Beyond hastily constructed concrete walls and vicious barbed wire fences, the tedious humdrum of the ‘safe zone’ is drowned out, by a relentless and chilling noise. They say if you listen long enough your sanity will disintegrate quicker than the crumbling cement, meant as a temporary measure until the government or the army could regain control, now serving as an unwitting coffin. Continue reading
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
The Norwich Radical is a new web-based media project established for “the purpose of providing progressive analysis of politics and the arts.” It’s a “broad coalition of activists, writers, students and workers coming from an array of political backgrounds,” something that has been lacking on the left in Norwich for some time – and promises to finally provide a platform for the wide range of interests and talents of activists and ‘ordinary’ people – which more often than not goes to waste. I’m very excited to have contributed my article “Of Gove and Gramsci”, which you can now check out along with a host of other great content on their page via the linked teaser-text below.
“This is a battle of ideas and ideology, and the Education Secretary knows it. Culture connects on a human level and draws out debates on supposed common sense; it carries the potential to lay bare the hegemonic drip of dominant capitalist ideas into perceived ‘nature’. That brings with it the potential to challenge the ideology of the status-quo.“
Everyone who participates in creativity knows the brief spark of fury ignited by somebody else suggesting ‘slightly’ changing how you do things, in order to get ‘big’. It’s not an entirely irrational evolutionary self-defence mechanism, a flinch in preparation for an assault on your very sense of self – because by ‘big’ they mean profitable, and by ‘slightly’ they mean irrevocably. But at the heart of any creation is a communication of the creator’s world-view – and through modifying it for the sake of profit, we often run the risk of silencing that communication; of murdering that world-view and destroying the creator’s connection to the world in the process. That terrible possibility is what really makes director Lenny Abrahamson’s pitch-black psycho-satire Frank the most compelling viewing the year 2014 has (or, I’d venture, ever will) offer up.
So I was lucky enough to attend the BAFTA tour night of the Norwich Film Festival on Thursday – check out my thoughts through the linked text below.
Cinema goers welcomed the BAFTA tour to the Norwich Film Festival on a wet and windy Thursday night. But even amidst the gloom of some textbook British summer weather, those in attendance at the Odeon on Riverside were still cheered by a plethora of UK-based talent on show, followed by a Q&A withKeeping Up with the Joneses director Michael Pearce. The British Film and Television Arts compiled eight shorts nominated for a prestigious BAFTA award into a feature length package, which also featured two films (Island Queen and I am Tom Moody) which wowed at last year’s NFF.
Intriguingly, the films synchronised brilliantly as a coherent package, despite being produced entirely separately by up-and-coming film-makers from all over the country. Each short featured in this cinematic scrapbook commented on some aspect of claustrophobia, isolation or social alienation – and the (often unsuccessful) struggle to overcome or escape them – giving a pointillistic portrait of the hopes and fears of modern British society in the process.
Well here it is, the film that took over 3 months to finish is finally here, and not too shabby even if we say so.
In February 1914, amongst economic turmoil and international conflict, Charlie Chaplin first tumbled onto screens as the Little Tramp. 100 years later, with homelessness rising, massive cuts to social security, and another government on the war-path, Jack Brindelli and friends consider what the Tramp’s legacy tells us about modern times. Enjoy – and please share as widely as possible.
Greetings HH followers – I know I’ve slightly neglected you all recently, but I have been busy working on my new film on 100 years of Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp. Get excited. I have also written a not-insubstantial article on the subject for the Norwich Film Festival, which you can view by clicking the taster-text below, if it takes your fancy. It not only features an actual illustration by me (Jack of all trades etc), but also outlines what you’ll see in the film – so check it out.
From culturally illiterate education minister Michael Gove’s humourless panning of comedy classic Blackadder Goes Forth, to the banal, Buzzfeed-esque ten point summary of the war by BBC historian Dan Snow (great-great-grandson of war-time Prime Minister Lloyd George) – there has been a concerted effort to reinvent the horrors of WW1’s mechanised conflict as not only necessary, but actually a bit of a lark.
Caught recently in the crossfire of this ideological conflict, having characteristically stumbled into a tricky situation not of his making, is Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp – who reached his own historical landmark last month. The beloved character, who first appeared on screens in February 1914, is no stranger to this historical process himself of course. The Tramp, once revered by the poor and reviled by the rich as a figure of rebellion, has become so shrouded in historical mystification that he can be warmly remembered by the very people he was once a statement against. Even the Daily Mail, who backed the Nazis around the time of Chaplin’s anti-fascist classic The Great Dictator (1940) now fondly remember the Tramp’s antics, in an ideological shift akin to Royalists 100 years from now warmly recalling that rascal Frankie Boyle’s jokes about the Queen’s haunted vagina!
Yet even now there is something troublesome about the man in the bowler hat, big shoes and baggy trousers – something that remains unreconciled with dominant accounts of history, which disturbs the rich and powerful. This is where Chaplin’s legacy enters the war debate...