Media Editor and former Arts Award Editor covering film, TV, music and comedy. Currently listening to The Adam Buxton Podcast.
Awsum upped the ante with the stakes of ridiculousness in his show this year. The laughs he got in the packed out, sweltering venue were some of the loudest I'd heard yet.
I was intrigued about going to see Noman's Land. Intrigued about how a former journalist in Pakistan was now in the business of giving a one-woman show.
Hairline opened with the most original start to a routine – slick and funny with the right level of ridiculousness.
The Wonderful Life is a routine made by and for geeks. A lover of geekery comes into his own as Lieven Scheire.
I went to see the Hampstead Murder Mystery at the behest of Jo. I'm glad she asked me to.
Will Durst's show is filled with original observations about the humorous aspects of the baby boomer generation's way of life.
Foreign film is always different because the way in which different cultures and people make films differ wildly.
I finally got to see JP Cooper live and see if he was as practically perfect in person as his recorded music.
Comment posted on 20 June 2018
Yeah it's massively problematic and really irks me. While the body and identity politics are worth heeding - specifically that ITV have defended their position by saying that physical appearance is NOT a criterion on which contestants, which is incredibly difficult to believe - my issue with it is more overarching and something that Iain Stirling, the voice presenter, has addressed somewhat when he said Love Island is seen to 'dumb down' the nation. As opposed to dumbing down, I think it serves as an overwhelming indictment of the superficiality of modernity. It takes love and sex and places it on an economistic platform without regard for how the men and women - who are wildly segregated, be it by choice or not - take the experience differently. It is, however, heartening (if that's the right word) to see the viewing public rally against the more problematic (at the very least) behaviour. Prime of which is throwing camaraderie out of the window for self-serving sex and ill excuses for emotional infatuation. I have watched this season to fathom out the appeal and I've moved away from my previous allegation that it's as close as you can get to porn on primetime television and towards the view that its issues are, ironically, more complex. There's also the argument that bad television has value, something you can switch your mind off to watch, but I think the spectatorial appeal around Love Island is much more sordid than that.
Wow what an massive job, I'm both jealous and impressed. Glad to see some lesser known gems in here - rewatched Hunt For The Wilderpeople recently and it proper stands up, and definitely need to see Boy. Agreement with Waititi fandom. Freedom Writers was one of those few films that stayed with me internally from a young age, cannot understand how it wasn't more widely seen. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is also a cracker but, for me, Some Like It Hot is far and away the best Monroe film. I admire your motivation so much - teach me.
Comment posted on 31 May 2018
I saw William Stone as part of a variety show last year and he was definitely the highlight so I'm so glad you managed to see him as part of a full show and enjoy it as much, it seems, as I did!
Comment posted on 7 March 2018
Yes Samah! I'm glad you've said a lot of what you put here. I think however it could be an issue to suggest extra curricular arts activities are entirely inaccessible. As you and I know far too well there is good, public, free art out there for people to enjoy. I think a good balance needs to be struck in different areas of the country where school arts provision and community or public arts provision complement each other and work together to enable access to art where it's more needed - of course, a part of this does includes making sure it's affordable and cultural accepted.
Excellent thoughts here. I'm always glad to read feminist thinking that crosses intersections so thank you for this. Something that came to mind when reading this was Black Panther and how, as much as it champions the need for ethnically diverse films, really marked an innovative move toward complex representations of women in power.
Comment posted on 2 February 2018
I started out reading this and thought it was an overly sceptical examination but you make a good point. It's hard to see the demonstrated change brought by celebrities. However, and I am hardly condoning the strange motivations I'm about to put forward as perfect, I think even the semblance of activism, however facetious in reality, without attention brought to their lack of active action, can cause laypeople to do the hard work. Even though celebrities have largely sat pretty, they've been a driving force to get people to protests and set up petitions and speak loudly. Of course, ideally, change would come about far quicker if celebrities did more than tweet and outsource their activism through a bank transfer, but there is an odd benefit to the insignificant actions they're taking.