Carol (2015)

Director: Todd Haynes

** This blog contains spoilers**

carol-movie-posterLast week I was lucky enough to be able to see Carol with a group of friends at my locally refurbished cinema.  It was an opportunity to catch up and be entertained.  After watching the film, I didn’t think that I would write about it. This is not to say that I did not enjoy the film.  It is beautiful and seductive and as someone who is easily distracted by well-cut clothes, I would definitely recommend the film.  However, it was not until I wrote about control in the last blog, that I found something to say about the film beyond the aesthetic. Continue reading

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He Named me Malala (2015)

malala posterMalala Yousafzai is a remarkable woman, with a spirit and voice that needs to be acknowledged and heard.  What happens to this voice when it is mediated through the lens of a documentary maker?  He Named Me Malala is a fascinating film, through which Malala’s charm and courage shines, but it is not perfect.  It starts with the mythologised context of Malala’s naming.  Her father chose her name which is from the Afghan folk heroine Malalai who rallied Pashtun fighters against the British in 1880.   This provides a context of colonialism and conflict and a narrative of defiance.  There was a powerful scene, narrated by her father (over animation) where on seeing the family tree populated entirely by men, he draws a line and adds her name.  For me, this is what that act symbolised:

“Women’s history has a dual goal: to restore women to history and to restore our history to women.” (Kelly-Gadol, 1987: 15)

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Warm Bodies (2013)

warm bodiesI haven’t Facebooked or Tweeted about the atrocities in France and the Lebanon that occurred this weekend. Like many others, my mind is whirling trying to find understanding and space to acknowledge my own emotions. So, whilst I might like and share others posts, my own ideas are too muddled to articulate. Therefore, on Saturday night I did what I usually do in these sorts of circumstances.  I retreated to Rom Com. This Saturday, it was Warm Bodies. Continue reading

Pride (2014)

I have been desperate for a film like this to be made – a film that treated the struggle of the miners’ seriously but also could give me further context and a new angle for that struggle. The Miner’s Strike pride moviewas a formative experience in the creation of my political awareness and identity. As a teenager in Sheffield, I remember walking past the shaking buckets held by big, burly men during a very cold winter into which I would throw the 2p it would have cost me to get from school to town. (I even once stole a couple of tins from our larder to put into a food collection – sorry Mum). It is an experience I keep revisiting aware that at 14, I was only ever at the edges of something big and important. The more I learn about the strike, the more I see the way it shaped politics, policing and protest. Continue reading

Hysteria (2011)

hysteria poster

When I first suggested that I would write about Hysteria for my blog, it was a joke. After all this is a comedy about the invention of the vibrator in the 1880s. Hardly appropriate material for a Doris Day fan (Doris is rumoured to have turned down the part of Mrs Robinson in the Graduate because she found it ‘distasteful’. Faking an orgasm for camera was not part of her repertoire). However, in retrospect this film is nothing but a simple rom-com and is a not-too-distant relation to On Moonlight Bay. Continue reading