(UN)POPULAR CULTURE

The home of writer & author A. J. BLACK

If you listen to my podcast The X-Cast regularly, you’ll have heard the name Carl Sweeney. Having cut his podcasting teeth on my X-Files show, Carl last year broke out to develop The Movie Palace, a podcast which looks every week at a brand new film from Classic Hollywood. This week, it was my turn …

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Over the course of 2019 and into 2020, in the run up to the 25th James Bond movie, I am going to be deep diving into every Bond film in depth, revisiting one of my favourite franchises. We start at the beginning with 1962’s Dr. No… It struck me watching Dr. No just how much …

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Every July weekend at San Diego Comic Con, the biggest geek showcase on the planet where all the major studios and productions roll up to drop exclusives and surprises, you always get one announcement which courts a level of controversy and/or deep analysis. This year it wasn’t even the debut of a trailer for the …

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Nostalgia seems to be a double edged sword right now in Hollywood. What on the surface appears to be a comforting guaranteed winner in terms of audience satisfaction and cinematic box office is becoming something of a poisoned creative chalice. The lacklustre critical (if not box-office) responses to pictures such as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom …

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Another day, another James Bond rumour. Of all the great franchises out there, 007’s—perhaps appropriately—seems to play its cards the closest to its chest. Eon Productions always rations information about where their legendary character is going right up to the point they are ready to announce his destination, and for what looks to be Daniel …

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The cyclical nature of storytelling is one of my fascinations, and something I fully intend to write more about on Cultural Conversation. Star Wars is one of many major franchises which taps into deeply mythological, archetypal stories which end up telling cyclical narratives about characters and worlds which repeat history, repeat myth and cleve to …

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In the Line of Fire feels increasingly like a cultural artefact in this day and age. Though in some ways rooted in the 1990’s, in an era divested of the Cold War but away from a future of terrorist uncertainty, there is a political timelessness about Wolfgang Petersen’s movie. It feels at though it exists …

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