Get excited, get involved

Hollywood Hegemony is approaching its fourth anniversary, and with the status of the project growing day by day, the time is finally right to try and expand. For the past three years, we have produced films and penned articles which have been viewed by thousands of people across the world (seriously, about a half of our readership comes from overseas); we’ve been featured at film festivals, local screenings, and on one occasion a national newspaper.

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Over the first quarter of 2015, we have received more hits than we did in the entirety of last year – thanks in no small part to the contributions of exciting new writers to the project; but if we want to do more than simply tread water, we must work even harder to provide new writers and film-makers with an exciting platform to showcase their talent, and to supply readers with intriguing and insightful content to keep them glued to our page. In May, we will begin an expansion of our operations, as well as a restructuring of our editorial and technological apparatus.

That means expanding our editorial team from one to three, that means bringing in a website designer to revitalise and improve our page, and ultimately that means bringing in new writers, to work to regular schedules to increase Hollywood Hegemony’s reach and profile far beyond the hobby blog that it began as. That means we need you to help us take the project to the next level. As of today, Hollywood Hegemony will be taking submissions for all of the positions mentioned above.

Expect more details to follow regarding the application process – but for now, please contact Jack Brindelli with any queries at jbrindelli@gmail.com.

Witching and Bitching at the General Election

As the women who have changed the face of this general election for the better face increasing heat, Jack Brindelli revisits our very own film Witches and Bitches.

So, the election debates have been turned on their head by three women promising to give radical anti-cuts politics at Westminster. Last night, the BBC played host to… nearly all the major players in this election, with David Cameron conspicuous in his absense, and Nick Clegg characteristic in his. But whilst Clegg was busy drunkenly texting threats to Miliband’s PA from a pub somewhere in Ecclesall (seriously, that happened), the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party were kicking arse and taking names against a suited male elite seemingly unwilling, as well as incapable, of defending itself. And for some reason there are now large swathes of men all over the internet’s perpetually jerking knee, Twitter, comparing Nicola Sturgeon, Natalie Bennett and Leanne Wood to certain pointy-hatted, broom-riding mythical beings… Continue reading

I am become the eater of worlds: Bray Wyatt, Undertaker and the American Nightmare

Tonight, one of the world’s theatrical highlights will grace the screens of millions across the globe. It’s Wrestlemania. And in the spirit, even we at Hollywood Hegemony are having a #ManiaMoment – first of all with a gloriously fake feud between two of our contributors…


And then with the article that our own Jack Brindelli submitted to The Norwich Radical – a sample of which you can find, along with a link to the full article, below. 

Wrestlemania is here – and I have a challenge for you. I dare you to watch. I literally dare you. Yes, that’s right, WWE, ‘make-believe fighting’ if you really must label it that, where grown men and women play-fight on television for the entertainment of billions worldwide. “But Jack,” I hear you cry, “You’re a culture writer for the Norwich Radical! Surely you know better than to revel in suchuncultured pastimes?!” Continue reading

One last mad trip to Jo-burg: The flawed brilliance of Chappie

After mixed results after the explosive District 9, Neill Blomkamp’s latest effort Chappie arrives on the scene once again to lukewarm reviews. Jack Brindelli, looks beneath the film’s ungainly outer shell, to reveal a beautiful message within it’s circuitry.

I make no secret of the fact I am unconditionally a Neill Blomkamp fan. His detractors often cite a lack of lacking subtlety and finesse as his work’s major downfall, with his somewhat black and white allegory of class-based inequality Elysium (2013) taking the brunt of the criticism. But even in the supposedly unfinessed haphazard film there are flashes of brilliance (the literally inhuman Job Centre for one) that show for all Blomkamp’s faults, he is a world-class sci-fi satirist. That is not something that restraint or understatement is necessary for, as you can see from his explosive début District 9 (2009); it’s about blowing up the contradictions in society between the promises of mainstream ideology and the reality it actually delivers, it is about taking dominant ideology to its logically absurd conclusion.   Continue reading

Fifty Shades of… Huh?

It’s been two weeks since the release of Fifty shades of Grey gave the topic of abusive relationships a rather troubling Valentines Day gloss. Complaints have ranged from accusations it romanticises violence against women, to the somewhat moot point that the acting, writing and direction are all to put it bluntly, “flaccid”. Weeks later, in the cold light of day, away from the saccharine veneer of it’s Valentines weekend release, Ruth Grahame outlines why Fifty shades wins Hollywood Hegemony’s “most confusing sexual politics” award.

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Trigger warnings:  Abusive relationships. Fifty shades of Grey. BDSM*. Psychological abuse. Rape culture. *warning because many individuals have damaging experiences with it, not because its inherently damaging

As a  queer, kinky feminist, I read most of the first book and got very, very angry. The Christian Grey of the books has no consideration of boundaries, constantly pushes Ana to do more when she has explicitly made her discomfort unclear (Which she shouldn’t even have to do, he can read hints, he just doesn’t care about them), and literally rapes her in more than one scene across the trilogy.  In a society where, in England and Wales 2 women are killed by their partners or ex-partners every week, only a third of convicted rapists get jail-time, and “why did she go home with him?” is a more common question than “why didn’t he stop?”, the defending of abusers because “they were in love” or “its just a book and therefore has no social context or influence” is such strong bullshit I almost cried on several occasions. Continue reading

Oddly Enough: A Love Note to Birdman

Oddly enough, it’s currently infuriating the culture snobs it was explicitly about. It’s the film that “robbed” the ‘superior’ Boyhood, that infuriated po-faced broadsheet critics and red-faced tabloid hacks alike, and that trumped Alan Turing, Stephen Hawking and Martin Luther King Jr. Amidst the wreckage of Sunday night, after the Academy declared Birdman Best Picture, writer Lucy Cowburn argues in favour of a much-maligned masterpiece.

So; I am gobsmacked.  When I walked out of the cinema after seeing Birdman I knew that I wanted it to win the Best Director Oscar.  I didn’t expect it to win the Best Picture award for a moment.  I thought it too small a film for that and there were other films about more inspiring men vying it out for that title.  As much as the Academy claims to love a story about an everyman, it’s a lie.  They give awards to stories about men who change the world, preferably while being really patriotic or fulfilling the American Dream.  Clearly why Selma was nominated for so many awards.  It’s nice that it fell back onto the actors playing actors option.  We haven’t seen that since Argo in 2013.  Continue reading

“The Stones Cry Out” Norwich Palestinian Solidarity Campaign AGM Screening

SCREENING EVENT: “THE STONES CRY OUT”
Wednesday 18th February, 7.00pm
Friends Meeting House, Upper Goat Lane, Norwich
The Norwich Palestine Solidarity Campaign will be showing this much acclaimed film on Wednesday. All are welcome to attend the film show, whether or not they are members of PSC.

Filmmaker Yasmine Perni  brings us the voices of Palestinian Christians and covers the period from  the Nakba of 1948 until today. This is its first showing in Norwich and an opportunity not to be missed. Continue reading