My Culture Comforts: Nora Ephron Films

It’s no surprise that people have been using these past few weeks to productively catch up on (binge watch) all the TV shows and films they may not have previously had time for. However, especially with the future being so uncertain, it can also be nice to return to some past favourites. Over the past week, I have re-watched four of my top Nora Ephron films (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, Julie & Julia), each time remembering why I love her. A combination of Ephron’s phenomenal writing, upbeat soundtracks and of course a stellar cast (with Meg Ryan as a particular favourite), it’s hard not to find comfort in these classics. Continue reading My Culture Comforts: Nora Ephron Films

My Culture Comforts: Normal People by Sally Rooney

It’s hardly surprising, as a third year English student, that my main comfort at home is our family bookcase. My current favourite, which I’ve been rereading over the past week is Sally Rooney’s Normal People, published in August of 2018. Rooney’s debut novel Conversations with Friends is also worth a read! Normal People is centred around the lives of two teenagers – Marianne and Connell, very much in love, whose ‘will they/won’t they’ conundrum becomes the tie which echoes throughout the novel, and is something that readers can’t help but become emotionally attached to. What’s more, the novel’s main themes of love and loss, endurance through hardship, personal growth and self-discovery are so prevalent, especially in our current climate. Watch out for the television adaptation of the novel which is said to be coming out soon! Continue reading My Culture Comforts: Normal People by Sally Rooney

Reading Corner: Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls (audiobook)

Having tried audiobooks in the past, I have never actually been able to finish one – always getting bored or losing concentration for too long so the storyline no longer makes any sense. Something about listening to a thirteen-hour audio seems more daunting and time consuming that just simply reading the book. Now, however, since time is not an issue, and distractions from the outside world are near-impossible, I decided it was a perfect time to give them another try. Using yet another fake email (I know, I’m a cheapskate), I signed up for my third free audible trial, browsing the listings for a book that I both wanted to read and did not yet have a physical copy of. I’m a huge David Nicholls fan, having read all four of his other novels, and his latest release Sweet Sorrow has been on my to-read list since it came out last summer. Continue reading Reading Corner: Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls (audiobook)

My Culture Comforts: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

I unintentionally rediscovered a huge part of my childhood that I had almost forgot existed – Alice in Wonderland. I reread the book for one of my modules, and it was the most nostalgic thing I’ve done in so long. As a kid, I was obsessed with fantastical stories and escapism, and rereading this one brought everything back. So I watched the film again (the Tim Burton one with Johnny Depp in), and it’s safe to say it remains one of my favourite films ever. With all that’s going on at the moment, it was a nice little escape from reality. Strongly recommend! Continue reading My Culture Comforts: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Review: RAMM Lates

Last Friday night I went to the RAMM for just the second time since I’ve lived in Exeter. As an English student and exhibition lover, I find it strange that there is such a valuable resource in the centre of town that I have never used. The RAMM Lates event highlighted the fact that the RAMM is a great resource that has real relevance to the student community. Museums allow us to experience culture up close and without the filter of computer screens that we have become accustomed to. After learning about Native American culture and history last term I found it eye-opening to be able to see firsthand authentic artefacts – such as traditional clothing and weapons – from Native American culture. So surely this is a resource we should all be using more often? Continue reading Review: RAMM Lates

Introduction to K-pop

How does K-pop work? Let’s get the basics down first.

K-pop stars, referred to as idols, are singers, dancers, and/or rappers. They may be part of a group, or a soloist (though sometimes, an idol in a group may release a solo, whilst continuing to promote and be a part of their group!) They’re also skilled at variety, as a big part of their job when promoting their music is to go on variety programs, such as Weekly Idol or Hello Counsellor. In fact, an idol’s personality is a crucial aspect of their career, as the genre greatly depends on an idol’s persona to attract and maintain a loyal fanbase (which then gets its own specific name. That’s why you’ll hear BTS fans be referred to as Army).  Continue reading Introduction to K-pop

Review: Spork! The Valentine(ish) Edition @ Exeter Phoenix

Spork! is a delightful evening of poetry, comedy, rap and performance, which brings together local artists in celebration of spoken word. Hosted by Chris White, Spork! is full of the weird and wonderful, it’s variety making each show unique, exciting and guaranteed to include something for everyone. On Tuesday 11 February, I was lucky enough to see their ‘Valentine(ish)’ special, in which poetic performances were based (loosely) on theme of love. Continue reading Review: Spork! The Valentine(ish) Edition @ Exeter Phoenix

Roaring 20s: The Enduring Dream of Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age

It’s been nearly a century since F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was published in 1925 – painting a glossy, wealthy image of the 1920s Jazz era – and now, as we enter that same decade 100 years later, it seems a revival of Fitzgerald’s world is at the height of fashion, with nearly every NYE party on 31st December seemingly featuring flapper dresses and pinstriped suits. Continue reading Roaring 20s: The Enduring Dream of Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age

Review: A Taste of Honey @ Trafalgar Studios

A Taste of Honey, Shelagh Delaney’s debut play (written when she was just 19 years old), proves that being a product of its time does not stop art from being important to contemporary audiences. Bijan Sheibani’s current touring production, for the National Theatre and showing at Trafalgar Studios in London this holiday season, only serves to reiterate this point. When the play premiered at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1958, it was considered part of the post-war ‘kitchen sink’ genre because of how it revolutionised British theatre by questioning class, race, gender and sexuality in mid-20th century Britain. Continue reading Review: A Taste of Honey @ Trafalgar Studios