Tag: drama

FICTION: Stick Man by Rich Rose

When I was four, I drew a stick man. A long figure in black crayon, with spider-like hands and a featureless round head, he stood on jagged grass like the blade of a saw, while behind him a yellow ball shone bright lines into the sky. Mum was thrilled when I gave her the picture.

Continue reading

FILM REVIEW: The Belly Of An Architect

Movie making is an expensive affair. It helps to have visually appealing locations, which is why any film made in Rome has got a head start. From Bicycle Thieves to The Talented Mr Ripley, from La Dolce Vita to, er, Hudson Hawk, the city of Rome – with its mix of medieval alleyways, renaissance palaces, baroque fountains and fascist architecture –

Continue reading

FILM REVIEW: Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley (2018) is not the story of Mary Shelley’s life, despite the title. Her life was one long gothic nightmare. She endured untold grief, beginning with her mother (famous proto-feminist Mary Wollstonecraft) who died giving birth to her. She then outlived as a young adult, in a relatively short period time, her half-sister Fanny,

Continue reading

FILM REVIEW: 2036: Origin Unknown

Ah, Mars. There isn’t a planet in the celluloid Galaxy that gets more attention than the mysterious red world, where countless films have tried to unearth the riddles of what may lie beneath the surface of the terrestrial planet, with its thin atmosphere composed primarily of carbon dioxide. The Martian, On The Red Planet, Mission

Continue reading

FILM REVIEW: Mad to be Normal

I’ll be honest: I’d never heard of the controversial and rebel psychologist R.D. Laing until I’d watched Mad to be Normal, a counterculture icon who attracted an almost cult-like following among the young and impressionable during the swinging sixties, but I wonder if first-time writer/director Robert Mullan, author of several books based the psychiatrist, paints the

Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: Choke Chain by Jason Donald

Choke Chain by Jason Donald has a long emotional reach. Set in 1980’s apartheid South Africa it narrates the Thorne’s dysfunctional family life with clarity and compassion. Domesticity, gender politics and inequality are explored kitchen-sink style in this simmering story where two brothers, Alex, aged twelve, and Kevin, eight, grow up in poverty with an

Continue reading

NON-FICTION: The Aftermath: A chain of events after the 1986 Chernobyl electrical explosion

The 1986 Chernobyl electrical explosion revealed the deficiencies, ignorance, and complacency within the Soviet political and administrative system, as well as one Ukrainian family’s intuitive and uneasy response to a radioactive chain of events. April 26, 1986. A mismanaged electrical-engineering experiment was about to take place at the Chernobyl nuclear plant. Engineers with little knowledge

Continue reading

FILM REVIEW: Funny Cow

The mid 1970’s were a bleak time for comedy: If you need proof, just check out the lapel sizes in Granada ‘variety’ series The Comedians. You could count the number of women comics on one hand – though one of the few who made it was Sheffield born Marti Caine, who beat Victoria Wood to win

Continue reading

FILM REVIEW: Obey

Youths today, eh? There’s nothing quite like the sight of a gang of pockmarked, track-suited youths gawping lethargically at their iPhones, babbling witlessly to one another and sucking up nitrous oxide from balloons that makes you feel like an old, cantankerous fuckwit. I used to be young, once. I remember it. I remember having a

Continue reading

FILM REVIEW: Thoroughbreds

Thoroughbreds appears to have come out of nowhere, with little in the way of advance publicity. The truth is this barbed black comedy has been sitting on a shelf for a year, out of respect to co-star Anton Yelchin – better known as Chekhov in the Star Trek films – who tragically died in a

Continue reading