class myself as the ‘average viewer’. If anything, I am a huge fan of the wonderfully wacky contest. So I, along with tens of thousands of people from all over Europe and around the world, was ready to head to Rotterdam this May to enjoy its week of spectacular weirdness. However, COVID-19 has put these plans on hold. I do not want to in any way diminish the awful effects the current crisis has had on every aspect of life. I just find that it is unfortunate, but understandable, that the contest had to be postponed. Continue reading Review: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Review: Athlete A

Content Warning: Sexual Abuse Netflix’s new documentary Athlete A is undoubtedly a must-watch, regardless of whether you are a fan of gymnastics. I’ve always loved the sport. For a few years, I participated in gymnastics from a young age and, while I was never that good, I enjoyed it immensely and found training on all the different apparatus exciting. I still like watching gymnastics when … Continue reading Review: Athlete A

My Culture Comforts: 10 Things I Hate About You

I think we all have that one film which we gravitate towards in times of anxiety and stress. As a film student, I am burdened with a sense of shame when it comes to enjoying “bad” films. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) is in no way a bad film, but it’s definitely no Citizen Kane (1941). Today, I reject shame. Whenever I feel … Continue reading My Culture Comforts: 10 Things I Hate About You

My Culture Comforts: Peter Kay’s Car Share

Re-watching comedies is one of my favourite things to do and days in lockdown have been spent happily returning to the worlds of The League of Gentlemen, Outnumbered and Stath Lets Flats, to name a few. I have particularly enjoyed re-watching (for the hundredth time) Peter Kay’s Car Share, after all 12 episodes became available on BBC iPlayer a few weeks ago. It has been … Continue reading My Culture Comforts: Peter Kay’s Car Share

The Capitalist with a Heart of Gold? And Hollywood’s Issue with Sex work

I actually hated Pretty Woman (1990) the first time I watched it. I was just coming into feminist consciousness when my mother put it on after years of raving that it was her favourite rom-com. I felt betrayed that she deemed it in any way romantic. Richard Gere with his male saviour complex comes along to sweep Julia Roberts off her feet? Yuck. These conservative sexual politics are what a lot of people dislike about the film thirty years on, or it’s the case that people like the film in spite of them. However, as I grew up and my initial repulsion evolved into critical and somewhat guilty enjoyment, I realised Pretty Woman’s biggest issue is not that it is outdated, but that it isn’t. In its approach to sex work, the film is as old hack as the current discussions surrounding sex workers’ rights. Continue reading The Capitalist with a Heart of Gold? And Hollywood’s Issue with Sex work

Pride Culture Comforts: Pride (2014)

One of the best LGBTQ+ films to come out of Britain in the last decade, Pride tells the true story of the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) organisation who financially and publicly supported mining communities during the strikes of the ‘80s. Centring itself round the Gay’s the Word bookshop – which is still going in London to this day – this movie has … Continue reading Pride Culture Comforts: Pride (2014)

Why Princess Cyd Is So Refreshing in Exploring Female Sexuality

Princess Cyd is available to watch for free on Kanopy. It is a common trope in a lot of media that women’s self-worth is tied to their sexuality. They are judged for how old they are; how often they have sex, and whether they have sex with men, women or both. Furthermore, all too often female characters are punished for their exploits in contradictory ways. … Continue reading Why Princess Cyd Is So Refreshing in Exploring Female Sexuality