More things in Heaven and Earth: A belated review of ‘Whistle and I will come to you’

Traditionally, ghosts are usually the anonymised remnants of souls who perished unjustly – who return, damaged and riled by the experience, to extol revenge from the living. They are the people who die in pain, misery and poverty, having been hounded to their graves – even in the modern day – by elites who see nothing monstrous in that – only normality. Elites who overthrow their own reason by refusing to acknowledge those forces inside themselves which they simply cannot understand – and who subsequently cannot foresee a backlash to their actions. And that’s why ghost stories like Whistle and I’ll Come to You are ever so essential ingredients to Christmas tradition – as a warning to those ‘more fortunate’.

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“There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy…”

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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.

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Hegemony Incarnate: Why you can’t get rid of the Babadook

Why is it that we react with such withering contempt to our children when they see monsters? Is it because we really know better than them, or is it, really, because the assurances we give ourselves every day that things are “fine” are a bigger fiction than the shadows under the bed? In director/writer Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook (2014) we’re asked some deeply disturbing questions that will leave you checking over your shoulder long after the credits have rolled… 

But what if he already is…

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Check out “A Pervert’s Guide to Slavoj Žižek”

I have written another repulsive, gushing love letter to Slavoj Žižek to review his new film, which you can now read on the Norwich Film Festival blog. Check it out in full by clicking here… or on the linking sample paragraph below. 

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Speaking frankly, as is his custom, Slavoj Žižek said in a 2011 Guardian interview, “most of the left hates me even though I am supposed to be one of the world’s leading communist intellectuals.” Two years on, with the DVD release of The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, the shape of the British left might be changing (the SWP who fiercely criticised him for his words on an old Russian proverb regarding the horrors of rape, have effectively collapsed because of their actions regarding rape accusations in their own party) but the collective disdain remains. And whilst of course, we should always be willing to have conversations with even the loftiest of figures when they take problematic lines on any subject, there is something opportunistic about the way the orthodox left have approached this in writing off Žižek and his methods entirely.

An Ocean of Tears

Recently released on DVD, Lana and Andy Wachowski’s collaboration with Tom Twyker ‘Cloud Atlas’ spans 6 (and a half) different time zones. Such a combination sounds ambitious, but hardly new. That is before you see how they intersect. Inter-spliced and overlapping continuously, each story helps to build an incredible, touching, scrapbook narrative.
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But beyond the simple (or complex in this case) aesthetic effect here, this is of far greater importance than a mere stylistic choice. By interweaving the plots of various time-zones to make a spectacular timeline narrative, the film contests a number of troubling norms perpetuated within mainstream cinema. By doing so it rather brilliantly highlights the ideology under the skin of most films ‘common sense’ accounts of the role of the individual in history. Continue reading