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Review: Beneath the Waves

As the mornings grow colder, the nights longer, and it feels like there are perpetual grey skies threatening months of rain, sometimes all you can do is put on your most threadbare pyjamas and snuggle up with a good book. However, with deadlines looming and online University being weirdly more stressful than the real thing, considering I’m attending in said pyjamas, what I really need is a slither of a good story. A short story, so to speak. Sculpting a believable and captivating world in a handful of pages is a difficult thing to get right, but fellow Exeter student Daisy Ella does just that in her first self-published story, Beneath the Waves. Continue reading Review: Beneath the Waves

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Reviews in Retrospect: Rafiki

Wanuri Kahiu’s 2018 feature film Rafiki is an intimate portrayal of forbidden love. Banned in Kenya for its representation of a same-sex couple, the film received global critical acclaim for its unapologetic and lyrical depiction of queer love in a country that criminalises homosexuality. Based on the Ugandan short story “Jambula Tree” by Monica Arac de Nyeko, Rafiki follows the story of Kena and Zita, … Continue reading Reviews in Retrospect: Rafiki

Review: Ratched – Peaches and Screams

Highly anticipated since its trailer release back in August as the newest entry into the Ryan Murphy-verse, Ratched certainly fits the doctor’s prescription as thrilling, grisly and daringly clever. Acquainted with the grim and gruesome from her time with Murphy as a series lead in American Horror Story, Sarah Paulson is perfect for the sharp unpredictability of Mildred Ratched as the series (an unofficial prequel … Continue reading Review: Ratched – Peaches and Screams

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Review: Emily in Paris

Netflix’s new comedy-drama Emily in Paris, created by Darren Star (Beverely Hills, 90210, Sex and the City), is what happens when the over-romanticisation of Paris meets the under-representation of female screen characters with any depth or originality. Sorry, maybe that’s a bit harsh. But you can’t set a TV show in an iconic European city and make the premise of said show about how many … Continue reading Review: Emily in Paris

Review: Criminal UK

*Spoiler Alert* Season 2 of Criminal UK has just come out on Netflix and, while it may be just what we need right now to distract us from our post-summer COVID-19 self-pity party, the premise of some of the episodes is slightly troubling – and not just in the way that they are supposed to be. Each episode follows a different suspect with the same … Continue reading Review: Criminal UK

Review: The Shipman Files: A Very British Crime Story

Whilst recently watching the ITV drama Des, based on the serial killer Dennis Nilsen, I was shocked to learn that institutional homophobia was perhaps the reason that Nilsen’s crimes were hidden for so long. Although a very different case, I saw similar themes emerging within Chris Wilson’s BBC Two documentary series The Shipman Files: A Very British Crime Story, which reported on the horrific crimes of notorious serial killer Harold Shipman. Continue reading Review: The Shipman Files: A Very British Crime Story

Review: La Haine

La Haine, or Hate as it is known in the US, is a 1995 French drama following a day in the life of three young men wandering the streets of Paris. They are all reeling in the aftermath of their friend, Abdel, being arrested and experiencing severe brutality at the hands of the police. This triggers major riots throughout the city. One of the men, Vinz, played by a young Vincent Cassel, is ready to take his aggression and frustration out on anyone he meets, whether they be the police themselves, women, or other angry young men just like him. His hate and anger lead to deadly consequences for both him and his friends Said and Hubert. Continue reading Review: La Haine

Reviews in Retrospect: All About Love by bell hooks

“Without justice there can be no love.” There’s something incredibly special about a book that is both politically powerful yet therapeutic, both critical and healing. bell hooks’ 1999 book All About Love: New Visions is one of these. Exploring the psychological and social complexities of love in the modern world, bell hooks offers “a hopeful, joyous vision of love’s transformative power.” She shares incredible critical insight about a wide range of topics: the patriarchal values that shape relationships, the harmful connotations of the ideal family, and how male-written self-help books often feed into women’s insecurities, rather than boosting their confidence. All About Love is a genuinely helpful read — one that can revolutionise your thinking about the wider world and give realistic advice about caring for yourself and others in everyday life. Continue reading Reviews in Retrospect: All About Love by bell hooks

Review: I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Charlie Kaufman is a filmmaker whose work I have always admired; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of my favourite films of all time (so much so that I wrote a whole essay on it in first year!). To this day, I remain astounded by the ambition and complexity of his directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York. Having declared my love for Kaufman films, … Continue reading Review: I’m Thinking of Ending Things