Review: Mindhunter

“Set in 1977 – in the early days of criminal psychology and criminal profiling at the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Mindhunter revolves around FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), along with psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), who interview imprisoned serial killers in order to understand how they think with the hope of applying this knowledge to solving ongoing cases.” 

Mindhunter is a curious show. It’s not a procedural drama, but certainly has elements of the case-of-the-week style. It’s slow-paced, but I couldn’t stop myself from watching the last three episodes in one sitting. It’s a television series that looks like a movie, featuring snappy montages juxtaposed with a distinctive dark grey and blue colour palette and long still scenes of two people talking.

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Superheroes on screen, and why we should all watch Young Justice

A few weeks ago, the highly anticipated Justice League was released to a reception that was lukewarm at best. It made me think about the difficulties of trying to recreate a shared universe of any kind on screen, well as bringing to mind one of my all-time favourite cartoons- Young Justice.

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The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh

Part One: Animals and Humans

Have you ever seen one of those adverts on television, the ones with faded photo montages accompanied by poignant music and a solemn voice informing you that a certain species- of tiger, perhaps, or elephant- is on the verge of extinction, but with a small monthly donation you could help to save it?

Or maybe when you were a kid you were given one of those stuffed animals with a little booklet attached congratulating you on ‘adopting’ an endangered animal, vaguely giving you the sense of having done a good deed?

Before I read The Hungry Tide, this was the extent of my awareness of animal conservationism. When I happened to think about it, I wholeheartedly supported the ideal of rescuing these animals from the damaging actions of humans, in destroying their habitats and hunting them for sport.

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Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

*Spoiler-Free Review*

 

The phrase ‘confounded my expectations’ gets thrown around a lot, but truly, Blade Runner 2049 confounded my expectations.

Given the standard model of the Hollywood blockbuster, action-heavy and emotionally-shallow (read: calculated to rake in the most cash), I was very pleasantly surprised when I found myself having to actively try to make sense of and analyse what was happening on screen.

Furthermore, I realised very quickly that this is the kind of film which merits- and indeed rewards- repeated viewing, as each frame is so rich with significant objects and symbolism, as well as incredibly nuanced performances and character moments.

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Channel 4’s Hunted: Light-hearted entertainment or insidious propaganda?

I’m not a big fan of reality television.

I dislike the way it pretends to be an unfiltered representation of ‘real life’, when everyone watching knows perfectly well that it’s about as authentic as a soap opera. I get annoyed at formulaic set ups which try to pass themselves off as uniquely exciting, and generally find the participants of these shows irritating at best.

Yet, last year I found myself tuning in week after week to a television programme containing every single one of these elements.

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Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Radio Silence is a wonderful book that exactly captures what it feels like to be me. Or at least what it has felt like, at times.

Obviously not in every single aspect (never have I been so thankful for my school friends, with whom I have had many a serious discussion about which Harry Potter character we are), but as I eagerly devoured it I couldn’t help but find the resemblance almost uncanny.

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American Vandal- satire, silliness and style

I’ll be honest, judging from the summary- “Truth. Justice. Dicks.”-  I was slightly sceptical before I started to watch American Vandal.

I’m glad that I persevered after the first few episodes, as it fast became one of those shows when you don’t just want to watch the next episode, you need to. Urgently. Until you’ve reached the end and don’t know what to do with your life.

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The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

I am torn and I am mended – I want everything and need nothing – I love you and I am content without you.

Even so, come quickly!”

It’s not often that I read a book which I feel like I can recommend to everyone, a book that I believe both my mother and my best friend- people who have generally disparate albeit overlapping tastes- will get something out of.

So, on the occasion that I stumble across a book of this rare and special type, like The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry, it is generally a very rare and special book indeed.

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Film Review: Dunkirk

I was slightly apprehensive going into Dunkirk. I was worried that I would feel bored as I had heard it was mostly action with barely any dialogue, that it would repeat the same war-movie clichés and exalt some kind of quasi-mythical patriotic British-ness that would totally alienate me.

I forgot these worries within the first few minutes of the film.

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