New Interview: MYTH-BUILDING IN MODERN MEDIA on Author Interviews

Brand new interview.

I was very pleased to be featured on the excellent Author Interviews site, alongside some rather esteemed contemporaries, to discuss my book Myth-Building in Modern Media, my writing journey and practices, and what I’ve been enjoying reading lately.

This was conducted during the Covid-19 lockdown in the summer but it’s still a relevant window into my process. Here’s a little taster and you can find a link below.

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New Podcast: MOTION PICTURES – ‘Cinematic Royalty’ (The Queen & The Crown)

Brand new podcast appearance.

In the latest episode of Motion Pictures, myself and my co-host Carl Sweeney, joined by special guest Sarah. L. Blair, are talking royalty with the return of prestige Netflix series The Crown.

They discuss the series in the context of films about royalty, such as Stephen Frears’ The Queen, and how The Crown is crossing the bridge between television and cinema…

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New Podcast Appearance: FANDOMENTALS PODCAST – ‘Non-Fiction Writing with Tony Black’

Brand new podcast appearance.

In the latest episode of Fandomentals Podcast, I was delighted to join host Harley Mumford to discuss my journey as a writer, my book and non-fiction writing in general.

It was a really interesting chat and Harley a great host in the bargain, so do consider subscribing to the show.

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New Affiliate Podcast: MOTION PICTURES – ‘A Tribute to Sir Sean Connery’

Brand new podcast appearance.

In the latest episode of Motion Pictures, myself and my co-host Carl Sweeney take a break from our traditional format to lament the passing of the late, great, Sir Sean Connery, who recently passed away at the age of 90.

We discuss his career at large, talking through the eras he was on screen from James Bond through to Allan Quatermain, and what made him such a powerful, immortal screen icon…

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Two Nations Under God: Thoughts on the 2020 U.S. Election

A. J. Black reflects on the recent victory of Joe Biden, America in politics and culture, and where we go from here…

One thing that became clear in the run up to the 2020 Presidential election in the United States was that this particular battle was not just about America. It was about the entire world.

You will often hear from the more extremist or conservative Americans, upon any point of criticism regarding their politics, that if you’re not from America, you have no business commenting on the politics of the country. I’m not sure that’s ever been true. If Americans don’t comment on British or French or German elections, it’s more likely they simply aren’t paying any attention to European matters. It doesn’t work that way for us, in the U.K. at least, and in the matter of Joe Biden vs Donald Trump, it hasn’t been the case for the majority of a planet who otherwise, in any other electoral race, might only have paid a modicum of attention.

This one? We’ve all been watching.

The reason is obvious. Donald Trump has presided over perhaps the most tumultuous period of American history, and the most fractured and polarising government, in decades, if not since the 19th century. Was it this bad at the end of a protest-filled 1960s, having suffered presidential assassinations, dubious wars, and the murder of civil rights totems? Those alive at the time are the best people to attest to that. In my lifetime, the last almost forty years, America has never been so inflamed, outraged, horrified and terrified, not even in the wake of 9/11. That was my generation’s Kennedy assassination – the seismic psychological and political shock to global society, but we’ve never seen anything like Trump in the White House.

Now he’s going. For all his protestations, he will be gone. And I’m doing a great deal of thinking, about the recent past and the coming future…

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New Affiliate Podcast: BLAIR WITCH MINUTE – ‘Minute 1: A Year Later Their Footage Was Found’

Brand new podcast appearance.

In the latest episode of Blair Witch Minute, myself and my guest Mike Jozic continue discussing the introduction of the film as we see the Haxan logo, and the film’s legendary opening description…

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New Affiliate Podcast: MOTION PICTURES – ‘Hitchcock & Wheatley (Rebecca)’

Brand new podcast appearance.

In the latest episode of Motion Pictures, myself and my co-host Carl Sweeney, in a special crossover event with The Movie Palace podcast, focus in on Daphne du Maurier’s legendary Gothic melodrama Rebecca.

We focus on Ben Wheatley’s brand new adaptation, drawing comparisons and differences with Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1940 version, and discuss the new film’s ins & outs. Does it do the novel justice, or Hitchcock’s film? Does it track with Wheatley’s previous output? And who, exactly, is this new version for?

Plus! We share our thoughts on Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm after the last episode, and discuss the intriguing possibility of No Time to Die premiering on a streaming service…

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New Affiliate Podcast: MOTION PICTURES – ‘The Reality of Comedy’ (Borat)

Brand new affiliate podcast.

In the latest episode of Motion Pictures, A. J. Black co-host Carl Sweeney in this episode are discussing comedy on the eve of the release of Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm.

We go back to 2006 to examine Borat, the first movie from Sacha Baron Cohen featuring his Kazakh creation, as we try and get to the nub of Cohen’s fearless mirth making. What is his comedy saying? Why is he saying it? And will he be able to repeat the trick?

Plus! We catch up a little on the events in the Covid-cinema world after our previous episode…

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I AM GRETA preaches to the progressive converted (Review)

★ ★ ★

Greta Thunberg is, to put it mildly, what we might describe in the U.K. as a ‘Marmite figure’.

To others, polarising would be the better word. Ever since Thunberg sat down in the middle of her hometown of Stockholm with a painted sign saying (in Swedish) ‘School Strike for Climate’, removing herself from education to raise awareness about climate change and global inaction, she has won almost as many detractors as fans. Nathan Grossman’s film, you suspect, wants you to believe more of the world is with Greta and her cause than the opposite. I Am Greta is not exactly a hagiography but it is sympathetic, on multiple fronts; a documentary that follows the 15-year old girl with Asperger’s Syndrome on a remarkable journey over less than three years, but which oddly feels longer.

The issue with I Am Greta, no matter how openly it presents its protagonist, is that it won’t do precisely what Thunberg is devoting her life to: changing minds.

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