(UN)POPULAR CULTURE

The home of writer & author A. J. BLACK

Life Itself is a story about stories. It aspires to be a deconstruction of narrative and narration and, ultimately, fails at both. A warning sign for any newly released film these days is if you can either simultaneously stream it and view it in cinemas, or even worse it goes straight to Netflix or Amazon …

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After two pictures that fused deliberately acerbic British filmmaking with Hollywood stardom, Ben Wheatley returns to his roots with Happy New Year, Colin Burstead. You only have to consider what the original working title was for Wheatley’s film: ‘Colin, You Anus’. When it was announced that Wheatley was producing a brand new picture to be …

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Practically perfect in every way. If there was a telling quote to sum up the nostalgic glow that radiates from Mary Poppins Returns, that would be it. Who would even have imagined we would be here? Mary Poppins is without doubt the most popular and beloved live action Disney production of the 20th century, and …

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For a film about a historical event which looks ahead to a future where we move past partisan politics into a world of discovery, First Man has turned out to be surprisingly political and controversial. Perhaps this was inevitable. Very little that emerges, culturally, from the American sphere right now isn’t loaded with some level of subtext, be it a …

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Given the stature and prowess of the Mission Impossible franchise, the sixth movie is not likely to bring the curtain down on this series, but were Fallout to be the swansong for Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, it would quite honestly be a perfect way to bow out. Everything about Fallout has the sense of …

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Say what you like about Avengers: Infinity War but nobody can deny one thing: it is breaking new cinematic ground. For decades there have been sequels. For decades there have been franchises. For decades we have seen continuing universes on both the big and small screens, sometimes overlapping, develop characters and storylines. Marvel Studios differ …

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Funny Cow isn’t really about comedy. Laughter is the prism through which this bleak fable spins a tale of escape and identity. To make the story of the titular, unnamed ‘Funny Cow’, about the rise of a comedy superstar would be to miss the point. Adrian Shergold’s movie is a strangely oblique, fourth wall breaking …

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