An Inspector Calls: a snapshot of 1912 — and of 2015

Alex Hort-Francis reviews the BBC’s adaptation of An Inspector Calls, and considers why it is still “better to ask for the world than to take it”.

I first read JB Priestley’s play at school. Amongst the terribly tedious Austin novels and obscure poetry we were compelled to study, An Inspector Calls has always stuck in my memory. Its atmosphere sinks deep into your imagination – the dimly-lit cosiness of an upper class home saturated with delicacies, as if the finer things in life could pressurise the air against the collective anguish eager to seep in. Back then I was — as far as anyone can be — apolitical. Watching Sunday’s BBC adaptation, I’m struck by just how subversive a choice of reading material Priestley’s play was for a grammar school in Kent. Continue reading

Jimmy Snuka and Misogyny in Wrestling

Snuka Argentino

In light of the charges brought against Jimmy Snuka, Adam Hofmeister examines the history of misogyny in professional wrestling.

TW: graphic descriptions of violence against women, rape, domestic violence.

2015 has been a very rough year for WWE. Dusty Rhodes and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper have vaulted off of the mortal springboard, Daniel Bryan has retired due to being physically broken in 3.5 million places and, most infamously, Hulk Hogan, the very face of wrestling itself, has been unceremoniously fired from the company for racist comments he made in (of all places) a sex tape back in 2007. Continue reading

What’s your favourite scary movie: In defence of Scream, in rememberance of Wes Craven

Today, Hollywood’s horror scene lost a member of its royalty, with the passing of Wes Craven. While there is a good deal of idealistic memorialising no doubt going regarding his career – which let’s be fair, was as filled with flops as it was with shocks – I feel the need instead to leap to defense to one of his most maligned successes; Scream (1996). While Scream’s legacy was, as was the case with the bulk of Craven’s hits, hindered by a string of less effective sequels, and while it arrived on screens very much toward the end of the ‘slasher picture’ rising star, in a box-office lull where horror looked destined for the bargain-bin, to my mind its genre-savvy social commentary and cutting social critiques make it the very apex of its cinematic genome.

Continue reading

Want some? Come get some! Wrestling with Hegemony: our new podcast

It’s the wrestling event of the year (apart from Wrestlemania), tonight LIVE FROM NEW YORK, it’s SUMMERSLAAAAAM. And we aren’t there. Not even remotely. But we don’t need to be to have launched our new podcast Wrestling with Hegemony.
With the boom of wrestling content on the site, and the huge window to presents us to further discuss dominant ideas and popular culture that interlinks with Hollywood and everything else, it seemed only logical for Jack Brindelli and Charlie Giggle to produce the only pre-show that matters. Byron Saxton, eat your heart out. If it goes well, it should become a weekly format where we can gather wrestling politicos to discuss heavyweight issues like capitalist ideology, nationalist rhetoric and John Cena wrestling a dead baby.
So without further delay, here is the very first episode. Enjoy.

Everybody hurts: the bitter-sweet genius of “Inside Out”

As I fumbled for the right change in the cinema foyer, preparing to see Pixar’s latest cinematic extravaganza, whatever incompetent forces dwell within my left frontal lobe dropped a bit of a clanger. Whoever was working the controls probably wants putting on garden leave, as I dozily ordered two tickets to “Inside Me”, much to the wilting embarrassment of the Vue cashier. The best review that I can give of Inside Out, is that it was interminably worth the momentary embarrassment.

Sadness: actually quite useful.

Continue reading

Why The Long Face? BoJack Horseman and Depression

Adam Hofmeister takes a personal look at the bizarre yet poignant world of Netflix cartoon BoJack Horseman, and what it has to say to those who may find themselves wandering into it.

screen shot 2014-10-03 at 4.33.23 pm

“You know, sometimes I feel like I was born with a leak, and any goodness I started with just slowly spilled out of me, and now it’s all gone. And I’ll never get it back in me. It’s too late. Life is a series of closing doors, isn’t it?”
– BoJack Horseman, Horse Majeure Continue reading

‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper (April 17, 1954 – July 31, 2015)

The People's Hot Rod

RODDY PIPER. I LOVE YOU FOREVER. GOD BLESS YOU BUBBA — The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) July 31, 2015

I have said before that I am not a lifelong wrestling fan, but a relative newbie. However, there were three wrestlers from the Golden Age I knew very well despite my overall ignorance: Hulk Hogan (oh, how the mighty have fallen), “Macho Man” Randy Savage and, of course, Roderick George Toombs, better known to the world as ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper. Continue reading