Month: April 2018

Ghost in the Shell – Film Review

I’m not the biggest anime fan in the world, but if you have any appreciation for science fiction, visual artistry and films that create a unique atmosphere, it’s impossible not to be impressed by this 1995 cyber-tech thriller.

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New Music 04/2018 – Sarah Blasko, St. Vincent, Yma Sumac

Two of my long-time favourites refuse to make a crap album six and five releases into their careers respectively; a Peruvian-American queen of exotica with a crazy vocal range.

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Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie – Book Review

More book club reading. This one was an interesting experience – the author’s intent became obvious to me only after I finished the novel and read the acknowledgements at the back, which recast the whole thing in a very different light. If I remembered my classic Greek literature better, I’d probably have realised sooner that Home Fire is a modern-day retelling of Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone. This made me understand the author’s story choices better, while also making it easier to pinpoint why, overall, the book didn’t quite work for me. There’s still a lot to like about it – the prose is simple and lucid, it explores the timely topics like terrorism and anti-Muslim attitudes with insight and intelligence, most characters are well-drawn and their wildly different life choices are easy to understand and empathise with. But in the end, it did feel less than the sum of its parts.

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mother! – Film Review

By far, the weirdest thing about this film written and directed by Darren Aronofsky is the notion that someone actually believed it could be turned into a mainstream hit a la Aronofsky’s Black Swan. What put me off watching it in the cinema however wasn’t the polarized reaction and stories of the audience members demanding refunds, but the mention of the dreaded hand-held camera in one of the reviews. I made the right call to avoid nausea at the cinema, but the big screen and darkened isolation from the outside world would undoubtedly have been a better place to fully appreciate the movie’s unique claustrophobic insanity. As opposed to my living room with my Russian neighbours talking in the background.

There’s no point talking about mother! without mentioning what it’s really about, so spoilers ahead.

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The Square – Film Review

This Swedish Palme d’Or-winning film is a sprawling satire of the contemporary art world and is a bit like a modern art installation itself: you’re not always sure about the artist’s intent, it may feel baffling, confronting or tedious, but at its best it can leave you with some indelible imagery and food for thought.

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